Just because jobs are available in your profession today doesn’t mean they will be a few years down the road.
American Public Media’s Marketplace recently introduced a new online tool, the Future-Jobs-O-Matic, to help job hunters learn about employment trends in their profession. Users can pick out their field, narrow it down to a particular position and see what the prospects are for job availability and salary through 2018. The tool uses data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, along with some specific advice.
So for example, if you currently work as an actuary, the Future-Jobs-O-Matic notes that the number of jobs available in that profession will increase by a healthy 21% during the next eight years, but so will the competition for those jobs. “Competition is going to be fierce,” the tool reports. “Your best bet for work might be in an industry other than insurance -- as financial companies want to know just what sort of risks they're taking.”
On the other hand, if you happen to work as a farmer, the tool says that “the future is dreary” for you because the number of jobs available will decrease by 8%. However, it notes that the best bet is either to work at a larger farm or to try to partner with local farmers markets to build relationships with your customer base.
Aside from projecting the future of various professions, the Future-Jobs-O-Matic also includes lists of the fastest growing and shrinking jobs, as well as the highest- and lowest-paid positions right now.
If it turns out that your job has particularly bad prospects going forward, you may want to try out mySkills myFuture, a government-run website that lets users enter their current jobs that can then be matched with related positions and job training programs.