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5 Industries for Those Over 40

When being laid off or considering a career change, the first thought of seasoned careerists is “Nobody wants to hire someone my age.” They couldn’t be more wrong.

Employers deliberately seek, hire and respect older workers as valuable resources because of their practical, transferable work and life experiences; technological savvy; and the ability to learn, adapt and quickly contribute to the company. Employers also recognize that the learning curves of experienced workers are significantly shorter than those of students fresh out of school.

With decades of experience in the world of work, a diverse set of skills, and a network of helpful associates, older workers have everything they need to land an in-demand job in half the time it takes their young competitors. But before they can land a promising job, older workers need to know where in the economy to look.

Demographics, statistics and future career trends provided by the US Department of Labor, the Federal Reserve Bank, executive recruiters, outplacement firms, and employment agencies, suggests the following five “financially healthy, actively hiring and age diverse” industries for older careerists.

1.  Healthcare
Hot careers:
Nurses, nursing assistants, clinical lab technicians, customer service personnel, human resource executives
Helpful hints:
  • Choose careers in which you can obtain additional educational credentials in a time frame that you consider reasonable.
  • Look for careers involving certifications that do not require a college degree.
2.  Education
Hot careers:
Elementary and secondary teachers, teacher’s aides and substitute teachers, director of transportation, security director and staff, custodial director and staff
Helpful hints:
  • Earn a master’s degree online while working, meeting degree requirements to be an online professor
  • If you have a bachelor’s degree, check out teacher needs in your areas of education
  • Look at alternative routes for teacher certification (Connecticut State Department of Education details local options)
  • Search for non-teaching administrative, counseling, and technical positions in colleges, universities, and elementary and secondary schools
3.  Residential services
Hot careers:
Landscape designer; master gardener; sales representative for pools, ponds and Jacuzzis; utilities meter reader; home painting and repair services.
Helpful hints:
  • Conduct information interviews with people employed in these positions.
  • Investigate average salaries and educational and certification requirements.
  • Look at franchises offering these services. You can explore franchise options through FranNet - a service that screens franchises and helps you make the right choices.
4.  Products and services for the aging population
Hot careers:
Personal fitness trainer, fitness facility manager, marriage counselor, caterer, and minister.
Helpful hints:
  • Make a list of the careers or products that interest you.
  • Research income potential
  • Investigate educational requirements, certifications, and costs.
5.  Business-to-business services
Hot careers:
Human resources support, product management, administrative support, executives, and middle management.
Helpful hints:
  • Check out the financial history of companies of interest on the Internet at the companies’ own Websites
  • Consider how your transferable skills will apply to similar or different positions in the business-to-business industry.
  • Determine what additional skills or educational credentials are needed to make this transition.
Over-40 Job Search Guide, 10 Strategies For Making Your Age An Advantage In Your Career, Gail Geary
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