The following book review was written by ChristianPF reader Judy Graf.
Where the Jobs Are Now by Joe Watson was a book that I really looked forward to reading as I felt it would help to put me in a position to help friends and family quickly get a job, which so many are desperately seeking, but once I started reading it, I realized it read more like the Occupational Outlook Handbook put out by the U.S. Government. It was not a book to be read and to immediately go, “oh great, now I know how to get a job.” It is more a book to help one prepare to be better poised in the job market, and to help someone prepare for a career, and a career that will hopefully last for the long haul, as opposed to being forced to seek a job again in a few months or years.
I would not recommend reading the book in one sitting, but rather to use it as a reference guide to achieve long-term employment. The book is laden with statistics, and overwhelming statistics at that. My mind could not absorb all the numbers and put them into a perspective where I could feel comfortable thinking that, ‘wow, there are so many jobs out there that we will soon be out of this bad economy, and everyone who wants a job will have one.’ In my mind I kept trying to keep a tally of how many jobs the author was predicting and trying to equate it to the ten million people presently out of work, but there were so many numbers thrown about that I realized it was an impossible task.
The book is broken down into chapters where the fastest-growing industries are addressed. The book did a great job of breaking down each industry into the specific sectors where good paying jobs would become available over the next several years, and cited statistics on how many people would be needed in each of the sectors. The author not only predicted the number of employees who would be needed but also predicted the percentage of employees who would be needed in each of the sectors. As an example, and of no surprise to anyone, the number one fastest-growing industry is the health care industry. The reasons outlined by the author are not earth-shattering news to anyone—people get sick, people get hurt, people grow old, the population is aging, advances in medical technology have improved survival rates—all accounting for the need for more employees. In fact, health care has become the single largest industry in the United States. In fact, the author estimates that 1 in every 11 U.S. resident works in the health-care business. To give an example of what I mean by being laden with statistics, in health care, physicians’ offices employ 17.1 percent of workers in the industry, home health-care services employ 6.9 percent, dentists’ offices employ 6.3 percent, etc. The author did a great job enumerating this information, and probably very useful information for the job seeker.
The author predicts that health care is expected to generate 3,000,000 new jobs by 2016, more than any other industry. The author ended the chapter on health care, as he does each chapter, with a story of an employee who works in the industry, and describes how the person came into the field, or what it is the person likes about the field. I think this is the author’s attempt to help the reader make more of a connection with the book and all of its overwhelming statistics.
Other areas predicted to be the fastest-growing industries, and with a chapter devoted to each, are biotechnology, education, green energy, government (and even more so with the passage of the recent health care package), security, information technology, entrepreneurship, and Dow busters. As one considers the industries, it is interesting to note how many are related to the surge in technology use, some obvious, and some not so obvious. Take security, for example, which has changed so radically as a result of technology; cyberspace and airport security are both recent additions to the technology-related career sector. The chapter on Dow busters highlighted careers considered recession proof, such as accounting, customer service, dental hygiene, engineering, finance, and insurance to name a few.
One especially nice feature included in the book is the appendix which includes for every industry (chapter) a comprehensive list of career resources, including industry news and job sites, and information on how to apply for related grants, scholarships, and loans. A list of certifications is included as well, if applicable.
The author feels it is time for everyone to take ownership of their careers, and that our changing times dictates that this is no longer optional, but rather essential—thus, the reason for this book. The author pointed out what we all already know, “we are facing the toughest job market that this generation has ever seen. In a report released in August of 2009, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that unemployment rates hit 9.4 percent, a 26-year high.” Unemployment in the U.S. is at the highest rate we have ever known and seems to keep climbing every month. We have had a radical change in how our economy functions over the past century; we have shifted from an industrial-based job market to the present information and service economy. In addition, there have been cutbacks, layoffs, and hiring freezes affecting almost every job market. The author hopes “Where the Jobs Are Now” will help ones’ search for a lasting and stable career. And, in this tough economy, it might just be the book many are looking for.