Before graduation, students should study career trends

When Jon Ericson went to college, he wanted to be a newspaper reporter.

And why not? Despite the anticipated long hours and below-average pay, Ericson was passionate about journalism and telling stories in print, so he worked as a newspaper reporter for the Courier.

Fast forward a couple decades, and circumstances have forced Ericson’s hand. He’s has shifted to a different type of writing job.

“I loved it,” Ericson said. “I left because I wanted to work more consistent hours.”

Ericson couldn’t have known it at the time, but his choice of newspaper reporter would turn out to be one of the worst jobs in America, according to several surveys released in recent years.

According to the website for Bankrate, a consumer financial services company, newspaper reporters have the number one worst job in America.

The Street, an online publication for American financial news and services, calls it the second worst job, coming up just behind a lumberjack.

Similarly, CareerCast, a job-seeking website, also names it as one of the worst jobs in America.

Ericson’s situation may not be much different than the one facing today’s high school seniors. The good news is that there is information that might help students when determining a major or career path.

What makes a job bad or good?

A job that interests you has qualities that you like. A good job aligns with your goals, views, has acceptable pay, appropriate hours, OK insurance and benefits, a safe environment, independence, interpersonal relationships and engaging work.


If you are set on one of the jobs regarded as declining, think about jobs that are alike. Rather than being a journalist, be a creative writer for an organization or company, University of Northern Iowa employment counselor Sarah Goblirsch said. There are always alternatives for each job you wish to pursue.

Best jobs

According to US News, a news site, the best job in 2015 is dentistry, with an average salary of $146,340 a year.

However, if a job is good or bad is up to you. Do the money and hours meet your requirement for a job you appreciate?

A good job is the opposite of a bad job with flexibility, acceptable pay, appropriate hours, benefits, etc.

Make sure it is a job you will appreciate. Goblirsch said to “Make sure it’s a company you can grow with, that there are opportunities to grow with a work culture you enjoy. We encourage students to do internships and job shadows.”

Which jobs are increasing or decreasing?

“The ones we see increasing are the ones in the STEM careers,” Goblirsch said. “Those are going to be the ones we have more positions and students.”

However, according to Brookings, a nonprofit research organization, one job that is decreasing in size is emergency responders. The job decreased by a record-breaking 43.5 percent from 2009 to 2011.

In the past year, construction opportunities have increased by 280,000 jobs. Jobs in warehousing and transportation increased by 15,000.

“So it should concern everyone that right now – all across America – tens of thousands of teachers are getting laid off. Think about what that means for our country. When there are fewer teachers in our schools, class sizes start climbing up. Our students start falling behind. And our economy takes a hit,” said President Obama in 2012 when in June 2009, 300,000 educational jobs were lost. According to TeachingCom, a website for and about teachers, from 2006 to 2016, there should be an increase of 12 percent more jobs for educators. They say that 4,433,000 jobs will be the end game in 2016 compared to the 3,954,000 jobs in 2006.

The future, apparently, is both bright and dark

The future for registered nurses from the years 2010 to 2020 will increase by 26 percent to 711,90 jobs according to Forbes, a highly trusted business and news site.

Machinists are expected to drop in demand by 5 percent, said Top 10 List.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that between 2010 and 2020, postal service employee positions will drop from 656,400 to 474,600.

Physician assistant job demand is expected to increase by 26 percent from 2006 to 2016 with 83,820 job positions, said

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