In the past year, there's been so much talk about job loss, high unemployment rates, lack of jobs and employment declines that it's been hard to focus on anything else. It's important to realize, however, that while the recession undoubtedly has a negative effect on the job market, it also provides a few select industries with opportunities for growth.
One of these industries is education. In January 2009, private education was one of two industries that saw job growth, adding 33,000 jobs while every other industry cited job loss, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In February 2009, the unemployment rate for educational services dropped to 4 percent from 5.3 percent in December 2008. That's 4.1 percentage points less than the national unemployment rate of 8.1 percent.
There were 75,000 job openings in January 2009 compared to 65,000 in January 2008, according to the BLS. Additionally, there were 40,000 new hires in education between December 2008 and January 2009, up from 31,000 to 71,000 respectively.
So why is education thriving while so many other industries deteriorate?
For one, enrollment is on the rise for grades K-12: According to the National Center for Education Statistics, enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools rose an estimated 26 percent between 1985 and 2007. Public elementary school enrollment (pre-kindergarten through grade eight) is projected to increase by 10 percent between 2007 and 2016.
Additionally, enrollment is increasing because of joblessness. Many job seekers are unable to find work in their preferred fields and as a result, workers are going back to school to gain experience in other arenas. No matter what the reason, more people going back to school means higher enrollment numbers, which means a higher demand for faculty.
Finally, the majority of workers in the occupations that make up the education industry are over the age of 45, which means job openings will continue to increase as those workers retire. Moreover, President Obama's new stimulus plan allocates $53 billion to education and training -- a move that will surely create new jobs in the sector.
If you're looking for a career in education, here are 10 jobs to consider, along with their projected employment growth and mean annual wages, according to the BLS.