Careers that are in high demand

in-demand jobsA perennially in-demand profession, software engineers develop applications that allow users to perform specific tasks on computers and other devices, or create operating systems that run the devices or control networks. Wanted Analytics notes that the job title of Java developer, in particular, is among the most commonly advertised.

  • Median annual pay: $90, 530.
  • Typical education/qualifications: bachelor's degree and strong computer programming skills.
  • Anticipated job growth (through 2020): 30 percent (much faster than average).

The job of physical therapist has the distinction of being among the hardest to fill, according to Wanted Analytics' survey. One reason may be the high barrier to entry into this field, which requires advanced education and state licensing. The job involves helping patients who have sustained sometimes debilitating physical injuries or illnesses by enabling them to regain mobility and manage pain. Employers include clinics, hospitals and nursing homes. Workers in this field spend a lot of time on their feet, actively working with patients.

  • Median annual pay: $76, 310.
  • Typical education/qualifications: doctorate or professional degree.
  • Anticipated job growth (through 2020): 39 percent (much faster than average).

The Best and Worst Jobs of 2012A well-paying profession, speech language pathologists treat hearing, speech and language disabilities. Workers in this field frequently work with children, though as baby boomers continue to age, plenty of older people will require such treatment, suggesting job opportunities in this field are expected to remain robust for years.

  • Median annual pay: $66, 920.
  • Typical education/qualifications: master's degree and state certification.
  • Anticipated job growth (through 2020): 23 percent (faster than average).

America's more-than-decade-long nursing shortage doesn't appear to be abating anytime soon. Forecasts show nursing to be one of the most in-demand professions. The need is particularly acute for registered nurses, commonly referred to as RNs, who generally have greater education and experience than practical nurses. RNs are responsible for coordinating patient care, as well as providing advice and education to patients and their families about illnesses and treatments. Hospitals and doctors offices are typical employers, but so are schools, the military and prisons.

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    Founded in 2009 and located in Pensacola, Florida, Smart Horizons Career Online Education develops...

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