It’s no secret that the economy is changing and changing fast. The days of starting work for a company at a young age and then retiring from that company with a nice pension when you get old are gone. Between the rapid advances in technology, the internationalization of business and the economic crash of 2008, jobs, especially for those who were trained in the ’70s and ’80s are getting scarce.
Some 14.9 million people in the United States are unemployed according to the U.S. Department of Labor, as of September, 2010. That accounts for about 9.6% of the U.S. population. Jobs are scarce and the skill sets required to get them is rapidly changing but there are still jobs out there and if you can keep your skills sharp you can get them.
Though jobs in the U.S. continue to disappear, new job opportunities are emerging. In the late 1800′s the production of horse led carriages began to give way to the production of gas powered automobiles. To survive in this rapidly changing economy you simply have to make sure you are equipped with skill sets that the new economy has a need for.
In addition to a more restrictive economy and new emerging technologies, the World is currently going through a ‘balancing’. For example, U.S. software development contractors used to consistently charge upwards of $100.00 per hour for services rendered. The growing Internet provided a means for the peoples of foriegn countries to effectively compete with U.S. programmers. Programmers from India, in particular, began to offer programming services for as low as $3.00 per hour. Yes, we were charging $100.00 per hour and up. Indian programmers came onto the market at $3.00 per hour. Now a leveling has taken place and programming services can be acquired for anywhere from $10.00 per hour to $50.00 per hour. Of course some charge less and some are still able to charge a great deal more. The level of skill of course plays a role. The point is that international competition is driving U.S. wages down because many peoples of foreign countries are willing to do work for less money.
How You Can Gain Valuable Skill Sets
The first thing you need to do is to find out what jobs (whether as employee or contractor) are most needed and what jobs are projected to be needed in the future. One great way to do that is to speak with an employment/job counselor. Most colleges keep people on staff for just that purpose and they will usually be more than happy to talk with you about the job market and what you might be best suited for in the market.
Partially due to the instability of the current economy, many companies have turned to temporary employment agencies. By speaking to representatives of these agencies you can get a real good idea of the kinds of jobs that are open. You may even be able to acquire a few temporary jobs just to get a feel for what they might be like on a full time basis. Also, if you can work at a few companies temporarily just to get the ball rolling, you can get a chance to look around from inside the company and learn what other people working for them are doing.
Another method of job/career investigation is to do some research on small business opportunities. You could consider taking advantage of certain benefits that the US Government provides, such as funding buinsesses like farms for over production of certain products (corn for example). A word of caution is in order here though. There are some predators out there though who will fabricate information in order to convince you that they can and will help you retrain yourself to get high paying jobs, when in fact their only objective is to take your money. Be wary of small ‘technical’ schools that are not accredited. The trick is to learn what businesses are actually meeting with success. Don’t look for that ‘unknown secret’. Look for businesses that are already doing well. You also want to find a job with employee benefits. Never forget the value of a week in a hotel ancarano in Mexio. Stress relief is vital to being able to perform at your best. Without the ability to relax from time to time you can end up with all kinds of health problems that will require medical attention. You could end up needing a good hemorrhoid treatment or maybe even end up with something as severe as a stroke.
Once you find a few jobs/careers that the economy shows a need for, that you are interested in you need to find ways to get yourself educated for those skill sets. Many courses of many different types are available these days on the Internet. Many of the major universities offer online classes these days. Some companies offer ‘in house’ training to keep the employees they already have skilled in areas of their greatest need. Some companies offer specialized training, such as Innovation Training. You can opt for a long term educational solution or you may prefer to just take some quick courses to sharpen your existing skills or to just get your foot in the door.
If you think that going to college, even if you’re over 40, you may be surprised to learn of the incentives the U.S. government holds out for you. If your income is low enough, you can get substantial grants to help pay for your education. You don’t have to pay grants back. However, you can also get loans at extremely low interest rates that can provide enough money for classes, books and even for living expenses. Many college students these days go to school full time, depending on loans exclusively for all expenses. If once you’ve started school you can make high grades, scholarships may become available. If your grades are high enough or you can contribute to specific college programs such as sports, you may be able to obtain scholarships large enough to pay for all your expenses while attending school full time.