yourself for those jobs. Do you have the right skills, education, or the talent? Are you in the right field? Or are you thinking about making the switch? Whether or not you see a silver lining amid the dark clouds of a depressed economy will depend on several factors: how prepared you are to take on new opportunities; where these opportunities are; and how long this recession lasts.
Salary: Median annual earnings of financial managers ($55,070); security brokers and dealers ($95,100)
Education required: A bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or related field is the minimum academic preparation, but many employers increasingly seek graduates with a master’s degree and a strong analytical background.
SOURCE: BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
Salary: $45,200 — $70,800 (starting salaries for electrical and electronics engineers)
Education required: Bachelor’s, at minimum, in computer science or engineering. Master’s and Ph.D.s commandhigher-starting salaries.
SOURCE: NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGES AND EMPLOYERS AND BLS, 1999
Salary: For registered nurses (median income for 1998 was $40,690); for home healthcare workers ($27,600 median income); for chemists and researchers (salaries range from $46,900-$67,300)
Education required: For registered nurses and home healthcare workers (associate’s degrees); for chemists and researchers ( bachelor’s, at minimum)
SOURCE: NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGES AND EMPLOYERS AND BLS
Salary: Secretaries averaged $25,500 a year in 1998;the median salary for legal secretaries was $30,050
Education required: High school diploma with basic office skills
SOURCE: INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ADMINISTRATIVE PROFESSIONALS AND BLS
Salary: Guards ($16,240 median salary); investigators ($49,300 annually)
Education required: There are no formal education requirements for most guards, private detective and investigative jobs, although many private detectives have a college degree.
A Not-So-Pretty Economic Picture
Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics is predicting job growth in key occupations by 2008, the economic landscape for 2002 is a depressing picture. The Federal Reserve’s “Beige Book” report from 12 regional banks shows slow to no growth — and, in some cases, negative growth in all districts.
12th District San Francisco
Reports a 20% drop in starting salaries for high-tech workers.
9th District Minneapolis
Modest wage increases reported.
10th District Kansas City
A nursing shortage persists.
11th District Dallas
Layoffs and early retirement incentives in the telecommunications industry.
4th District Cleveland
Construction firms have seen an increase in the number of projects scheduled for the spring.
8th District St. Louis
Long distance, wireless, and data services are posting growth, but communications companies are decreasing capital spending.
7th District Chicago
Joblessness continues to rise and unemployment insurance claims remain.
6th District Atlanta
Lockheed Martin’s Marietta, Georgia, facility will benefit from the Defense Department’s award of the contract to build the Joint Strike Fighter plane. Hospitals are aggressively hiring.
1st District Boston
Some growth in customer service, pharmaceuticals, biosciences, and securities.
2nd District New York
Financial and business services are hiring selectively.
3rd District Philadelphia
No reported job increases. But no further layoffs projected.
5th District Richmond
Demand for workers in the biotech, financial, and e-commerce industries should increase.