Recession-Resistant Careers

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5 stable careers that keep workers on solid ground.

By Tony Moton

According to the latest employment projections from the U.S. Department of Labor, good news is on the horizon for career seekers.

Check out five recession-resistant careers expected to experience employment growth through 2018.

1. ACCOUNTANTS AND AUDITORS

They provide vital services to companies and individuals who want to maintain solid financial footing by analyzing and communicating financial information, ensuring public records are kept, and preparing taxes.

Recession resistance: Accountants and auditors held 1.3 million positions in 2008, and that number is expected to increase by 279,400 over the next decade into 2018.

Education: Most in this position have a bachelor's degree in accounting, according to the Department of Labor. For upper-level positions, a master's degree in accounting or business administration might be preferred.

Average yearly salary: $65,840*

Find Accounting degree programs now.

2. MEDICAL ASSISTANTS

Providing needed assistance in the offices of physicians, podiatrists, and chiropractors, medical assistants handle administrative, clinical, or other specialized tasks.

Recession resistance: The U.S. Department of Labor forecasts the number of medical assistants will grow 34 percent from 2008-2018. Reasons: Medical advancements and an aging U.S. population.

Education: Earning a medical assisting certificate or an associate's degree could offer great preparation and can usually be completed in one to two years.

Average yearly salary: $29,060*

Search for Medical Assisting programs.

3. REGISTERED NURSES

RNs treat patients, give advice about medical conditions, instruct families on how to deal with health issues, and provide valuable emotional support.

Recession resistance: RNs are the largest health care occupation with 2.6 million positions. And that number is expected to increase by 22 percent through 2018. Reasons: Increasingly complex medical treatments and the rising number of aging Americans needing long-term care.

Education: A bachelor's degree, an associate's degree, and a diploma, from an approved nursing program are the three most common educational avenues to a career as an RN.

Average yearly salary: $65,130*

Find Nursing schools near you.

4. COMPUTER SOFTWARE ENGINEERS & PROGRAMMERS

They make computers tick by creating, testing, and evaluating software applications and systems. Engineers might even design the latest hot-selling computer game or develop a new operating system.

Recession resistance: In 2008, computer software engineers and programmers held about 1.3 million positions. That figure is expected to jump 21 percent by 2018. Reasons: Concerns over information security and increased needs for new software.

Education: Bachelor's degrees in computer programming and applications, networking, or information systems, are commonly sought after by employers. An associate's degree or certificate might suffice for others.

Average yearly salary: $73,470*

Find IT & Technology degree programs.

5. MANAGEMENT ANALYSTS

Sometimes called management consultants, analysts serve private industry by evaluating and recommending ways to better an organization's efficiency and productivity or to increase profits.

Recession resistance: Competition for management analyst positions is highly competitive, but firms who might hire consultants specializing in environmental ("green") issues are expected to help the number of analysts positions grow by 24 percent into the year 2018.

Education: Educational requirements in this field might vary for entry-level positions. A master's degree in business administration, or a related field - such as e-business or e-commerce - could be helpful. However, because analysts handle a wide range of projects, a bachelor's degree in fields such as human resources, information technology, or marketing and sales could also open doors.

Average yearly salary: $82,920*

Search for Management programs now.

*All salary information is from the U.S. Department of Labor.

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