Career choices have changed with the global economy. Businesses are leaner with smaller numbers of permanent jobs. They want to be flexible, and able to move quickly to get business anywhere in the world; they use extensive outsourcing. Business today resembles the deep blue sea, where big fish gobble small fish. Some business owners develop successful businesses so that a big firm will come along and buy it. Career choices were once far more cut and dried than today. They meant finding a good job and keeping it until retirement; that is a rare occurrence today. Careers today will likely mean changing jobs and fields; for many young people, it will include owning a business.
Learning: A Way Up the Ladder
Education is still a key to economic success. With formal education, one can open career and business options. For example, corporations need executives who can work in the Information Technology environments and utilize assets that frequently take the form of immense databases. Technology drives many industries, and computer technology is still vital to business growth; it is a key to versatile businesses that can quickly adapt to market opportunities. The costs of education are steep, with median costs per college year in the range of $30,000. Few fields use a four-year degree as a terminal degree, and graduate education adds considerably to the costs. A prominent model for today’s business environment would add a business or marketing component to a tech-based undergrad focus like computer engineering. A four-year technical degree and an MBA make a great combination too. However, given the costs and rewards, a college education may no longer be a productive path for everyone.
Career Education Is for Everyone
Learning as a young person is one model, but learning is useful at every age; on the Internet, one can do it with from any Web connection. For older workers, the early choices may have faded away as companies outsourced traditional factory jobs and transformed workplaces with machines and computers. For millions of Americans, learning new job skills and gaining new career options is a fact of middle age life; they train for careers that did not exist when they were young workers. Project management, cyber security, retail management, medical records and billing are each an example of career learning. Career education is for everyone and incidentally, teaching jobs in career education is a growing field that may soon become a critical growth area. Clearly, investing more public resources in career educators would provide dramatic benefits in retraining the national workforce.
Entrepreneurship- Grow Your Own Career
In the third World, micro businesses have shown remarkable impacts. In small rural communities around the globe, tiny businesses have become small hubs for individual growth and business formation. Using small amounts of seed capital, tiny businesses serve a particular local need such as a business that provides training and employment to local women to sew and assemble clothing items. Micro businesses have marketed local crops, sold locally made crafts and jewelry. In the United States, small businesses and micro businesses have increased and offer a valid career step. Small business innovation and employment have been major economic factors for decades. Government and private sources of capital and business training make the dream of owning a business reachable for millions. Starting a small business is a great career choice.
When considering career choices, one should consider the economic areas that show growth. Communications have a global scale and a boundless horizon. Marketing involves social media and digital communications, and it grows in every direction including video and mixed media. In the advanced economies, energy is an important economic driver. Fossil fuels cause pollution and countering pollution is a growth industry. Solar and alternatives energy are growing and creating spin-off opportunities for jobs and businesses. If solar panels will one day power our homes, someone will have to build, design and install them. The investment and finance sectors hold enormous potential as more Americans, in particular, discover the profound benefits of saving and investing.
Making a Better World
Finally, one should consider public service careers, not only for the benefits of personal and economic development, but for concern with social issues. Societies can survive or prosper; much depends on the quality of life. Social justice, equal opportunity, diversity, women’s equality are but a few of the social issues sharing headlines with conflict and global unrest. Societies undergo constant change, and many people find greater rewards in participating in social change, than confining activities to personal economic opportunities.
Doing Well by Doing Good
The skills and knowledge that businesses use are applicable to public services. Government careers are only a small part of public services; there are private jobs in public service such as charities and pro bono foundations. Public service can be financially rewarding, and a stepping stone to greater private sector earning power as one develops new skills and knowledge. Many heavily indebted college-trained people use public services careers to advance ideals and to pay educational debts through public service. Whether for a long-term career or as a spiritually rewarding interval, public service should be on everyone’s list of career possibilities.