Dead Man Walking

will-s-0209Exploring high skill/high growth occupations.

As the economy continues to sputter along more people are beginning to ponder their career options. Over two million jobs were put to rest during the past 24 months and some fields have been hit harder than others. If your current industry has been hit hard, it may be time to take a closer look at other occupational alternatives.

Most HR professionals agree that the industries that have been hit the hardest with job losses will unlikely see a full recovery. Almost every industry has been affected in some form or fashion during our current economic climate. The landscape of the American workforce has been forever changed, but there is good news on the horizon.

Workforce Solutions provides updated labor market information. This can help you determine what occupations are growing and what particular skills are required to enter fields that are in high demand. If your journey consists of classroom training or additional education, financial assistance is available for those who qualify.

According to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), the following will be five fastest growing industries through 2016:

NAICS Industry New Jobs % Change
 5416  Mgt., Scientific and Tech. Consul. Services 11950   60.2
 6216  Home Health Care Services 16,650   55.2
 6211  Office of Physicians 19,800   55.2
 6111  Elemantary and Secondary Schools 79,050   43.7
 7221  Full-Service Restaurants 34,150   41.3

Decisions, decisions, decisions….

Deciding to embark on a career change can be daunting. But, the reward outweighs the risk of extended unemployment and professional uncertainty. The smart thing to do is to study up on the high demand occupations that peak your interest. Then determine the best course of action to get the required training to make the transition. Also, keep in mind that some of your current skills might be transferrable. If you work in finance, you might be able to land a job as a finance manager with a healthcare center.

With our aging population continuing to trend upwards, healthcare and social services is one of those high demand occupations expected to face severe labor shortages in the coming years. Recruiters are already hard-pressed to find qualified workers to fill all of their openings.

According to the TWC, here are the job growth projections for the Health Care and Social Services industry through 2016.

NAICS Industry New Jobs % Change
 62   Health Care and Social Assistance 110,450  42.8
 621   Ambulatory Health Care Service 48,300  48.5
 6211   Office of Physicians 19,800  55.2
 622  Hospitals, Public and Private 36,050  40.2
 6221  General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 26,950  39.7
 623   Nursing and Residential Care Facilities 9,600  37.2
 634  Social Assistance 16,500  38.2
 6244  Child Day Care Services 12,100  36.8

Additional Sources

Local community colleges are a great source to get the training and additional education needed to elevate your skill set. Many schools partner with area employers to prepare students who are looking to pursue high skill/high demand occupations.

For comprehensive labor market information to help you explore high skill/high demand occupations, go to: Workforce Solutions  and select Labor Market Information. There is also a handy module on this web site that addresses the topic of rebranding your skills.

Good luck with your career endeavors and always remember to keep your head in the game.

Wil Smith is a Business Consultant for Workforce Solutions in the Houston metropolitan area. Wil has collected over 20 years of expertise in the areas of Corporate Training & Development, Recruitment and Operational Management; with the majority of that time working with a Fortune 500 Corporation. He has also worked in the Sports/ News industry as a Reporter and Broadcaster.

2 Responses to “Dead Man Walking”


  1. 1 Blogforce August 5, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your feedback. A community college counselor would be a great place to start. However, as I suggested in the article, you might also want to contact your local Workforce Solutions office and check to see if you qualify for financial aid or training assistance. – Will

  2. 2 mike w August 5, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Hello Wil – I enjoyed Dead Man Walking. I was laid off about a month ago and was wondering how to get more info about educational assistance. Should I go directly to a community college and talk to a guidance counselor?


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