Unemployment rates are falling in the United States, and average earnings are on the rise. This should give all job seekers a new level of enthusiasm to pursue their job search aggressively. However, there is still a lot of competition out there, and even many who already have jobs are looking to strengthen their knowledge and skill sets.

Let’s consider what job qualifications will be important in the future.

Academic Qualifications

The cost of higher education has been climbing at a much higher rate than inflation for many years. This is a significant cause for concern because there are questions as to whether the job market can support the higher costs that are being imposed upon students.

Recent studies show that people with degrees in the arts and humanities are experiencing lower salaries and more difficulty finding employment that other those with other majors.

Many employment experts consider health care and the supporting fields to be the new core of the US economy. So this doesn’t just include doctors and nurses, but also scientists, business people, biostatisticians, engineers, pharmacists, and more.

Software, computer, and internet related fields are also expected to continue to grow.

Notice that these careers largely consist of education and training specific to certain specialties. A person majors in engineering to become an engineer, or nursing to become a nurse. If you’re heading back to school, specific training and certifications might be what you want rather than just a general degree.

Other Training

Specific training can really add something worthwhile to your resume. For example, 6-Sigma statistical training is always very popular. There are new food safety requirements that have been imposed on food and beverage manufacturers, so ISO-22000 knowledge is in high demand right now.

Computer skills specific to internet marketing are very hot and will continue to be. If you can build a web page and do simple online marketing tasks, it can make you far more attractive to prospective employers.

Look at the jobs that are hot right now and think about associated training that you can receive to improve your value. Health care, business services, computer science, and financial services are expected to be the leading fields through 2020.

Core Skills

Certain skills never go out of style. Public speaking and basic computer skills are always a good thing to have. The ability to work well with a wide variety of people is more important now than it has ever been.

Did you know that the average office worker only spends about 1.5 hours/day actually doing constructive work? Imagine how valuable you would be if you could focus well enough to work 6 hours/day. One of the most valuable things anyone can offer his or her employer is simply being a good employee.

Conclusion

The job market continues to change, just as it always has. While the US economy has historically been based on manufacturing, for many years it has been shifting toward a service-based economy. Health care is expected to be the new core of our economy, and those that can support that field should find themselves gainfully employed.

If you have the opportunity to go back to school, it would be wise to focus on training toward a specific career, such a nurse, engineer, or software engineer. But less formal training can also really set you apart from the masses.

Finally, remember to work on your basic skills and strive to be a great employee. The world is always changing, and you can be left behind or take great advantage of these changes. It’s your choice – make the one that best supports your dreams and desires for the good life you deserve!