So which fields will be the hottest for hiring? Here are six industries where high demand for new workers is forecast:
The explosion of new mobile gadgets is driving high demand for computer programmer/analysts ($65,333), says career expert Robin Ryan, author of 60 Seconds and You're Hired. IT program managers ($93,973) and IT project managers ($79,617) are also needed to oversee technology projects.
"You don't have to be a programmer, either," she notes of the management-level positions. "You need to be able to communicate well and collaborate, to get things done across departments." Human resources:
When companies look to grow, they need to expand their human-resource staff to handle recruiting, interviews, hiring, and regulatory compliance issues, Ryan notes. At smaller companies, a human-resources generalist ($50,950) might work as the only HR manager. Larger corporations are expected to hire for a range of HR positions including human-resource manager ($56,227) and human-resource specialist ($45,267). Management:
One trend Ryan is seeing is promotions within large companies, which is creating demand for a range of management roles – for instance, supply chain manager ($79,731), marketing manager ($62,771), and finance manager ($84,098). This development marks a major change from the past few years, when it seemed impossible to find managerial openings.
"For a while there, people weren't getting promoted within companies," she says, "so that's big, important news." Federal government:
The days of the low-paid civil servant are over – nearly half the new hires made under the Obama administration have started at salaries over $100,000, notes Laurence Shatkin, author of 2011 Career Plan. It's also easier than it used to be to get into federal jobs, because the lengthy civil-service exam has been eliminated.
There is major hiring taking place at nearly every federal agency, for a wide variety of jobs, including paralegal ($45,761), auditor ($104,762), and electrical engineer ($69,187). Many federal workers come out of military service with a background that makes for a natural segue into roles such as intelligence analyst ($60,158), logistics manager ($62,782), or program manager ($75,497). Healthcare:
The turmoil created by healthcare reform is only making this field a busier place for hiring, says Ryan. To start, there's a need for healthcare information-technology specialists ($51,120) who can help hospitals and doctors implement new requirements for sharing electronic medical records. Among the positions Ryan sees strong demand for are registered nurses ($61,148), physical therapists ($67,575), radiology X-ray technicians ($41,989), and physicians' assistants ($89,375).
Shatkin notes that nursing specialties are seeing exploding demand, in part because more and more tasks doctors used to perform are now being delegated to nurses. Hot nursing specialties include nurse anesthetists ($144,821) and psychiatric nurses ($55,155). Education:
While K-12 hiring is stymied by state budget cuts, there's plenty of opportunity for training instructors ($47,501) who teach practical skills at private institutes, vocational training centers, and through online courses, Shatkin says. The growth of online learning is a major driver of hiring here. Business writer Carol Tice is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur, The Seattle Times and other major publications. Source: All salary data is from PayScale.com. The salaries listed are median, annual salaries for full-time workers with 5-8 years of experience and include any bonuses, commissions or profit sharing.