See how the right education could prepare you to pursue a stable career.
Your career doesn't need to be as unstable as the economy.
It's true...long-term security is not a pipe dream. At least not according to Carolyn Hughes, head of HR at SimplyHired.com, which has about five million online job postings users can search.
Hughes says there are plenty long-term careers out there...but some of them might look a little different than they did a decade ago.
"These days you might have a 30-year career in a specialized firm (like an accounting firm) rather than a big corporation that has all departments in house," she points out as an example.
Want to learn more about stable career options? Keep reading to see seven careers with staying power.
Career #1 - Paralegals
Average Earning Potential: $50,080*
As a paralegal, you may help prepare for trials, draft contracts, establish trust funds, or even investigate the facts of cases and take affidavits.
Why it's built to last: The U.S. Department of Labor projects excellent job growth for paralegals - 28 percent between 2008 and 2018. According to Hughes, the paralegal profession is a "solid occupation that isn't going anywhere. There's enough complexity in legal cases that this position isn't easily outsourced."
Education option: If you're interested in this field, consider earning an associate's degree in paralegal studies. If you already have a bachelor's degree, a certificate in paralegal studies can provide you with intensive paralegal too. Check to see if your program offers internship opportunities, which could provide valuable hands-on experience.
Career #2 - Accountants
Average Earning Potential: $67,430*
As an accountant, your duties might include bookkeeping, preparing taxes, and financial and investment planning. Some accountants even work with law enforcement to help investigate financial crimes.
Why it's built to last: Corporations, the government, non-profit organizations, and individuals - they all need accountants to help with financial matters, Hughes says...and that need isn't waning anytime soon. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, graduates with an accounting degree are leading all others in job offers prior to graduation in 2011.
Education option: Look into a bachelor's degree program in accounting or a related field.
Career #3 - Nurses
Average Earning Potential: $66,530*
As a registered nurse, you could work closely with doctors and patients on a daily basis. Your responsibilities might also involve administering medications, performing diagnostic tests, helping with rehabilitation, and providing advice and emotional support to patients and their families.
Why it's built to last: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment opportunities for nurses will grow 22 percent from 2008 to 2018. "This is the kind of career that will exist whether we like it or not in tremendous demand for the next 30 years," notes Hughes.
Education option: You can earn an associate's degree in nursing (ADN), or a bachelor's of science in nursing (BSN).
Career #4 - Police Officers
Average Earning Potential: $55,180*
Law and order remains a priority for many communities. As a police officer, you might issue citations, respond to calls, or even pursue and apprehend individuals who break the law. The position will also require you to write reports and maintain good records, things that could be especially important if you have to testify in court.
Why it's built to last: Police officers are crucial to keeping our communities safe - and that isn't going to change. While state and local budgets are seeing cuts these days, population growth is the main driver of demand for police officers, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Education option: Police officers need a high school degree and - in some cases - one or two years of college or a degree. Consider earning an associate's or bachelor's degree in criminal justice. You may also want to focus on your physical conditioning - many law enforcement positions require physical agility and stamina.
Career #5 - Teachers
Average Earning Potential: $53,150 to $55,150*
Teachers play a vital role in shaping the futures of our children. As a teacher, you'll plan lessons, grade tests and papers, and meet with parents and school staff to discuss your students' academic progress. You may even incorporate new media into your lesson plans.
Why it's built to last: We'll need new teachers to replace retirees and to handle the growing number of students. State and local budget problems aside, the U.S. Department of Labor expects a large number of teachers to retire over the next decade. They also expect high enrollment in rapidly growing southern and western states.
Education option: You'll need at least a bachelor's degree to get started. If you're interested in teaching in high school, consider majoring in the subject you plan to teach while you take your teacher preparation classes. Many teacher education programs include a student-teaching internship where you can get valuable classroom time with an experienced teacher.
Career #6 - Tax Collectors
Average Earning Potential: $53,800*
Though the truth may trouble you, the tax man is here to stay! As a tax collector, you could handle delinquent accounts, investigate returns, and work with taxpayers to help them settle their debts.
Why it's built to last: You know the saying...the only things certain in life are death and taxes. And as long as there are taxes, we'll need tax collectors. The U.S. Department of Labor seems to agree, projecting employment of tax collectors to grow 13 percent from 2008 to 2018. "When you think about the position we're in as a country, there's a huge incentive to go and find out who's cheating the government - and to get that money back," comments Hughes.
Education option: Consider earning your associate's or bachelor's degree in business, finance, accounting, or criminal justice.
Career #7 - Budget Analysts
Average Earning Potential: $69,240*
As a budget analyst, you would help your organization allocate their financial resources efficiently and effectively. You might also develop and execute budgets, research economic developments that could affect your organization, and create budget reports and summaries.
Why it's built to last: The recent recession has led to a greater scrutiny of budgets so that businesses can ensure they are operating as efficiently as possible. And as businesses become more complex and specialized, demand for budget analysts will grow 15 percent between 2008 and 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Education option: A bachelor's degree is usually required for budget analyst positions, but some companies may require a master's degree. Consider earning a degree in accounting, finance, business, or economics.
*All average earning potential information reflects average annual salaries and is provided by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2009.