New luck for nurses

A new decade brings good news for USF nursing students.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) job predictions for the next’10 years, the top two growing career fields are registered nursing and home health aide, said Dixie’Sommers, assistant commissioner for BLS, who spoke to National Public Radio (NPR) recently.

These predictions come from the National Industry Occupation’Employment Matrix compiled by the BLS. The most recent matrix looks at employment numbers from 2008 and projects’estimated employment numbers for 2018.

According to, nursing already offers more than’2.6 million jobs – the largest of’any healthcare occupation. By 2018, the bureau predicts this number will pass 3 million.’

Other popular study areas have bright futures as well,’despite not making the list. Students in business marketing, the most popular USF major’according to, will also see a 10 percent increase in jobs, as reported by BLS. Education and consulting are also’projected to experience a’significant increase.

For some fields, however, the projections look less optimistic. While engineering as a whole will increase – with industrial engineering jobs skyrocketing to a 14.2 percent increase -‘electrical engineering will’decrease by 1.7 percent.

Most growing fields don’t’require college education.

More than 16,000 new jobs have been available in the service and retail industries since 2000, a trend that BLS’expects to continue into the’new decade.

Most of the top-growing occupations are low skill – like food preparation and serving (ranked fourth on the list) – but they are also generally low income. Most food service workers – outside of restaurants where they may’receive tips – earned between $7.93 and $11.64 per hour in 2008. Compare this to postal’service clerks, one of the most rapidly declining fields, whose average hourly wages were’$24.11 as of May 2009.

For students not cut out for nursing or flipping burgers, there’s always truck driving, which’according to NPR is near the top for fast-growing fields involving low skill and high wages.