Top Careers to Watch in 2010
This year’s University Alliance publication titled Online Executive Education details several career fields to watch in 2010. From government contract managers to computer and information systems managers, the New Year holds the promise of a brighter future in a number of managerial career fields. Collaborating with the University Alliance, nationally recognized universities including Villanova, Notre Dame, Tulane and the University of San Francisco are keeping pace with the most in-demand jobs by providing educational programs designed to help professionals master their industry’s skills and gain a competitive edge in today’s evolving marketplace.
Faced with economic pressures on multiple fronts, businesses are closely monitoring the bottom line -- and scrutinizing the necessity of each employee. From start-up companies and nonprofit organizations to large enterprises, businesses of all sizes are responding to the sobering realities of an ailing economy with staff reductions, hiring freezes and unpaid furloughs. Such turbulent times require specialized job skills to help individuals avoid the chopping block or find a new job.
So how are professionals securing the best jobs despite rising unemployment rates, the ensuing recession and uncertain results from the federal stimulus bill? “The combination of traditional top-ranked universities and convenient online professional education has proven particularly important to many people who have lost their jobs in the recession,” said Adrian Marrullier, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of University Alliance Online. “Whether you’re just starting out or you’re an experienced pro, now is the ideal time for a career training makeover.” Professionals seeking higher education can choose from over 50 must-have business credentials from the nation’s leading university -- 100% online.
Here’s a look at some promising career fields that deserve attention in the next year:
Government Contract Management
Stimulus spending is fueling the need for contract managers to track and report on expenditures of public funds through local, state and federal government agencies. Government contract managers are key in controlling risk and costs, providing tighter accountability and improving forecasting. According to the National Contract Management Association, government contract managers earn a yearly compensation in excess of $100,000. The salary can increase with experience and CFCM(R) or CPCM(R) certification.
Many graduates enter directly into an executive training program like Villanova’s Master Certificate in Government Contract Management. These programs are designed for professionals who want to strengthen their negotiating skills for the government sector through a more thorough understanding of the process. Although the competition for these positions can be fierce, a well-skilled candidate who has firm educational credentials will enjoy good job prospects.
Project management is among the fastest-growing professional disciplines in North America. Even the smallest project can benefit from planning, time and cost management, scope management, human resource management and communications management. Success in the workplace demands advanced skills in critical thinking and problem solving, as well as a kind of intellectual agility that enables one to shift readily from one task or project to another. Those with project management experience should consider earning their PMP(R) (Project Management Professional) certification, a credential that can push annual salaries well into six-figure territory and increase job security. In order to prepare for PMP certification, many professionals elect to enroll in online project management training programs like Villanova’s Master Certificate in Applied Project Management.
A nationwide U.S. survey of CIOs shows that more employers now plan to hire rather than lay off IT professionals in the first quarter of 2010, with most hiring for entry-level and junior staff in full-time jobs. Professionals who design, develop, implement, support or manage computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware, will be in high demand when stimulus funding kicks in next year.
Companies will be scrambling to fill IT jobs ranging from programmers and systems architects to software engineers. IT professionals with key skill sets are often sought by employers in healthcare, manufacturing and other industries, resulting in higher-than-average compensation. For example, computer and information systems managers earn $118,000 annually, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Salaries typically are even higher for professionals with industry certifications.
Villanova’s online IS security program offers tracks that lead to a Master Certificate in IS Security, Information Security Management or Information Security Management -- Government. These programs are designed to prepare individuals for the certification exams offered by (ISC)2(R) and CompTIA(R).
Six Sigma -- Healthcare
Six Sigma-trained professionals will continue to be in high demand through 2010, with Six Sigma Black Belts earning an average of $104,083, according to the recent iSixSigma Global Salary Survey. The error-reducing Six Sigma methodology is fast becoming required knowledge for healthcare professionals involved in helping hospitals, clinics and other facilities streamline productivity and improve performance. Professionals who master Six Sigma healthcare practices can become recognized leaders guiding projects that result in breakthrough improvements and improved bottom-line results.