LA JOLLA, Calif., Dec. 8, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Many great new jobs are being shaped by innovations in science and technology that are being developed through universities and research labs across the nation and around the world and people need to learn new skills to get those jobs, according to a study published in a new book: Closing America's Job Gap by Mary Walshok, Tapan Munroe and Henry DeVries (W Business Books, January 2011).
"The future is bright if job seekers can figure out how to align continuing education with America's areas of successful innovation," says Walshok, a sociologist who has done research for the U.S. Department of Labor and the dean of continuing education at the University of California San Diego (http://extension.ucsd.edu). "The array of job opportunities is dazzling for workers who are willing to be retrained."
According to Closing America's Job Gap, the top ten innovative sectors to consider are:
1. Embedded engineering. There are career options for software developers willing to learn some new tricks. Devices from phones, appliances and televisions, to automobiles and iPods, all use processors to run. These complex digital processors, or computers, are embedded systems, often built around a microprocessor core, that are designed by software engineers.
2. Mobile media. Cell phones and other mobile devices are now multifunction devices that enable users to surf the Web, listen to music, download podcasts, use maps, access global positioning satellites, shoot and send photos and videos, and send text messages. Graphic designers, videographers and video editors, casual game/app developers and software engineers are needed to design and develop websites and create video content, software applications, games, interfaces, mobile platforms, and more, as demand continues to increase for Web content and next-generation cell phones.
3. Occupational health and safety. More specialists are needed to cope with technological advances in safety equipment, changing regulations, and increasing public expectations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 11 percent job growth over the next decade, with 6 out of 10 jobs being in the private sector.
4. English translation and foreign languages. In the next 40 years, it is predicted that the number of Spanish speakers in the United States will rise from 31 million to more than 100 million. For those completely bilingual in Spanish and English, these highly marketable language skills open doors to new careers.
5. Renewable energy and the greening of all jobs. By the mid-21st century, all jobs will be green jobs. Organizations today must address potential regulation changes and look for business growth opportunities in the new era of sustainable environmental economics.
6. Teaching English as a foreign language. Half the world's population is expected to be speaking English by 2015. Interest in English teaching positions abroad has mushroomed. That is because English is the international language of business, technology and academia.
7. Action sports innovators. Job seekers searching for a strong sector should consider this: despite the current economic slump, the surf/skate industry has shown notable resiliency during recent global economic challenges, posting U.S. retail sales of $7.22 billion in 2008, according to the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA).
8. Setting up an independent consulting practice. Often there is work to be done, but no jobs. The trick is to offer to provide the labor as a true independent contractor. This is done to market your skills and experience whether in fine cabinet making, catering, technical writing, contract engineering or strategic planning.
9. Geriatric health care. The growing population of seniors continues to have a major impact on careers in health care. In the U.S. 34 million are 65 years or older, and that population will double by 2030. About 8 out of 10 seniors have at least one chronic health condition and about 50 percent have at least two.
10. Repurposing America's skilled and technical workers for "new economy" applications, i.e., welders, pipe fitters and mechanics. Nearly 100 percent of welding school graduates find jobs. The average welder is nearing retirement, with twice as many welders retiring as being trained.
Closing America's Job Gap (http://www.closingamericasjobgap.com) notes that every job within these sectors requires differing training levels as well as a commitment to ongoing education, given the continuing transformations in technologies and applications.
America's job gap is the disparity between the good jobs being created by innovation and the lack of American workers with the right skills to fill those jobs. The authors are Mary Walshok, PhD, a thought leader on career reinvention and the new innovation economy; Tapan Munroe, PhD, a recognized author, speaker and advisor in economics; and Henry DeVries, MBA, a job and career author and assistant dean for continuing education at UC San Diego. For information, see http://www.closingamericasjobgap.com
SOURCE Mary Walshok, Tapan Munroe and Henry DeVries