Make sure your kids don’t live with you at age 25

Any parents worth their salt want what’s best for their children, including successful, autonomous futures – autonomous, as in self-sufficient and independent.

And one of the best ways to avoid having your adolescent offspring turn into basement-dwelling young adults is to (gently) steer them toward the right decisions about college majors and careers. Gone are the days of “major in what you love and the jobs will come”; on the contrary, many positions have topped out or are disappearing altogether, while other, often lucrative, positions are going unfilled for lack of talent.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor, five careers rise to the top today* and for the near future. If you have a child approaching college age, you might want to suggest they check these out when considering a school and a major.

Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical engineers are the troubleshooters of the medical field – think CSI: Operating Room. OK, that might be a bit over the top, but in this highly important and rewarding field, biomedical engineers analyze problems in biology and medicine and design solutions to improve the quality of medical care for patients. Pretty exciting stuff.

You’ll find them in a wide variety of settings, including manufacturing, universities, hospitals, research facilities, educational and medical institutions, teaching, and government regulatory agencies.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s in biomedical engineering

Job outlook and pay: 10 year growth of 62% with 2010 median pay of $81,450.

Physical Therapist

As people live longer and longer lives, look for a greater and greater need for physical therapists to rehabilitate people after injuries, illnesses or surgeries. And, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics points out, “The baby-boom generation is entering the prime age for heart attacks and strokes, increasing the demand for cardiac and physical rehabilitation.” That means the need will increase exponentially.

Whether a patient is an overly ambitious weekend warrior coming back from an injury or a person with a chronic condition, a physical therapist can help him manage pain and regain mobility. PTs, who are an important part of a patient’s medical team, may work in private offices or clinics, hospitals or nursing homes.

Education requirements: Doctorate in physical therapy and state license.

Job outlook and pay: 10 year growth of 39% with 2010 median pay of $76,310.

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

An ultrasound can be part of a couple’s happiest moments – “Look, it’s a girl/boy!” An echocardiogram can save the life of someone with mitral valve prolapse. A diagnostic medical sonographer is instrumental to both situations. These medical technicians work with special imaging equipment to assess and diagnose conditions via ultrasound, echocardiogram or sonogram, all of which direct sound waves into a patient’s body. Most work in hospitals, but some work in doctors’ offices or imaging clinics – and most I’ve met seem very happy with their jobs.

Education requirements: Associate’s degree or postsecondary certification through an accredited program.

Job outlook and pay: 10 year growth of 44% with 2010 median pay of $64,380.

Market Research Analysts

Market research analysts work in almost every industry, sometimes meeting with the public to gather information, but you’ll usually them at computers analyzing data and generating reports. They study market conditions to determine potential sales of a product or service – you might say analysts tell businesses who their customers are, what products they want and what they’re willing to pay.

And if you or your kid already have these skills, let us know, and now – CEG Partners has clients looking for people to fill such positions. Apply now and let us help you.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree or higher.

Job outlook and pay: 10 year growth of 41% with 2010 median pay of $60,570.

Physical Therapist Assistants

Most physical therapists already have more work than they can handle, and as the aging of the baby boomers sends their workloads even higher, their need for high-quality assistants is skyrocketing. PT assistants, who work under the direction of licensed physical therapists, can also be an integral part of a patient’s medical care team.

Education requirements: Associate’s degree.

Job outlook and pay: 10 year growth of 46% with 2010 median pay of $49,690.

I hope these tips come in handy for parents – or anyone looking to change careers. But don’t just look at the jobs listed here; look at the medical and technological industries overall and the reasons such jobs are high growth and high demand. You might find something even better suited to your offspring or yourself.

In the meantime, as always, if you have questions, comments or suggestions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help.

*All figures are from the U.S. Department of Labor.