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Hot jobs now
Yes, it's been a jobless recovery to date. But that doesn't mean there's been no hiring.
August 29, 2003: 12:59 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Dismal though the labor market has been, there are some industries that are have job opportunities thanks to geopolitical, business or demographic trends.

Among them are health care, agriculture, energy, consumer financial services, insurance, security and energy.

Now you may be thinking, "Yeah, yeah, I know, healthcare's hot. But I'm not a nurse."

Well, you're probably not a farmer, either. But that doesn't mean you might not find a fertile career in agriculture.

That's because the jobs available in some of the hottest industries today aren't necessarily poster-children for those areas.

Take healthcare. Yes, there is an acute shortage of nurses, but that's not the only job available. "There are opportunities for many skills sets and fields," said Steve Pogorzelski, North America president for the job site, which has seen a 30 percent increase in postings related to health care over the past six months. Among them are jobs for accountants, information technology specialists or administrative workers.

Or say you're a marketing professional. If you're like a lot of your peers, you may think companies like Procter & Gamble are the trees up which you should bark. But you also might consider the Archer Daniels Midlands or John Deeres of the world, said Jim Pederson, a spokesman for outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which conducted research on the industries and jobs that have some of the greatest needs for qualified workers.

Likewise, an oil company may not top your list of usual suspects. But with concerns about stability in the Middle East and an increased desire to find new energy sources, energy firms are seeking not only workers who can find, mine and develop new energy sources but also those who can manage marketing and sales, as well as accountants and human resource professionals, according to Challenger.

Meanwhile, continued concern over terrorism has increased demand for workers in the security industry -- not just security personnel but also information-systems security specialists with computer science degrees.

Challenger also found there's greater demand for investigative services, both to conduct background checks on employees and to ferret out fraud. What's more, there's a growing desire for "business continuity" services, which help companies develop recovery and contingency plans in the event of a disaster or other unforeseen event such as a power outage or strike.

Security concerns also have boosted demands for risk assessment and hence the need for actuaries, who can map out risks for companies. Similarly, there are opportunities in insurance for insurance agents, claim adjusters, accountants, researchers and customer service representatives.

The aging of baby boomers, meanwhile, is increasing demand not only for health care but also for prescription drugs, according to Challenger. That's creating more need for pharmacists and pharmaceutical representatives as well as drug researchers and compliance officers, postings for which increased significantly this year on the job site

Greater funding for gene research, meanwhile, has created opportunities for highly skilled workers in biotechnology.

Financially, the baby boomer effect is also being felt. Due to the transfer of generational wealth, the fact that more people own homes and cars, and the increase in workers' self-reliance when it comes to saving for retirement, Challenger anticipates increased demand for loan agents, investment counselors, financial planners and brokers.

Beyond these areas, Challenger and Monster identified three other jobs for which there has been demand across sectors: sales professionals, corporate librarians and information technology (IT) consultants.

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The economy has been losing jobs for six months straight and the percentage of people out of work for more than three months is at levels not seen in twenty years. CNNfn's Lisa Leiter reports.

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Librarians are needed far beyond the school and public library systems. Corporations, government and advertising agencies, law firms, museums, research laboratories and medical centers are just a few of the arenas Challenger noted have need for those with library science degrees.

And the rise in openings for sales professionals and IT consultants may indicate that companies, sensing an economic rebound, are seeking to boost revenue and bolster technological support for upcoming projects, Monster's Pogorzelski said. Sales professionals were the No. 1 category for job postings on in July, while IT consultants were fifth.  Top of page

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