Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Year's Career News in Review

For my final blog of 2010, I decided it would be a useful exercise to look back at the 600+ tweets I’ve issued on Twitter in order to follow up on some, comment on the significance of others, and call your attention to some important ones you may have missed. (If you’re not already following me, my handle is LaurenceShatkin.)

In January, I mentioned that the Department of Labor was asking people to vote for their favorite career sites. The top vote-getters are now listed as Tools for America’s Job Seekers at the Career OneStop site. For example, the set of tools includes some social media sites and niche job boards that I’d never heard of before.

Several tweets dealt with the career prospects for lawyers. This career no longer guarantees high salaries and lots of job offers. One fascinating blog by a law professor shows how salaries for lawyers cluster around two levels, roughly $50,000 and $150,000. It’s almost like two separate careers, what statisticians call a bimodal distribution.

One theme that appeared in many tweets was the loss of public-sector jobs that has resulted from tight budgets at the municipal and state level. For example, Colorado Springs laid off firefighters, a vice team, burglary investigators, and beat cops, cut back on the hours of park maintenance workers, stopped repaving roads, and reduced bus service.

It’s worth taking another look at the predictions of the researchers at IBISWorld for the best-performing (i.e., those with most revenue growth) industry sectors of the coming decade. It’s interesting to note that most of them involve STEM careers and several of them will provide many green jobs.


Best Performing



Voice Over Internet Protocol Providers (VoIP)



Retirement & Pension Plans






eCommerce & Online Auctions



Environmental Consulting



Video Games



Trusts & Estates



Search Engines



Recycling Facilities



Land Development


Another interesting prediction came from the software giant Cisco, who predicted that the smart grid will have a bigger market impact than the Internet. This sounds like hyperbole to me, but even a half of that impact would still mean tens of thousands of jobs.

Speaking of predictions, it’s worth taking another look at the list of pundits and supposed experts who were wrong about the housing bubble (by saying there was none).

Green jobs have been a continuing interest in mine. I think it’s worth repeating here that the O*NET developers have created an excellent directory of Web-based resources about green jobs. It’s a PDF with clickable links.

My favorite career-related video of the year: An animation that makes an economics lecture come alive. You'll find that economics can be a lot more fun than you thought possible. You'll also learn what really motivates workers. (It’s not pay.)

I hope the coming year is a good one for you and for your career.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post and great links, especially the economics lesson!! Very innovative and fun to watch. Thanks Larry. Have an excellent 2011!
    Ed Colozzi