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Top 10 Ten Recession-Proof Jobs, Careers and Degree Programs - Most Stable

As you may have noticed, the economy is not at its most stable right now, nor is the workforce as a whole. For some individuals, maintaining a healthy career is all about luck; for many, however, it has more to do with choosing a career that is in demand no matter what the outside situation. With that in mind, what are the most stable careers in this proverbial house of cards, and what do you need to secure yourself a place among them? Let's take a look!


1. Education

Our population is always growing, and schools are always tasked with the challenge of keeping up. Of course, with that comes an ever-growing demand for teachers to fill those positions. According to the 2005 U.S. Census, over 75 million students were enrolled in schools, and the fact that every one of them needs a qualified and competent teacher is something that will never change. For the right person, teaching can be an exceptionally fulfilling career, and a long-term one at that--between tenure and demand, teaching is a career that can easily last a lifetime.

If you are new to the teaching field, your best bet for getting started is a credential, best obtained with a Bachelor degree in teaching education. If you are already a teacher but would like to give yourself an extra boost of job security, it may be time to polish your skills and learn some new ones by going back to school yourself--in this day and age, a Masters degree in educational technology could prove especially valuable.

2. Health Care

You can't stop the world from going to school, and you can't stop the world from getting sick either. But you can help them get better, if you happen to be working in one of the most unstoppable career fields on the market. Health care, much like education, is a staple of our society: the sick will always need care, the elderly will always need care, young mothers and children will always need care, and people are always needed to provide that for them. Some states need to fill health care positions so desperately that they offer "signing bonuses," and once in there is plenty of room for advancement.

There are many paths to get started in the field of health care, and all of them open up a world of opportunities. One way is to get your nursing assistant certificate, start out in the trenches, and work your way up. If you have more time to spend in school before starting your career, then you may be interested in an RN to BSN program, which though more rigorous pays off well. If you are a veteran of nursing, one way to up your value is to specialize: from gerontology to family practice, nurses with specific knowledge that goes above and beyond are always in demand.

3. Law Enforcement

Yet another on the inevitability front: law enforcement occupations have been in effect for hundreds and hundreds of years as part of our social construct, and show no sign of waning now. Cities will always need people to uphold the law, and in this day and age our country's emphasis on security and law enforcement is greater than ever before. For a strong and sharp individual, this could be the perfect career.

The good thing about police academy is that you only need a high school diploma to enter, but a little extra certainly never hurt: picking up a degree in legal studies (especially in a specialized field like juvenile corrections or the very timely homeland security) could greatly enhance your chance for advancement later on.

4. Information Technology

Companies today rely heavily on technology to survive. Between networked computers and operating systems and a menagerie of hardware, offices everywhere run on machinery to at least some capacity, and most of them need someone to make sure it runs as smoothly as possible. That's where information technology professionals come in. Things like systems administration and software management are specialized fields that not just anyone around the office can pick up the slack on, making the office's IT guy quite the hot commodity regardless of economic upswings or downturns.

Being so specialized, some sort of education in the field is absolutely mandatory. A very lucky few excel with self-taught computer skills, but the vast majority will find at least a bachelors degree helpful. Look into database administration or information technology - they are just broad enough to give you options, and relevant enough to be indispensable.

5. Energy

The state of the environment is one of the world's biggest concerns these days, and one of the most pressing issues therein is the energy crisis. As gas and electricity rates continue to skyrocket, scientists and engineers are tasked with finding efficient energy alternatives. Exploring the potential of wind and solar energy, along with working on the development of altogether new sources for energy, these individuals have the power to change the world as we know it.

Could you be one of them? Perhaps, with the right education! Among the best for such a career is one of many available engineering degrees, be it civil or mechanical or industrial. Such a degree can give you the skills you need to help design a better solar panel, windmill, or whatever else you might dream up with your future team of energy experts to help develop a brighter future.

