Get Career-Focused Jobs

With the current condition of the economy and the alarmingly high unemployment rate, the idea of a good paying, in demand job may seem like an unrealistic dream. But Americans are finding that with a combination of a career-focused education such as an online degree from a college or vocational school and President Barack Obama's huge economic stimulus plan, a rewarding career may not be that unattainable. For more information on trends in vocational education read Vocational Education.

The economic stimulus plan aims to create or save three to four million jobs and help workers rebound into the work force and get the economy back on track. But which jobs are forecasted to offer the most opportunities? And where can these employment opportunities be found when job losses have effected almost every industry? According to President Obama, "The goal at the heart of this plan is to create jobs - not just any jobs, but jobs doing the work America needs done: repairing our infrastructure, modernizing our schools and our hospitals, promoting the clean, alternative energy sources that will help us finally declare our independence from foreign oil". (source: stimulus package for job seekers)

There are two industries projected to grow the most from the stimulus act; Health care and Infrastructure. Between the two, there will likely be many positions opening and a great need for trained professionals.

Physical Therapist Assistants

Percent growth: 32 percent
Physical therapist assistants help physical therapists provide treatment to patients by gathering and preparing therapy equipment, cleaning and organizing the treatment area and aiding patients in basic exercises. Other responsibilities may include ordering depleted supplies, answering the phone, and filling out insurance forms and other paperwork.

Assistants must have a two-year degree to assist patients who need exercises or must use crutches or other devices and some states require licensure or registration in order to work as a physical therapist assistant.

Registered Nurses

Percent growth: 23 percent
Registered nurses consult with patients and physicians, record symptoms and medical history and administer medication. Other duties include starting, maintaining, and discontinuing intravenous lines, performing diagnostic tests, operating medical machinery and assisting patients with follow-up and rehabilitation.

There are three major educational paths to registered nursing; a bachelor's of science degree in nursing (BSN), an associate degree in nursing (ADN), and a diploma which is administered in hospitals. Entry level positions are generally open to licensed graduates of all three programs. In all States, students must graduate from an approved nursing program and pass a national licensing examination, known as the NCLEX-RN.

Medical Assistants

Percent growth: 35 percent
A one-year medical assistant certificate or two-year associate's degree qualifies graduates to do administrative and clinical work in medical facilities such as updating and filing patients' medical records, filling out insurance forms, and arranging for laboratory services. Medical assistants also perform minimal patient care, such as preparing patients for examinations, taking blood pressure readings and collecting and preparing laboratory specimens.

Although it is not required, employers prefer to hire a certified medical assistant which indicates that the medical assistant meets certain standards of competence.

Construction Managers

Percent growth: 15 percent
Construction managers plan, direct, and coordinate construction projects by scheduling all design and construction processes and selecting and overseeing specialty trade contractors.

These managers coordinate and supervise the construction process from the development stage through final construction on a variety of building projects including residential, commercial, schools, churches and hospitals.
About 105 colleges and universities offer 4 year bachelor's degree programs in construction management as employers are increasingly requiring that candidates have a degree and some work experience.


Percent growth: 7 percent
Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical wiring, equipment, and fixtures by connecting wires to circuit breakers, transformers, outlets, or other components. To ensure public safety they work in accordance with relevant codes to maintain the integrity of the electrical unit.

Electricians work at construction sites, in homes and in businesses or factories and the work will vary greatly depending on their sector.

An associate degree or an apprenticeship programs certificate combines courses in math and science fundamentals with hands-on training. The two-year associate degree features a broader college education, which can lead to more advancement opportunities and higher pay.

If healthcare and infrastructure are not for you, there are other industries expected to boom over the next couple of years. Other industries that will see growth include:

  • Science
  • Technology
  • Energy
  • Education
If you are looking for a career that has great potential and can be achieved at a faster pace in a hands on environment, a technical or vocational school may be for you. For more information on the benefits of technical online programs and degrees, please visit Online Degrees.

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