Build your future: Consider the job forecast when selecting a career path

The forecast for occupations in the next 10 year provides insight on high-growth job areas and an opportunity for career exploration.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook has published the 20 fastest growing occupations with the highest percent of change in employment between 2016 and 2026. Alternative energy installation and maintenance top the list of occupations with the greatest percent of increase in employment opportunities. Solar photovoltaic installers and wind turbine technicians show the most prosperity. Positions in healthcare also promise to have a dramatic increase over the next 10 years.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016–26 Employment Projection Summary, released October 2017, indicates healthcare support occupations and healthcare practitioners are projected to be among the fastest growing occupational groups during the 2016–26 projections decade.

Kiplinger analyzed hundreds of professions to see which have the strongest job growth and highest salaries and have published their list of the best careers for the next 10 years. They project technology positions like app developer and medical jobs like nurse practitioner to dominate the job market with market research analysts showing a strong presence in the market as well.

Understanding the future trends for occupations can help you make decisions about your future. Knowing the high-growth career paths can help you explore a new career you may not have considered and help to ensure you have a variety of job opportunities when you begin to look for the perfect job. Occupational trends differ by location as well. To find out the high-paying and in-demand jobs in Michigan, check out Michigan’s Top 50.

Now that you have been made aware of the forecast for occupations for the next 10 years, it is time to start thinking about how you can find a career in a field best suited for you. The National 4-H Curriculum, Build Your Future: Choices, Connections, Careers consists of nine activities that target high school students in grades 9–12. The purpose of the curriculum is to help you develop skills and knowledge in career exploration. Specific activities within Build Your Future can help you explore possible career pathways.

Activity 1, Exploring Career Pathways can assist you in determining a career pathway suited to your interests, talents, and values. Using the lists of possible careers in each pathway, participants can move on to Activity 2, Making Career Connections. This activity provides links to occupational profiles and guides you through exploration of requirements, salaries, and future outlooks for specific occupations.

Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H Youth Development help to prepare young people for successful futures. As a result of career exploration and workforce preparation activities, thousands of Michigan youth are better equipped to make important decisions about their professional future, ready to contribute to the workforce and able to take fiscal responsibility in their personal lives. To learn about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth career preparation, money management, and entrepreneurship programs, read the 2016 Impact Report: “Preparing Michigan Youth for Future Careers and Employment.”

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