When my son was about 3, I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. Without hesitation, he answered like he had been waiting for me to ask for years, “A Ninja construction worker!”. He stepped back proudly, convinced that he had discovered the greatest profession known to man. And he wasn’t wrong! Who wouldn’t want to sneak around and build stuff? One day, there is nothing there, the next, a skyscraper appears. What a great idea!
The problem, of course, is that this job doesn’t exist. That’s not a problem for him, since he’s only 6, but for many job seekers and college students, they have invested tremendously and are searching for things that either don’t exist or are incredibly limited.
As I looked through the best growth jobs for 2019 this morning, I realized a few things. Many of the jobs had some amazing growth potentials: 25% growth over the next few years for meteorologists, 32 % increase in mathematician jobs, a 10% growth in librarians. These are some great stats, until I dug deeper. Many of the jobs that are growing have huge percentage gains, but still aren’t adding huge job numbers. Mathematicians are growing quickly, but after expanding the number of mathematicians by 30%, there will still only be 10,000 in the US. The growth is amazing, but does that make it a good field to go into?
The reality is that both the percentage of growth and the number of jobs is the most important thing. Small growth in teachers results in more jobs than huge growth in librarians. There may be 15,000 librarians that are growing quickly, but that is still a difficult field, whereas a 2% growth in teachers still results in adding 100,000 jobs because of the size of the field.
So, where does this leave us? While it is vital to enjoy and have a fulfilling job, having a job may be more important. Picking the obscure passion that you have may sound great, but if you are banking on getting that job, you may be in for a long wait.