Group of healthcare workers

Whether you're just graduating from college, re-entering the workforce or looking to make a career move, you need to find a field that you not only like, but also is experiencing growth.

Best career opportunities

If you're looking for work, consider these booming career fields that are expected to thrive in 2012 and beyond.

Health care

With an ever-increasing aging population, the health care industry continues to grow, and it's not necessarily the doctors and surgeons that are in the most demand. Tens of thousands of new jobs for registered nurses are expected to be available each year. And with baby boomers hitting retirement age and people living longer, it's no wonder that home health aides and pharmacists are also thriving. Medical assistants, physical and occupational therapists, medical records and health information technicians, physician assistants and other health care jobs are also expected to flourish in 2012 and beyond.

Learn how to play your career cards right >>

Computer technology

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the computer network systems and data communications career field is expected to continue significant growth through 2020. Network architects or network engineers, who design, set up and test networks and data communication systems, as well as network and computer system administrators, who install and support the systems, will continue to be in demand. Database administrators, computer security specialists and web developers are also solid career choices right now.


If you're a good salesperson you can always find a job, even during a recession. Though many management positions have been eliminated across the nation during these tough economic times, there's always a need for qualified salespeople. Related to the aforementioned career fields (health care and computer technology), pharmaceutical sales, computer network sales and business services fields continue to look for top-notch people and are willing to compensate very well.

Social services

With a projected job growth of 16 percent between 2008 and 2018, social work is another career field to consider. Social workers are employed in a number of different settings, from schools and rehab centers to hospitals and courts. If you have a bachelor's degree in psychology, sociology or social work itself, you can land an entry-level position. However, you should continue to work on your master's degree for a greater potential for advancement.

Read about 10 tips to successfully re-enter the workforce >>

Manufacturing and construction

Though not glamorous, the construction field continues to hold steady in today's economy. Construction laborers, carpenters, and construction and manufacturing managers should continue to do well for the next few years.

When looking for work, it's not enough to scour the classifieds. Networking is the key -- both online and off. Social media can help you find your dream job (or at least something that can be a stepping stone to pay the bills). Read about how to use social media to find a job.

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Tags: finding a job

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Comments on "Booming career fields for 2012"

Shannon March 16, 2013 | 3:32 PM

Agree that health care is a booming field for sure. There will ALWAYS be a need for doctors and nurses.

Katie January 21, 2013 | 12:05 PM

My husband is in construction and I like that there will always be a need for it. It definitely gives me a sense of security.

Amy August 15, 2012 | 10:04 AM

The health care field is always great and ever changing. I like the idea of working somewhere where I can constantly be learning. I'm considering going back to school for nursing and this has inspired me! Thank you!

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