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4 Exciting Career Paths in 2018

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The outlook for the U.S. economy is healthy, and that means the country can expect to see job growth. From 2010 to 2020, the number of jobs is expected to increase by 20.5 million — a total of 88 percent of occupational fields will see growth in the amount of jobs.

With many diverse industries looking to hire, there are some viable career paths to pursue. The best jobs for 2018 are in the industries with the most growth. Industries that are growing quickly need to hire talented people to fill roles, and they are willing to offer competitive pay and benefits.

People who are gearing up to start careers for 2018 can focus on those top industries and get the education they need to stand out to prospective employers. Here are four exciting — and growing — industries with jobs that will be in demand in 2018.

1. Healthcare

Healthcare is one of the fastest growing job sectors in the country. Here are just a few different positions in the healthcare field and the number of job openings available from 2008 to 2018.

  • Registered nurses: 1,039,000 job openings
  • Nursing aides: 422,000 job openings
  • Licenses practical nurses: 391,00 job openings
  • Doctors and surgeons: 261,000 job openings
  • Pharmacists: 106,000 job openings
  • Physical therapists: 79,000 job openings
  • Medical scientists: 66,000 job openings
  • Mental health and substance abuse social workers: 61,000 job openings

While being a doctor is one of the first jobs people think of when they imagine a career in healthcare, there are jobs at all levels of education in the medical field. You will need a postgraduate degree to become a doctor or surgeon, pharmacist or physical therapist. Other positions, including registered nurses, licensed practical nurse and nursing aide, require an associate’s degree or vocational training.

What does working in the healthcare industry involve? Here is a snapshot of the responsibilities for a few of healthcare careers in demand in 2018.

  • Registered nurse. Registered nurses, or RNs, work in different places including hospitals, doctor’s offices, nursing care homes and schools. After earning an associate degree in nursing or a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing (BSN), nurses must become licensed in the state they are working.

RNs have a number of different responsibilities, many of which relate to working directly with patients. RNs can give patients medication, start IVs, perform tests, participate in plans of care for patients and carry out physician orders.

Registered Nurses can give patients medication, start IVs, perform tests, participate in plans of care for patients and carry out physician orders.

People who are suited to a career as an RN often have strong communication skills, compassion and flexibility. Communication skills and compassion will help you develop a strong bedside manner when working with patients. Communication skills will also come into play because RNs generally work as part of a larger team. Flexibility is essential because RNs often work irregular schedules. You will likely be called on to work nights, weekends and holidays.

  • Licensed practical nurse. Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) work in similar facilities to RNs, such as hospitals and doctor’s offices. LPNs typically assist both doctors and RNs. After earning an associate’s degree or a certificate of training, LPNs must take a national licensure examination.

LPN’s responsibilities fall in between those of an RN and a nursing aide. If you decide to pursue a career as an LPN, you can expect core duties such as monitoring vital signs and changing bandages. In some cases, LPNs will also give patients medication.

Like RNs, communication skills, compassion and flexibility will be imperative skills. LPNs will spend most of their time interacting with patients and taking instructions from doctors and RNs. Scheduling for LPNs will also be similar to that of RNs.

  • Nursing aide. Nursing aides need to go through a training program and obtain state certification before they can begin working. Nursing aides work in a variety of different healthcare facilities.

This career path focuses primarily on providing care for patients who struggle with day-to-day tasks. This means helping people bathe, eat and get dressed. Nursing aides also monitor patients for any significant emotional or physical changes and update RNs and doctors on these changes.

Like nurses and other healthcare professionals, nursing aides should be compassionate and strong communicators. Patience is another critical trait for this career path.

Remember, RNs, LPN and nursing aides have the option to specialize. If you are interested in a particular branch of medicine or in working with a specific type of patient, you can tailor your career to that interest. If you like the idea of working with kids, maybe you will work toward becoming an RN in a pediatric wing of a hospital. If you enjoy working with the elderly, you can become an LPN in a nursing care facility.

