Best Jobs During Recession

By Staff
April 29, 2009

Experts are sharing advice about which careers are best to pursue during the economic downturn, but the recommendations are varied.

U.S. News & World Report lists five very different jobs that it terms the "best shot at finding work," and include physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, truck drivers, customer service representatives, computer engineers and registered nurses. The suggestions were determined based on the Labor Department's list of jobs with the most predicted openings through 2016 as well as those with higher availability on job sites, less turnover and easier training requirements.

WQAD in Illinois also mentions nursing as an excellent profession for tough times. "If you're a nurse, you'll have a job for life in any country," noted Barry Brown, president of Effective Resources, a Tennessee firm that tracks salary information. "The shortage of nurses is not going away."

The station recommended several careers based on Laurence Shatkin's highly-publicized book, "150 Best Recession-Proof Jobs." Highest on the list was computer systems analyst, a job growing 29 percent a year that earns close to $70,000 annually. Other recommended jobs were network systems and data communications analysts, veterinary technologists and medical assistants. The healthcare and transportation industries had the highest concentration of recession-proof positions.

The New Bern Sun Journal in North Carolina reports that some finance and accounting positions may be among the most secure jobs, since they are less likely to be cut during downsizing.

"They tend to be the less glamorous jobs," said Brendan Courtney, president of a Florida-based recruiting group. "These include internal auditors, financial reporting, tax accounting-all the work that needs to be done during a good market, too. It's anything where you count and report on the money and make sure the government gets its share."

DeLynn Senna, executive director of permanent placement services for Robert Half International in California, remarked that demand always exists for Certified Public Accountants. "The other thing we see-although it's seasonally cyclical-is tax," she said. "It remains steady in recessions."

The economic downturn has spurred demand for numerous professions: For example, since delinquencies are rising, more companies are looking for credit and collection specialists. Similarly, there's a demand for forensic accountants, who investigate fraud; and auditors, who supervise how federal spending is spent.

At a recent session, students at the University of Arkansas were advised to look into government jobs, reports The Traveler. But school officials admitted that the best bet for the time being may be to pursue graduate studies and hopefully ride out the recession.

"You're insulated when you're in school," said Raja Kali, associate economics professor.

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