Career Choices on the Rise - Careers | Careers & Business Special Section

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Career Choices on the Rise

As any professional knows, the job market is as fluid as ever. The uncertain nature of the economy as well as advancements in technology have changed the way business is done.

As a result, those seeking employment or those simply hoping to switch careers would be wise to consider which fields are on the rise. In general, job seekers with no ties to any specific locale tend to look for work in larger cities, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. However, even metropolitan areas continue to recover slowly, if at all, from the economic downturn that began near the end of the first decade of the 21st century. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the city of New York's jobless rate in June 2010 was 8.8 percent, a slight improvement over the June 2009 rate of 9 percent. Los Angeles, meanwhile, saw its jobless rate increase over that same span, jumping 11.1 percent in June 2009 to 11.6 percent a year later.

Simply put, the conventional wisdom of moving to the big city to find work is no longer a lock. Job seekers would be wise to consider the following careers, which Department of Labor studies indicate are among those on the rise in metropolitan areas.

* Registered Nurse: Department of Labor research indicates that some 581,500 new RN jobs will be created in the 10-year period between 2008 and 2018. What's more, an RN can expect to make a very good salary as well. For example, the San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City metropolitan area boasts the third highest-average annual salary for RNs at $98,900.

* Accountant: While the prospects for accountants are not as great as those for registered nurses, opportunities are still very good, with nearly 280,000 new jobs expected between 2008 and 2018. The majority of accountants work in urban areas as well, making the move to a metropolitan area a good decision for prospective accountants.

* Paralegal: Paralegals can expect strong hiring trends for the next decade as well, with more than 74,000 new jobs expected between 2008 and 2018.

* Education Administrator: Though this field expects some growth over the next decade, it's important for job seekers to know that many of the nation's public schools require an advanced degree, particularly a master's in education administration, for their top administrative positions, which can pay into six figures.

* Network administrators: Computer network administrators are, not surprisingly, likely to be in high demand for the next decade, with an expected 286,000 new jobs to be created by 2018. In addition, job seekers might be surprised to know that this potentially high-paying field offers entry level positions with requirements of only an associate's or bachelor's degree.