The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Some careers more stable during recession

By Steve Knight/managing editor

No jobs are recession-proof, but Kiplinger magazine reports that jobs in health care, education, law enforcement, the environmental sector and the federal government are more recession-resilient than others.

Marilynn Leigh, assistant director of the TCC nursing department, said when the public is asked to name professions that are most trusted, the nursing profession ranks very high.

“To maintain this high standard, it is important that individuals who wish to join this trusted profession have a sincere dedication to serve the public,” she said.

Students should consider nursing if they have a desire to commit to a profession that is demanding but rewarding, Leigh said.

“The profession is burnout-proof if one is willing to pursue additional education and is willing to branch out into the many and diverse avenues open to registered nurses, which include bedside nursing, school nursing, nursing education and nursing administration,” said Leigh, a registered nurse.

Leigh said the advisement process for assisting students having difficulty understanding course content is a critical attribute of the TCC nursing program. She said the department’s rate for passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses has ranged from 91 to 98 percent in the previous four years and students who obtain the college’s associate degree in nursing are ready for the workforce.

“Graduates are asked to complete a survey one year after graduation regarding their satisfaction with the program’s ability to prepare them for workforce responsibilities,” she said. “In the last four years, satisfaction indicators have averaged from 97 percent to 100 percent of students queried.”

According to InterLink, a nonprofit organization that provides information concerning the education and training needs of employers and employees to North Texas businesses, health care jobs expected to grow through 2013 also include physical therapists, physician assistants and emergency medical technicians/paramedics.

In addition to health care, another job expected to have high demand because of the growing population is the field of education. Teachers who specialize in math, science and bilingual education will be needed. However, one TCC professor warned that teaching may not be for everyone.

“I would not recommend students obtain a degree in education just because there is a need for teachers in certain fields,” said Dr. Rosa Fuentes, TCC assistant professor of education. “An individual has to be interested, dedicated and motivated in this profession.”

Fuentes, who also coordinates the teacher assistant program, said students planning to obtain an associate degree in teaching are required to take math and science courses in addition to regular core courses.

“An individual should have a passion for teaching and care for children of all ages,” she said.

Fuentes said although TCC currently does not have a bilingual education program, she hopes to have one in the future.

According to the State Board for Teacher Certification, students must obtain a bachelor’s degree from a four-year university, complete a teacher training program and pass the appropriate subject and grade-level teacher certification tests to be fully certified to teach.

“Potential teachers should have a strong desire to make a difference in the lives of children and their families and work really hard,” said Pati Cates, NE department chair of child development and education. “An educator has the potential to change the life of a child, to create an environment for communities of learning and to improve the quality of living and knowledge for a society.”

Since maintaining the safety and security of citizens has become one of the highest priorities in the country today, jobs in law enforcement are another desirable choice, according to the TCC criminal justice department.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that occupations such as police officers, detectives, correctional officers, private detectives and investigators are expected to increase 21 to 35 percent through 2012.

Students may earn the one of two associate degrees in the TCC criminal justice program. Courses for the degree include criminal law, sociology, police systems and practices, court systems and legal aspects of law enforcement as well as basic core courses. Students may also obtain a Basic Police Officer Certification or a Security Management Certificate of Completion.

Another job industry expected to grow larger is one with jobs related to the environment, known as green-collar jobs. As more companies decide to “go green” and concerns about global warming increase, more jobs in the environmental sector will be created.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects environmental occupations such as environmental scientists and hydrologists to grow 25 percent through 2016.

A bachelor’s degree in earth science is expected for entry-level jobs, but some employers may expect potential employees to have a master’s degree.

Gary Smith, NE divisional dean of natural sciences, said students interested in environmental sciences should take chemistry, biology and physics.

“Students will need to take more physics, chemistry and math at the university level since much is done in mathematical models,” he said. “Calculus courses are a must.”

Other environment-related occupations include conservation scientists and foresters, atmospheric scientists, biologists, physicists, chemists, engineers, mathematicians, surveyors and cartographers.

Many career opportunities also exist in the federal government, and people with many skill-types are needed. Nearly 2 million people are employees of the federal government, excluding the postal service, and nine out of 10 employees work outside of the Washington, D.C., area.

Most new federal jobs will come in security and enforcement, which includes inspectors, investigators, police officers, airport screeners and prison guards; health care fields; engineering and science, including microbiologists, botanists, physicists, chemists and veterinarians; program management and administration; and accounting, budget and business, which includes revenue agents and tax examiners needed for the Internal Revenue Service.

Patent examiners, foreign service officers and lawyers also are in high demand by the federal government. The official federal government employment site,, has extensive information about jobs, which can be searched by job type or department. Potential applicants can post a resume on the site as well.

Searching for a job may be difficult in these uncertain times, but the good news for job seekers is that employers are hiring in many fields and certain jobs will weather this downturn in the economy. For more information, students should explore these jobs with an advisor or career counselor.

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