Career Key

Author: Career Key's President and CEO, Juliet Wehr Jones, GCDF, J.D.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Career Choices in an Uncertain Economy: Placing Your Bets

Job Outlook for...
High Skilled Careers? Good. 
Low-Skilled Careers? Good.
Middle-Skilled Careers? Not so good.

If you look at job boards and reports from economists and the U.S. Labor Department (read this interesting Wall Street Journal article last week about employers who can't fill jobs), it looks like you find the best job outlook in careers at either end of the skills spectrum: highly specialized, high-skilled jobs or low-skilled jobs.

If you’re concerned about ending up in the “middle-skilled” group now suffering the worst unemployment (a situation likely to continue into the near future), several articles at our website can help you make your next career decision.

Knowing Yourself

Include what you learn from these activities, along with your Career Key test results, to help narrow down your options as part of the 4 step ACIP decision making process.

Considering Further Education & Training
If you’re weighing your options for a college major, going back to school or taking on an expensive post-secondary training program, start by planning out what you want to gain from it.

Some may object this approach as dreaded “careerism” or too much focus too soon, but no one says this path can’t be fun and exploratory. Even a narrowly tracked engineering degree will allow for some broader classes like literature and writing, which you should take anyway to learn needed Foundation Skills.

No one says you have to have your one future job title picked out when you enroll, but you need to know why you’re studying what you’re studying.

See our recommendations on how to Choose a College Major or Training Program, including some food for thought on choosing a program in the Liberal Arts, Humanities & General Studies.

While you don’t have to choose between becoming a research microbiologist or a Quickie Mart attendant via your next career move, the jobs data clearly shows that a lack of specialization and focus - regardless of skill level - will lead to a lack of opportunity now and in the foreseeable future.  That's a sure bet.