Pharmacy, Health Care, Financial Planning Top 2004's Hottest Jobs

November 19, 2003 ( - Pharmacists and nurses are among the hottest jobs in two of the hottest industries in 2004 - and financial planners could also fare well, according to a new report.

The need for more health care and pharmaceutical positions represents an upward trend in the number of positions focused on in-person services in 2004, in addition to opportunities resulting from an aging population and continued security threats both in the United States and abroad. Further, these positions appear to be well insulated from migration of many US-based positions to offshore outsourcing, according to data from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Supporting this contention is Challenger’s forecast that preventive health care and biotechnology/pharmaceutical will be among the hottest industries in 2004. In addition to the aging population’s increased demand for health-care services, Challenger also sees a bright future for biotechnology firms due to more money being dedicated to gene and cloning research.

Joining those two on 2004’s hottest industries list are:

  • Security
  • Insurance
  • Consumer financial services
  • Agriculture
  • Energy.

Most of next year’s hottest industries will be due to opportunities created by the United States’ war on terrorism and the generally graying of the American population. Specifically, a nti-terrorism measures will increase the need for security personnel, while the war in Iraq and general instability in the Middle East are prompting a greater push to find new sources for energy. This in turn creates a general uncertainty in society the leads to greater demand for insurance services. At the same time, Baby Boomers starring down retirement want more financial planning services.

Deviating for war and aging plays, Challenger points to agriculture’s potential due to the sheer volume of people the industry employees, and seems like to continue employing in the future. To support this, Challenger cites a report conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture estimating there will be nearly 58,000 job openings annually between 2000 and 2005 in the agriculture and food industry, with annual salaries ranging from $19,000 up to $62,300.

It comes as no surprise then that jobs within next year’s hottest industries are on Challenger’s list for hot jobs in 2004. This includes security positions such as information security specialists, pharmacy jobs such as a pharmacist and health-care employment opportunities for physical therapists. Also on 2004’s hottest job list:

  • Financial planner
  • Accountant
  • Investigator (background checking, etc.)
  • Corporate librarian
  • Nurse
  • Pharmaceutical sales representative
  • IT consultant.

But even as the outlook is rosy for next year’s hottest job, they are still far from a slam-dunk. “Even with hiring increases in these areas, it will not be easy to obtain a job. Special skills are required in several areas and competition is increasing dramatically. Many people overlook the fact that they are competing with older workers who are returning to the workforce as well as college graduates just entering the workforce,” said Challenger.