Publication Type: Not Available
Authors: Holt, Lynn; Leverty, Lynn
Division: Not Available
If we have learned anything during the past twenty years, it is that tomorrow’s occupation may not be today’s. Who would have thought that automation would render switchboard operators, assembly workers, and aircraft and automobile production welders obsolete? Twenty years ago, we would not have predicted demand for online community managers, tele-work coordinators, search engine optimization specialists, and sustainability managers. Rapidly changing technologies and global competition make it very difficult to predict occupations and occupational needs. As an example, biotechnology and information technology are changing so rapidly that one’s technical knowledge in those fields may become outdated very quickly. And then there are global developments which impinge on job demands and growth. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects, for example, no growth in demand for engineers in electronics because of foreign competition. BLS also projects a declining demand for chemical engineers because overall U.S. employment in chemical manufacturing is projected to be lower. Yet, even in sectors that are expected to experience declining demand, the numbers can be somewhat misleading. While it is true that chemical manufacturing jobs may be scarcer in the U.S., demand for chemical engineers employed in nanotechnology and biotechnology is projected to increase significantly.