This field mainly comprises accountants and auditors. They are responsible for the fiscal and financial accuracy of the business on a day-to-day as well as on year basis. Record keeping and data management is simpler today due to the various accounting software that are available in the market. But still, this segment is known to have some of the most stressful jobs. They entail 40 hours week but the tax season brings on more sweat and additional hours. Generally a bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, or any related field can get you this job, but a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) will always have an additional edge. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) claims an expected growth of 18 percent for this field, all through to 2016. The mean annual wage for a general accountant was about USD 63,550 in 2012.
Professionals in this field (financial managers and analysts) are the people who interpret complicated financial information and try to make out logical conclusions from it. They are hired for their critical thinking capabilities, financial insight and foresight, and their ability with numbers. A traditional 40 hours a week does okay for financial analysts and managers, but as it is a strenuous job, overtimes and long hours are common. BLS predicts an increase of 37 percent employment in this field through 2016. An MBA (finance) or any other formal certification, namely CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) or CFP (Certified Financial Planner) gets you right into this high paying field. The average annual earning was USD 109,740 in 2012. Finance is the right career for all those who crave a challenging job.
Human Resource Management
They are the guides of every employee through the process of recruitment, all the way to the exit interviews. HR managers and HR specialists, both are strategic planners and mostly work behind the scenes to generate work passion and zeal in the employees. They suggest the policies and procedures to improve employee work experience. They are supposed to plan health benefits, retirement packages, and other internal incentives for the general employees. An MBA certification or a masters in HR is mandatory for an HR job. It is however essential for them to know how to staff an organization, draft compensation benefit plans, and know ways to improve employee performance. It is one of those few fields, that is found in almost all industries and hence it is highly unlikely for this field to grow obsolete. People with technical and computer knowledge have an upper hand in job selection. The mean annual wage for professionals in this field was USD 99,720 in 2012.
Information Systems and Technology
All industries take the help of technology to remain competitive in this ‘Darwinian’ world. IT managers direct the work of system analysts, computer programmers, and support specialists to keep the company system’s running smoothly and without any glitches. They are also involved in the active planning and coordination of hardware and software installations, upgrades, programming, and developing internal and external networks. One of their most important jobs is to ensure the security and maintenance of all networks and servers. This industry is expected to grow in job generation, faster than average for all occupations through 2014. MBAs with technology as a core subject or an MIS (Management Information Systems) degree, easily get these positions, if they fulfill the prerequisites of good communication and administrative abilities. They spend most of their time at their offices, as 40 hours week is never enough. Their social evenings and weekends might also end up being a date with their computers. Their pay is very good with the annual median earnings for 2012 being USD 120,950. The only catch is the stress that comes from tight deadlines, steep goals, and tight budgets, not to mention the even shorter time frames.
Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations
This entire glossed up industry is the one that creates sales out of nowhere. Providing product information, achieving high product visibility, and making people realize a need for the product, is basically what all the marketing managers, analysts, and executives do. Their job includes estimating product demand, identifying potential (high growth) markets, developing pricing strategies, and monitoring consumer trends. It also involves long stressful hours, but gives domestic and international travel perks to all those interested. Any sort of formal education with some form of experience is what is preferred in this field. A bachelor’s degree or an MBA with a marketing emphasis is a prerequisite. One can enter the advertising and PR industries with even a bachelors in journalism or a bachelors/masters in public relations. There is a keen competition for coveted positions in this industry and hence, proper education is the best bet. BLS predicts around 68000 marketing-related jobs in the US by 2016. The annual mean earning was USD 115,750 for professionals in this field in 2012.
Administration as a field is growing well but secretarial and administrative assistant jobs are growing much slower than average. They involve training and orientation of new staff, storing, retrieving and integrating information, and troubleshooting office technologies. It also involves planning and scheduling appointments and handling travels and accommodation responsibilities of guests and employees. It is the only field that provides jobs that can easily double up as alternative or flexible work arrangements. Part-time as well as full-time jobs (traditional 40 hours week) and even temporary positions are easily available. It involves extensive computer usage, and good technical and communication know-how is a plus point. High school grades with basic office skills are considered suitable for entry-level positions, but anything else requires higher education. High school vocational training programs, B-school’s office administration training programs (1 – 2 year), etc., works for certain positions. A bachelor’s degree or any other professional certificate is also gaining importance in this industry, where supply far outweighs the demand. A CPS (Certified Professional Secretary) and a CAP (Certified Administration Professional) are best-suited for high level jobs like executive secretaries, etc. There were about 4.1 millions jobs held in this sector in the year 2004, but the growth is expected to be slow over 2004 – 2014 period. The annual median salary was USD 35,330 as of May 2012 and it has been observed that management companies are the one’s that pay the best.