Dying Careers And How To Survive Them

By Stephanie Powers | June 21, 2010 AAA

Move from laid-off to in-demand by choosing the right career. Here are some occupations hit hard by the Great Recession, but take heart: workers can still prosper by transferring skills to fast-growing occupations. Below we'll look at some jobs that are on their way out, and how they can lead to in-demand occupations in growing fields.

In Pictures: 6 Hot Careers With Lots Of Jobs

School District Employees
The recession deeply impacted K-12 education employees. School districts across the U.S. experienced steep budget deficits forcing many to cut their payroll. According to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, 100,000 to 300,000 education jobs could be lost due to declining revenues. While there are talks of additional federal monies to help bail out struggling school districts, the ongoing economic crisis has already caused the layoff of administrators, teachers, counselors and coaches.

Career Transition
Administrators can apply organizational skills to project management positions in the private sector. Most industries use the titles project manager, management analyst or project coordinator for these roles. There is a high demand for the positions in consulting firms specializing in process improvements or IT departments implementing large scale software installations. Add a Project Management Professional (PMP) certificate to your credentials and show your ability to successfully maneuver through complex problems. Short-term certification programs are available at local colleges and include hands-on projects, an exam and ongoing continuing education requirements. Management analyst positions are expected to grow 24% through 2018 with median salaries of $73,570.

Teachers may find work switching from K-12 to adult education in corporate training and development departments where there is a high demand for knowledgeable instructors. Continuing education courses in adult education, curriculum design and online education techniques will bolster your resume. Visit your local chapter of The American Society for Training and Development and become certified. Training and development specialists earn approximately $60,000, with many earning around the $80,000 range.

A more radical career change for a teacher would be to transfer their unique combination of skills (communication, audience analysis, motivation techniques) into sales positions. Sales jobs often have a competitive environment, but organizations are always looking for fresh sales talent. Select a topic you enjoy, leverage personal contacts and be prepared for a fast-paced lifestyle. Compensation varies depending on the industry and type of sales (for example retail sales vs. insurance sales) but it is most often commission based. (There are other promising jobs, too. Find out what they are, read 10 Careers With Great Job Prospects.)

State and Municipal Employees
State and local municipalities are struggling with decreased revenues, translating into massive cost reductions, including laying off workers. As state and local governments find ways to become more efficient with a smaller staff, the outlook for lost jobs is uncertain. Residents are paying close attention to state and local budgets as taxes increase while municipal services decrease. (Job loss can be devastating. Learn how to anticipate it and quickly get back on your feet, read Losing Your Job: From A To Z.)

Career Transition
Management and technical consulting jobs are plentiful for former government workers. Experience coordinating projects through complex rules and regulations is a valuable skill to the many organizations that do business with government agencies. Whether your background is information technology, occupational safety, grant writing or security, private sector firms large and small may have a place for you. Depending on your background, you may also consider becoming an entrepreneur specializing in government liaison consulting for your area of expertise. Consulting is expected to grow a whopping 83% with salaries ranging from $40,000 to $100,000 depending upon your experience and job level.

Non-Profit Organization Staff
The recession continues to plague nonprofit organizations. Charitable donations are down and endowment funds are still recovering from the stock market turbulence. Foundations lost 30% of their value in 2008 while some endowment funds lost even more throughout the recession. There is less money to spend on staff and an increasing demand for their services. It couldn't come at a worse time as charitable organizations are receiving more requests for assistance from their constituents.

Career Transition
If you can coax cash out of donors, manage limited resources with a skeleton staff and wade through bureaucracy, consider a career in healthcare management. Office and administrative jobs in the healthcare industry are expected to grow 19-25%. Community colleges and vocational schools offer certificate courses and sometimes internships in health administration. (Still looking for career ideas? Check out 5 High-Paying, Low-Stress Jobs and 5 Sectors Hiring Now.)

The Bottom Line
Modern career management includes assessing your skills and talents to recognize new opportunities. Being flexible enough to transition to a new career can mean the difference between being unemployed and rising quickly in a satisfying job. Some career transitions may require additional training, but the payoff is worth it.

Catch up on the latest financial news, read Water Cooler Finance: Billion Dollar Summits and Barack Vs. BP.

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