What is a job outlook? Before starting your job search, it is a good idea to get acquainted with the career outlook offered by those specific jobs. This can help create future security for your business and ensure that you will be able to find similar jobs in the future.
Finding your first job soon after graduating from college can be daunting, especially if your skills and qualifications transport you to industries with large companies and dozens of talented people. The key is not to limit yourself to very specific entry sites. If you understand a career in a number of different industries, you can find the right job and it will benefit you on your road to success.
Job forecast is an expectation of change in the number of people working in a particular occupation over a specified period, for example two years, five years, or ten years. Economists at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a division of the US Labor Department, predict whether the employment rate will increase or decrease between the base year and the target year. BLS publishes this information for hundreds of occupations in its Occupational Outlook and updates it every two years.
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The BLS compares the expected change in employment, usually over 10 years, to the average expected change in employment for all occupations over the same period. They describe the expected job expectations for the job by saying that they will:
- Growth is much faster than average (increase of 14% or more)
- Growth is faster than average (increase between 9% and 13%)
- Grow as fast as possible (increase ranging from 5% to 8%)
- Slower than average growth (an increase of between 2% and 4%)
- Little or no change (decrease or increase of 1% or less)
- Decline (decrease of at least 2%)
Why do you need to consider the job outlook of a career
When considering a particular job, there are many things – such as compatibility, qualifications, industry, and responsibilities – that must be taken into account. Another critical factor in career research is job expectations. If you find that the job suits you, but the rate of employment is expected to decrease in the following years, it may be time to consider other options.
Another way to understand your career outlook in any industry is to know the skills and qualifications you bring to the table. While you may have a solid education, you will also need to make sure you have a set of transferable skills that will advance your career in the right direction. Remember, there are many high-paying associate degree jobs with a good outlook as well that you can get with the right skills.
Knowing the outlook for a job is also important when you think about changing your career path. It’s a good idea to consider both your current and in-demand job growth. If the employment rate is expected to decrease in your current career, then you should consider changing your career and make sure it has a positive outlook for the job.
Limits of job outlook numbers
While it is important to know if the profession has a positive outlook on the job, this projection alone does not give you all the information needed to know your chances of finding work in the future. Look at job opportunities, too. The same economists who estimate employment growth also compare the number of job seekers to the number of vacancies to determine job opportunities. Although the BLS may anticipate that employment in a particular occupation will grow much faster than the average over the next ten years, the number of jobs available may be few.
One reason may be that some fields don’t employ many people. Even if economists expect high growth, it may not translate into a large number of opportunities for those hoping to enter a field or industry.
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Another important thing to keep in mind is that although economists can make informed forecasts, job prospects and outlooks can change unexpectedly. Employment growth can slow down, and it can even accelerate, due to the influence of a variety of factors. For example, if the number of job candidates available is more than the vacancies, it will be difficult to find work. Likewise, when there are fewer qualified applicants, it will be easier to get a job. Additionally, a contraction or upside in an industry will change expectations.
While looking at national data is an essential first step in researching job prospects for a job, also don’t skip investigating career expectations in the state you want to work in. Use Projections Central: State Occupational Outlook to find long and short term career forecasts that will also affect your ability to get a job.
Who uses Job Outlook?
Job Outlook helps many different people find the right job for them. The primary users of Job Outlook are students, recent graduates, job seekers, and workers who are considering options for their next step. It is also used extensively by career counselors in various places and the network that supports people exploring their career options, such as parents, friends or trusted advisors.
What are your options if the job you are interested in has a poor job outlook?
- Consider obtaining certification for a specific field
Earning a degree can help you master the skills needed for a specific job. Certifications often focus on providing you with the knowledge and skills to make you more employable.
If you are considering changing your career, completing a degree program can help you quickly gain the field-specific skills you need. Plus, it usually lasts for up to two years, so you’ll be back in the job market quickly. You can choose to pursue two degree programs, graduate and undergraduate, both of which are short-term programs with an emphasis on the technical area of a subject.
- Find industries that require your skills
Having a degree does not mean going to just one job. There are many different industries that may require someone with your skills to complete a specific job.
For example, if you have a degree in computer science, you might think that you need to look for a job within a company that makes computers or creates software. This can be a great position, but a computer science degree can also be applied in almost any industry because high-level computer skills are required for companies, retailers, small businesses, and even government positions. The same can be said about IT degrees and cybersecurity degrees.
- Think outside the box
Thinking outside the box, in this case, translates into looking at business options outside of the traditional worldview. In today’s world, you can choose to work in a range of industries depending on the education you have.
Just because you have studied for years to become an accountant doesn’t mean that you have to work as an accountant for the rest of your working life. There are many suitable jobs for people who have been trained for a specific job but find themselves looking for more. In the case of a qualified accountant, they can also easily find jobs as auditors, analysts, and managers in a range of industries.
It is important to understand the job outlook and how you can use it in your career. Aside from career growth, there are other things to consider when looking for a job, such as the number of people applying for it, your education, the highest-paying job with your degree, etc. It’s also a good idea to keep in mind that if the job doesn’t have a good outlook, there are ways to get it in the industry without going to that specific job.