Some jobs subsist in bear market

Nearly 300 teachers were fired from the Clayton County school system last month. Education has always been thought to be a safe career, one which not only maintains teachers but hires new ones each year.

 

An economy that requires the firing of educators seems to spell certain doom for almost every other industry, but some fields are hanging on.

 

Forbes.com compiled a list of the “10 Most Recession-Proof Jobs.” These fields are not necessarily growing, but are generally maintaining current personnel. Topping the list are sales representatives, software designers and developers and nurses.

 

Tara Weiss’s article for Forbes details the method of compilation. Career website Jobfox.com examined its database of job postings from November to July of 2008. Jobs with the highest median number of postings made the list.

 

This compilation is a generalization for the entire country. Are the findings of the study accurate in Athens?

 

Bear markets bring bad times for many industries. Sales seems to be immune. When the economy turns sour, many product-based companies invest their energy in the sales department, UGA’s marketing department head Dr. Charlotte Mason said, because this is the department that brings in revenue.

 

“A number of our marketing majors, especially those who have taken sales courses and participated in the sales competitions, are getting jobs in this tough economy,” Mason said.

 

Despite the money-making function of sales, not every facet of the field is safe.

 

“It depends on the industry,” Mason said, providing the example of luxury cars versus pharmaceuticals. “One is more discretionary than the other.”

 

Another factor determining the success of salespeople is the local market, Mason said. “Some states and cities are suffering more than others.”

 

Athens’ economic situation often appears to be much better than other cities in Georgia. This is partly attributable to the student population that fuels many local businesses.

 

Another factor in Athens’ subsisting is the number of government jobs produced by the university. Combined with the relative stability of education in a recession, faculty members are in a fairly safe place. Though departments are facing a hiring freeze, current employees are unlikely to find themselves out of work. Who can back this up?

 

Software designers and developers also thrive in this economy driven by technology. A New York Times article entitled ‘Belt-Tightening, but No Collapse, is Forecast in Technology Spending,’ predicts that there will be little change in business’ technology spending.

 

Many companies, the article reports, discovered after the 2001 recession that technology is a rich investment that increases productivity. Technological innovations make the recession easier to weather.

 

Software designers and developers, much like sales representatives, dig their companies out of the hole with their ability to increase production and generate revenue.

 

Several fields of technology are seeing increased interest from consumers. A survey from The Shelton Group reported that “71 percent of people considered buying energy efficient products to save money,” according to EcoGeek.org.

 

Cosmetic laser technology, according to United Press International article ‘Cosmetic laser technology recession proof,’ is also on the rise.

 

Interview with Eileen Kraemer

 

Forbes’ third recession proof career is nursing. The saying is true, that “people will always get sick.”

 

Healthcare facilities in the U.S. require 30,000 new registered nurses per year to meet the workforce need, Dr. Lucy Marion, dean of the school of nursing at Medical College of Georgia, said on local CBS news out of Augusta, Ga.

 

Talk to nurses and hospital HR in Athens.

 

Conclusion? Which industries are recession proof in Athens and which aren’t?

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