DEANS OF BUSINESS

Careers for a recovering economy

Posted March 23, 2012, at 11:24 a.m.

Signs of an economic recovery translate to job opportunities for those not working and career progression for those already employed. So now is the time to prepare and identify where these opportunities likely will be found. It is also a good time to consider a career for the longer term if your area of employment is not one you would choose for the long term.

Consider these 10 areas and see if they fit with your goals:

1. Real estate: If you enjoy working with people and are self-motivated, consider real estate sales. This sector will see a lot of activity in the years ahead. You can perform a number of functions, from being a sales agent to website-related work. Obtaining and retaining a Realtor’s license is a great safety net if your career choice is something other than real estate and doesn’t work out.

2. Health care: Not only in Maine, but across the country the population is aging and the 50-plus age group is bulging. This group will drive growth in many sectors of the health care industry. Fields that are expected to experience demand include: at-home health care services, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, nursing and outpatient services, to name a few.

3. Hospitality: The hospitality industry is one of the largest sectors of the global economy and encompasses several areas such as travel, food and beverage, lodging and tourism. There has been a consolidation in almost all areas and now growth in demand is picking up both in leisure- and business-related travel. More people are seeking services outside their home.

4. Franchising: Many believe you have to be wealthy to buy a franchise. This may be true for a high-volume fast-food brand name; however, there are thousands of less costly franchises available. In study after study, we see the success rate of being in business five years or longer exceeds 90 percent. Franchising gives you a brand, sales and revenues and a system by which to operate that already has been proven successful.

5. Online sales: As people get busier, they seek time savers. As gas prices climb, people seek to cut back on driving. All of this translates to people seeking speed of purchase and convenience. This is why online retail sales are soaring. There are numerous jobs available and not all demand sophisticated technology skills. The better-paying and more in-demand positions include software development, systems design and programming. There also is demand for online writers, designers, customer service representatives, etc.

6. Criminology: Positions in this field continue to be in demand and include law enforcement, forensic science, lab technicians, facilities management and security services.

7. Financial Services: Growing fields in this area include accounting, financial advising, investment management, banking, credit services, auditing and financial examiners, to name a few.

8. Business services and outsourcing: Many sectors in the economy will be looking to gear up for more volume quickly. This means they will seek outside services instead of taking the time and resources to develop the solution internally. Firms that specialize in providing outsourced services will be abundant, with positions including virtually all areas of business services from accounting to computer services, temporary help providers to purchasing and more. Check out the leaders in outsourcing and you find new career opportunities.

9. The trades: Economic recovery means a new wave of demand for almost all traditional “trade” positions. Electricians; heating, ventilation and air conditioning technicians; plumbers; carpenters; assemblers and painters, to suggest just a few areas of potential job opportunities.

10. Elderly services: The older population points to an increase in demand for the late-in-life and end-of-life services. Places and positions in these areas include counselors, health care management, financial planning, estate and trust specialists, burial, cemetery and cremation services and estate liquidators.

If you are already in one of these positions or businesses, are you preparing for growth and increased demand? Is your website up-to-date? Are you lining up the resources you will need to expand? If you are looking to make a move, is your resume up-to-date and posted on the most appropriate Internet sites? It is time to really start networking. It is time to prepare yourself for the future and take advantage of a recovery environment.

Ronald A. Nykiel, dean of the College of Business at Husson University, is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors, has written a number of books on management and marketing, counseled the President’s Commission on Executive Interchange and chaired a governor’s revenue forecasting commission.

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