If this field seems like a good fit for you, check out the healthcare training programs at Vista College. We offer in-person and online training for practical nursing, vocational nursing, dental assisting, medical assisting, medical insurance and billing, medical lab technicians, healthcare administration and more.

2. Information Technology

From 2010 to 2020, the professional and technical fields are expected to add 2.1 million jobs. Information technology (IT) is a big part of this job sector. Nearly all companies use technology. Those companies need help maintaining, upgrading, fixing and understanding that technology, not to mention the need for new technology.

From 2010 to 2020, the professional and technical fields are expected to add 2.1 million jobs.

Here are some of the most in-demand IT jobs from 2008 to 2018.

  • Computer support specialist: 235,000 job openings
  • Computer systems analysts: 223,000 job openings
  • Computer software engineers, applications: 218,000 job openings
  • Network systems and data communication analysts: 208,000 job openings
  • Computer software engineers, systems software: 153,000 job openings

IT is a vast field with a lot of different jobs. Here is a look at the responsibilities for three of the most in-demand IT positions for 2018.

  • Computer support specialist. Technology can be confusing. People need someone to answer their questions. This is where the computer support specialist comes into play. You do not need to earn a college degree to do this job, but you do need a strong knowledge of computers. There are also certificate programs you can go through. Each month, there are approximately 58,000 job postings for computer support specialists.

Computer support specialists generally work with customers. You will field basic questions and walk people through technical issues. Companies in nearly any industry will need computer support specialists to help their customers.

Technical know-how is the most important skill for this job, but experience in customer service will also help. Flexibility is also important because many computer support specialist positions will have on-call responsibilities and hours that do not adhere to the typical 9 to 5 schedule.

  • Information security administrator. You have probably heard a lot about data breaches in the news. The threat of data breaches is helping the IT security sector rapidly grow. The number of IT security jobs is expected to increase 18 percent by 2024. Some companies may want someone with a bachelor’s degree to fill an information security administrator role, but this is not always the case.

Information security administrators are responsible for the security of a company’s data. This means you would be in charge of defining, implementing and maintaining network security protocols.

Information security administrators need to have strong problem-solving skills. You will need to be able to find security weaknesses quickly and provide a solution.

  • Computer systems analyst. Jobs in the IT analysis sector are projected to grow 21 percent by 2024. The majority of computer systems analyst roles require a bachelor’s degree in computer science. People in this position either work directly for a company, or they travel to different locations as a consultant.

This role has a number of different responsibilities. Computer systems analysts research and suggest new technologies, develop new systems tools, communicate with users and leadership and help train staff members.

Computer systems analysts research and suggest new technologies, develop new systems tools, communicate with users and leadership and help train staff members.

You might be surprised that an IT job requires writing skills, but computer systems analysts regularly have to write reports. It is important they can effectively communicate with the written word. Computer systems analysts also need strong problem-solving capabilities and the creativity necessary to come up with new ideas and strategies.

Does IT seem like a career you want to pursue? Learn more about the IT training offered at Vista College. We offer an IT diploma, as well as an information technology associate of applied science program and an information systems security and assurance associate of applied science.

3. Sales and Marketing

Businesses sell products and services, and they are always in need of people to manage sales and promote what they are selling. This means the sales and marketing sector is still a hot place to find jobs in 2018. This vast career field offers a lot of different options. You can try direct-to-consumer sales or business-to-business sales. You can focus on digital, e-commerce or multichannel marketing.

Some of the top sales and marketing jobs for 2008 to 2018 include:

  • Insurance sales agent: 153,000 job openings
  • Market research analyst: 137,000 job openings
  • Real estate sales agent: 128,000 job openings

What do the day-to-day responsibilities look like for these three hot sales and marketing jobs?

