A safe career is an occupation that can withstand recessions and will allow for long term stability. But there is no truly safe career. Before you get scared, listen to the truth. The truth behind a safe career lies not in the type of job position but rather how well you protect and make yourself valuable in a job.
The simplest way is to learn a skill where there is a high demand and is hard for others to excel. This is pretty common sense. However, jobs comes in cycles and these cycles are determined by supply and demand. Don’t expect to get on the hot jobs cycle that lasts for 5 years and think it will continue for the next 20-30 years. If the demand decreases, or if the company can reduce the workforce by implementing a more efficient system, you will lose your job.
Here are some 3 career positions you might have considered, but read this before you take that step. A job title alone does not make a job, safe.
- If you planned on going back to get your MBA (Masters in Business Administration). DON’T. Unless it’s a highly reputable school, these programs are nothing more than glorified networking sites. The MBA title does not guarantee you anything. Unless, you paid out of pocket and then it does guarantee a big debt to repay.
- When college students heard of the huge salaries that awaited them after graduation in the financial sector, many majored in finance to get a piece of that action. Lost of finance jobs were lost in the mortgage crisis and now finance jobs are highly competitive because of the huge supply.
- Computer programmer jobs were hot in the 90’s with the technology boom and salaries were overinflated. The supply of programmers overwhelmed the demand, businesses were not monetizing, and salaries were cut. Cheaper labor from overseas was also brought in and many programmers went out of work.
So how do you prevent an eventual job loss?
Deciding to go back to school and building your skills up is the single best way to long term stability. Reinforce yourself with “weapons” to attack the job loss monster. If your company offers a education program for cheap or free, use that chance to build a network and sharpen your skills. The career positions I mentioned above can be stable if you make it so. Get a MBA if it’s free and think of it as social networking time. Finance jobs are probably one of the hardest hit in this recession and you won’t see too much stability for this career. For computer programming, improve other important areas like personal communication skills, so you can freelance your own projects.
So yes. Going back to school can help you get a safe career, but it’s your own creativity and ability to maintain worthiness that make it safe, not the title.