Some job categories are projected to grow substantially in the next 10 years, while other job categories are shrinking. Women dominate some jobs while men dominate others. The jobs that are shrinking for men: Manufacturing and agriculture. They are projected to lose more jobs, although the Trump administration has vowed to bring in more manufacturing jobs.
For women: Telephone or switchboard operators and garment workers, especially operators of sewing machines, a typical starting point for low skilled workers.
Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs that are projected to grow at twice the rate are tilted toward female dominated work: Healthcare (nurses, occupational and physical therapists, personal care aides, home health services, physician assistants, etc…). For men, the fastest growing jobs are: Ambulance and emergency medical technicians, financial advisors, website or computer developers, brick masons and security related jobs.
Given this information, four strategies emerge that can affect your career decisions:
- Stay away from the job categories that are shrinking and focus on the job growth categories
- Concentrate on the categories that will grow the fastest for your sex: Male or female
- A counter-intuitive strategy: Go after the jobs that typically are dominated by the opposite sex, as you will be viewed as having a competitive advantage. Example: Male nurses.
- Those with more education tended to do better in the higher growth job categories, no matter what the job.
However, there are some downsides to watch out for:
- As more women enter jobs that are dominated by women, the pay tends to fall behind
- As men enter jobs that are dominated by women, the pay tends to move ahead
- The pay level between men to women tends to spread, although women’s pay tends to be higher than before.
So, what are some career strategies?
- No matter what your job category, get as much education as you can. It can only help you in the longer term with pay raises and promotions. Education not only includes diplomas and degrees, but also certifications, courses, advanced training, development programs, and outside exposure like toastmasters, non-profit volunteering and company activities.
- Focus on high growth industries, functions and jobs. Some higher paying jobs may be hidden in plain site and need talented people: Forensic accounting, technical sales, logistics analysts, home health care supervisors, personal aides, and so on.
- Consider jobs in a career that are dominated by the opposite sex: Computers for women and healthcare for men. Most job categories that are dominated by one sex are looking to balance the male to female ratio. There are always situations that require either the male or female approach, whether it be selling automobiles or managing health care.
Do you homework, research your alternatives and be flexible when choosing a new or different career direction. Investigate the possibilities and keep an open mind.
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