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Consider the typesetter: the printing press has been around since the mid-1400s, and the people who knew how to work these types of machines enjoyed steady employment until the 1990s when desktop publishing came around. Thus the concept of “hot jobs”, which is used to describe the best selling jobs in the near future, is not only misleading but also difficult to define. Indeed, predicting the jobs or skills that will be in demand in the future is as tricky as is challenging. Fortunately, information abounds on the internet, literature and from career counselors that enable one to make a good-to-excellent choice. The richest source of job information is the United States Labor Department's 10-year forecast for demand, pay and competition for more than 300 jobs in 45 categories (Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Department of Labor). The department's latest biannual compilation, published last month as the "Occupational Outlook Handbook," is great for sizing up the long-term outlook for most fields. The forecasts have often been prescient—accurately predicting this decade's fast growth in special-education teaching jobs and the widening range of hot health-care careers (Farr and Shatkin, Best Jobs for Your Personality 1; Farr and Shatkin, Best Jobs Without a Four-Year Degree 7; Farr and Shatkin 3). As helpful as the information in these sources may be, predicting the hot jobs for the next decade is still as daunting task. This is more so given that unquantifiable factors such as location, the people you are work with, work condition, and opportunities for growth are very important in job selection. In fact a recent survey by Nature in determining the factors that influence job satisfaction among scientist shows that money is not all that matter (Russo 1106). Indeed, the survey reveals that the “Degree of independence” at the place of work matters to scientist more than salary. Thus the concept of hot jobs based strictly on quantifiable parameters such as pay, employment outlook, and job openings may not work for all people (Smaglik 131). However, there is still room for generality. So the question is: generally speaking, what are the hot jobs of the next decade? Are these jobs really “hot”? This article is an attempt to answer this question. Discussion As unpredictable as the labor market is, figures from the United States Department of Labor can guide us in predicting the hot jobs of the next decade. In the coming decade, engineering, already known for paying college graduates some of the highest starting salaries, is expected to offer the fastest-growing area: biomedical engineering (Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Department of Labor). A job in this field, which centers on developing and testing health-care innovations such as artificial organs or imaging systems, are expected to grow by 72% and offers an annual median salary of $115,270 (Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Department of Labor). This is closely followed by network systems and data communications analysts with a projected growth rate of 53.36% and an annual median salary of $112, 000. In fact, Farr and Shatkin (2010) ranked network systems and data communication analytes higher than biomedical engineering given that the network systems and data communication analytes has more annual job openings than biomedical engineering (Farr and Shatkin). Network systems and data analytes perform a number of tasks in relation to data communications systems, like the Internet, including designing, analyzing, testing, and assessing systems and their performance. Analysts might also supervise computer programmers and work as specialists who handle the interfacing of computers and communications
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