Sunday, December 13, 2009

Structural Unemployment: Even as layoffs persist, some good jobs go begging

Structural unemployment occurs when the skills of the workers seeking employment do not match the requirements of available jobs. In the article "The Top 5 Hardest Jobs to Fill in America," freelance writer Mary Fineday reports that although the overall U.S. unemployment rate is a relatively hight 10%, there are some occupations that have more job openings than qualified applicants.
Looking for a career with a high level of demand? A recent survey found that some jobs feature more openings than trained workers. Training for one of these top jobs can help ensure your degree training will be highly valued when it comes time to look for work.

Career Training for Careers In Demand

The survey, conducted by employment agency Manpower, Inc., found a range of careers in high demand across the country. "From our research it is clear that across the country employers are experiencing a mismatch between the talent their businesses need and the skills and abilities potential employees possess," said Jonas Prising, president of Manpower North America.

Matching your own talent up with potential employers may require a degree or career training program. Check out a few of the hardest jobs to fill in America, and learn more about the career training recommended for each.

Career #1: Engineers

Working as an engineer requires intelligence, organization, and a high level of specialized skills. Engineers typically work in one area of engineering; for example, mechanical or petroleum engineering. A bachelor's degree in engineering is required for most entry-level careers in the field.

For those with the right degree training and skill, engineering salaries offer big rewards. Civil engineers earned mean annual wages of $78,560 in 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and the job is expected to see a high level of future growth.

Career #2: Technicians

Looking for an engineering career without a four-year bachelor's degree? Consider training to become an engineering technician. These trained workers use an associate's degree in the engineering specialty they choose to move swiftly into the workforce. Engineers and the public alike depend on technicians for their ability and knowledge.

According to the BLS, electrical and electronic engineering technicians earned mean annual wages of $53,990 in 2008. If you love the work but want a higher salary and more responsibility, you can transition your associate's degree into bachelor's degree training.

Career #3: Accountants

Make your skills with financials and business work for you with a career as an accountant. These number lovers are a big asset to individuals and businesses alike, who rely on them to do everything from interpreting tax laws to organizing a company's finances. Forensic accountants follow paper trails and help out with court cases.

The educational path to become an accountant varies. Accounting clerks may require only an associate's degree, while fully-licensed accountants may need a bachelor's degree in accounting plus CPA certification. Regardless, accountants earned mean annual wages of $65,840 in 2008, the BLS reports.

Career #4: Mechanics

Working on cars has always required a mix of technical knowledge and a passion for all things automotive. Today, automotive service technicians and mechanics benefit from an associate's degree level of training. With the high-tech diagnostic devices used in garages today, a little computer-based knowledge goes a long way.

The BLS notes that automotive service technicians and mechanics earned mean annual wages of $37,540 in 2008. An associate's degree is recommended for employment, and mechanics with certification may see the best opportunities.

Career #5: IT Staff

This broad category includes many of the country's fastest-growing occupations, including network systems and data communications analysts, computer software engineers, computer systems analysts, and database administrators. In any company with a network of computers and technology, a highly trained IT staff is appreciated.

Most IT staff jobs require a bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering, management information systems, or similar, though some entry level careers -- such as careers for Web masters -- may only require an associate's degree. Specific earnings for IT staff depend heavily on the career you choose. The BLS reports that database administrators saw mean annual earnings of $72,900 in 2008, for example.

Valuable Education for Popular Careers

While no degree program can guarantee a particular career or salary, the training you receive is often preferred or required by hiring managers in the careers above. After a few years of training, you could be filling the need for trained workers in the field of your choice.

Mary Fineday is a freelance writer from Austin, Texas.


  1. Theirs always some job shortages somewhere in good times or bad thats just the nature of the marketplace. Its sort of a stupid topic for conversation the reason being jobs that require an advanced degree from a top college or university and many years of experience theirs not a whole lot of job seekers that fit the bill as far as their qualifcations go.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.