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Health care, technology will be hot sectors this year

| Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Looking for the hot jobs next year? Trend watchers say health care will continue to be the hottest sector, but that doesn't mean you have to be a hands-on caregiver.

Options include working in health insurance, translation service, information technology or support services, be they administrative, sales, janitorial or transportation.

Tracey Wilen-Daugenti, managing director at the Apollo Research Institute, says health reform is driving job growth, but other industries expect growth, too. She picks:

• Education: An explosion in online classes from brick-and-mortar universities and distance learning schools offers a gold mine of teaching options.

Generally, master's degrees are required for higher education, but Wilen-Daugenti noted that certification programs for some jobs may not require advanced degrees for instructors. K-12 tutoring programs and education-oriented call centers are growing, too.

• Geriatrics: Aging baby boomers are generating opportunities in the life care industry, serving growing numbers of people who age in their own homes or live in life-care facilities.

Wilen-Daugenti said she's observing workers in their 60s who are planning “encore careers,” building on current skills or interests to focus on serving the aging population.

There could be a bonus in that: Older workers may be less likely to encounter age discrimination in hiring if their client base is older, too.

• Stem: Get used to the acronym for science, technology, engineering and math. Wilen-Daugenti said those sectors are begging for talent, but 75 percent of all growth jobs require computer skills.

The ubiquity of computer jobs, she notes, is a plus for people who'd like to work from home. And that ties to another trend she sees of tech-savvy women blending motherhood with home-based programming or other IT work. The overarching trend for 2013, she said, is the “intertwining of work and education.” Fast-paced change in technology and global markets mean you're never done learning — at least if you want to continue to advance in your profession.

Diane Stafford is acolumnist at The Kansas City Star; dstafford@kcstar.com.

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