6. Environmentalism

Going hand in hand with energy, environmentalism is a hot-topic issue these days, and, in turn, a hot-topic career field. Scientists work diligently to solve a range of problems, from the climate crisis and endangered species depopulation to developing alternative forms of agriculture. Some act on a physical level, while others work behind the scenes in research. Meanwhile, teachers and field guides educate a new generation who can work to help even further, and those in design and construction work to develop structures that are more environmentally sound.

The type of education needed for a career in the field of environmentalism depends on what sort of career you wish to pursue. A purely scientific or research career would demand something like a Master's in Biology (or even a doctorate for that matter). A more hands-on take, like fire science or forestry, may only require a certificate. The demand for green degrees has been nearly overwhelming in the past few years, and your choices will likely only grow over the next few.

7. Sales

Recession or not, as a consumer culture we cannot be without our goods, and as long as the shops stay open we need friendly folk to keep them staffed. As such, the outlook for retail positions is as high as ever. It can sound like an easy job -- and, in fact, some retail positions are just that -- but once one starts moving up the ranks the responsibilities can pile up fast, with closing duties and personnel management and even accounting and auditing duties. Add in having to cope with supply-side hassles and demanding customers, and you can see that it takes a special kind of person to excel in the business. That said, if you have a cheery disposition with a sharp executive edge and can keep a level head in fast-paced situations, you may just find yourself a fun and lifelong career in retail.

Aside from the employee handbook, training isn't usually required for entry level positions in retail. If you want to ascend the management ladder, however, a degree in retail management or even human resources can really help move you along. Incidentally, if you are going into the retail business for yourself, a degree in entrepreneurship (known in some places as small business studies) can give you the skills you need to keep your shop afloat in the roughest oceans.

8. Administrative Assistance

Though it may be known by many other names with varying responsibilities (receptionist, secretary, executive assistant), the administrative assistant is ubiquitous. Whether they know it or not, every office needs one and the services provided by a good one are indispensable. Whether it's organizing files, scheduling appointments, or even just making sure the telephone gets answered with a warm voice and friendly service, an administrative assistant's job is to be the grease in the office's wheels, keeping every cog running smoothly and efficiently.

There is no specific higher level degree for administrative assistance, but there are administrative assistant certificates offered that can train you in all of the basic skills. If you plan on going above and beyond, however, almost any degree can help boost your skills--an English degree won't go unnoticed when writing memos and official letters, and those with degrees in bookkeeping often find themselves moving up the corporate chain into the ranks of accounting or accounts received/payable.

9. Accounting

Accounting is not a job for everyone -- it requires a cool head, a natural knack for numbers, and the ability to work well under intense pressure. It's a tough job, and not one to which everyone immediately flocks. Herein, of course, lies the job's benefits. While it is not a job everyone wants to do themselves, it is a job that needs to be done, and therefore accountants are always in demand. Companies have audits and reports to answer to, and constantly need bookkeepers and accountants to make sure that all of their accounts and finances and records are in order. Thanks to the high demand and the short supply, however, for those that are good at what they do a career in accounting can be quite lucrative indeed.

To become a certified public accountant (CPA), you need to get your certification. Of course, to get that certification usually requires training, but luckily there are plenty of school that offer just that. Whether you decide on a Bachelor's in accounting or a finance MBA, with a related degree you can look forward to a bright career ahead of the pack.

10. Software Design

According to Forbes, software design engineering is one of the fastest growing occupations through 2016. Why? Because businesses have needs, whether for video games they produce or accounting programs they need themselves. With today's technology-based infrastructure, the demand for software only continues to grow, and someone has to be there to fill the order. Software designers must be at the same time highly creative and highly analytical; others along the developer chain, like quality assurance engineers, must have excellent knowledge of software technology and an eagle eye for catching potential program-ruining bugs. For the right people, software development can be a dream career.

Obviously, software development is not unskilled labor and requires some training. Perhaps computer animation degrees might interest you, or maybe a video game degrees is more your style. If web and flash-based applications catch your fancy, you might consider something like a degree in java programming. Whatever your choice, you can look forward to a much more successful career in software design and development.

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