By: Gary Wixom
Assistant Commissioner for Career and Technical Education
Utah System of Higher Education
What will the future bring? That question is something that we all think about from time to time. We live at a time of turmoil both within the country and internationally. The news is full of discouraging predictions about the future. With all the doom and gloom in the press, it would be easy to become discouraged about our own future. On the other hand, if we just look around, we soon discover that it is a great time to be alive. Technological advances have made life easier and more interesting, and those advancements will continue to come and be a part of our lives changing how we live, learn, and interact with our environment.
As we start into a new year we are often focused on making resolutions, setting goals, deciding to take a different path. The year 2012 will continue to be challenging, but can also be the beginning of new hopes, dreams and accomplishments. Now is a great time to set additional goals for career advancement. The rate of unemployment continues to be a challenge for the nation around 9 percent and even here in Utah it is still around 6 percent. The prediction is that those rates will be with us for the next couple of years. But did you know that there are many great paying jobs that are going unfilled today because there are not skilled workers to fill them. Actually the future for job growth here in Utah is pretty bright.
According to the Career Clusters Forecasting Demand for High School through College Jobs, 2008-2018, the fastest growing job clusters in the nation are Information Technology, Health Sciences, and Human Services. Of all the states, Utah is third in the growth rate for Information Technology. Utah is second for the growth rate for Health Sciences, and Human Services. Each of these Career Clusters provide higher than average wages. So, how can you get one of these jobs? By following one of the Programs of Study that are available in these Career Clusters. You can explore these Career Clusters and also check out the great information available, to help you focus on a particular program of study, on UtahFutures.org.
To get a good paying job in the future, you will have to have specific skills that you can get by following a Career and Technical Education Pathway while in high school and then moving on to certificate, or degree training at a college or university. The possibilities are unlimited—just set your sights high and move forward.