  • Insurance sales agent. Insurance is offered across a lot of different industries. You could sell home insurance, health insurance, car insurance, life insurance and more. Most entry-level insurance sales positions require a high school diploma, but higher education can help you find more job and growth opportunities. Insurance sales agents generally need to be licensed in the state they are working.

A lot of an insurance sales agent’s days will be spent talking to clients and trying to find new clients. This could be done over the phone, over email and/or in person. This position also requires you to have a strong understanding of the policies you are selling. You will need to provide prospective clients with a detailed explanation of policies.

The majority of insurance sales agents work on commission. This means you will need to have a self-starter attitude to continually seek and add to your customer base. Other helpful skills include self-confidence and the ability to communicate effectively.

  • Market research analyst. The number of job openings for market research analysts is expected to grow 19 percent by 2024. Most market research analyst positions require a bachelor’s degree in fields of study such as marketing or business administration.

This branch of marketing involves researching and analyzing customer preferences. Gathering and interpreting this information helps companies decide how to advertise their products and services. In this role, you would have to spend time researching industry trends and reporting the information you find. You can work in a number of different industries as a market research analyst.

Market Research Analysts research and analyze customer preferences. They interpret data and help companies decide how to advertise their products and services.

As a market research analyst, you need to have strong math skills. You will spend a good portion of your day looking at and interpreting data. You will also need to be comfortable communicating and presenting this information to an audience.

  • Real estate sales agent. Real estate agents sell and lease property. They can represent the buyer or the seller. You do not need a bachelor’s degree to become a real estate sales agent but pursuing further education can be helpful. Real estate agents also need to meet all of the licensing requirements set out of by their state’s real estate board.

Real estate agents draw up purchase and sale agreements, advise clients on real estate decisions and help market properties. To perform this job well, you will need to be a strong negotiator. You will also need the research skills and willingness to keep up with the latest trends in the real estate market.

If you want to eventually work your way up the corporate ladder and lead a sales or marketing team, you need to gain more business experience. Check out Vista’s business programs. We offer a business administration diploma and a business administration associate of applied science at our ground campus. We also have a number of online business programs including a business and leadership diploma, a business administration associate of applied science, a business administration bachelor of science and a project management bachelor of science.

4. Education

Teachers are a vital part of preparing younger generations to enter the workforce. Some of the most in-demand jobs in the field of education for 2008 to 2018 include:

  • Postsecondary teachers: 553,000 job openings
  • Educational counselors: 94,000 job openings
  • Elementary school teachers: 597,000 job openings
  • Secondary school teachers: 412,000 job openings
  • Preschool teachers: 178,000 job openings

Most In-Demand Jobs in the Field of Education: Postsecondary teachers, Educational counselors, Elementary school teachers, Secondary school teachers, Preschool teachers.

Here is a quick look at the responsibilities for two of the hottest jobs in the education field.

  • Elementary school teachers. Elementary school teachers are responsible for leading classrooms in grades one through five, which means working with children who are 5 to 12 years of age. This job requires a bachelor’s degree, but many elementary school teachers go on to earn a master’s degree.

As a teacher in an elementary school classroom, you would be responsible for creating lesson plans, teaching a number of different subjects, monitoring your students’ behavior and helping children prepare for standardized testing. You would also need to communicate with school leadership and your students’ parents.

Successful elementary school teachers love working with children and imparting knowledge. Patience, public speaking skills and a love for learning are core qualities for a strong teacher.

  • Preschool teachers. Preschool teachers work with children under the age of 5. Preschool helps prepare children for their academic careers. Most preschool teachers have an associate’s degree, or they have completed a teacher preparation program.

Preschool teachers are responsible for creating a classroom schedule for children. This can include helping kids learn how to read, providing snacks and finding ways to engage your students in learning. You will also need to communicate with school leadership and parents.

Like all teachers, preschool teachers will need to have patience and a love for learning.

Let us help you explore your options. Vista College can set you on the path to finding a successful career.

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