Tracey had the opportunity to speak with Vice President and Managing Director at Apollo Research Institute Dr. Wilen-Daugenti to discuss her predictions from Five Career Predictions for 2013 [Part 1]. Check out what she had to say about her insight into the upcoming year’s workplace trends and job opportunities:

1. How did you come up with your five career predictions for 2013 relating to workplace trends and job opportunities?

Apollo Research Institute studies critical issues related to higher education and the workforce, so we are consistently examining career trends, which fields offer the greatest potential for career development, and how workers can continually educate themselves to stay employable. The following are several links to our latest studies focused on workplace trends:

2. Your first prediction talks about the six sectors that will offer on-ramps to career growth. Will any of the sectors offer more opportunities than others?

Among the six sectors we highlighted, healthcare is one of the most rapidly growing fields in the workforce, comprising 50 percent of the fastest-growing jobs. By 2018, it is projected that the U.S. will need 500,000 healthcare support workers.

The healthcare industry is also going through many changes. While employment for registered nurses is expected to grow 26 percent by 2020, there are also other unique, non-nursing jobs that will offer opportunities. For example, among the healthcare support workers mentioned above, there will be opportunities for certified nursing assistants and personal care specialists to tend to the elderly. There are also healthcare-related jobs that do not involve patients; for example, technology-focused roles in offices, labs, and hospitals are in demand.

3. You predict that women’s career paths will zig and zag. In a society where women are continuously fighting for equal positions, responsibilities, and salaries as men, will these new directions positively or negatively affect women in the workplace?

Our in-depth research study for our forthcoming book Women Lead shows that women have actually defined the career path of the future. This means the vertical ladder of the past is being replaced with a more labyrinthine path that factors in real-life circumstances and the pursuit of various passions over careers that will span 50 years or more.

Of the women we interviewed, 58 percent described their career path as non-linear. Ninety percent of current women executives and managers shift careers in midlife. Rather than being viewed as a setback, the labyrinthine approach—a very “female” career model—is being embraced by both women and men. It is resonating, in particular, with younger generations who have less-traditional views of success and seek more career paths with less boundaries.

4. You note that 40 percent of applications contain false credentials. Why will there be such an emphasis on reducing this number in 2013?

As part of our ongoing Careers 3.0 study, which includes perspectives from both employers and employees, we have found there is a new rigor in the process of getting a job that workers must be aware of.

On the employer side, as more hiring managers become attuned to the prevalence of falsified credentials, they are requiring more background checks, educational verification, credit checks, and reference checks. As part of an employment application, personal references, such as friends and family, are no longer acceptable; employers want to hear from former managers about a potential employee’s on-the-job performance.

On the employee side, we are hearing from workers that while in the past it may have taken one to three interviews to land a job, now they are participating in five to twelve interviews so that companies can have a 360-degree view of potential new hires. Also, the process has changed from employees answering questions about their accomplishments to a more quantifiable approach—how did you contribute to the bottom line at your last company? For executive positions, some candidates are now expected to come in with a proposed plan for their first 100 days.

For all of these reasons, it is essential that workers keep their credentials, and their online reputation on social media sites spotless and professional.

5. Your final prediction is that work and education will intertwine. Many recent college graduates are either unemployed or underemployed. How can you be sure people will continue seeking educational opportunities?

The reality is that if you are 18, and due to increasing lifespans you will work for another 60-70 years, you must create a plan for how you will stay employable over the entire life cycle of your career. In a workplace where 70 percent of jobs will have a high-tech component by 2020, you cannot afford to let your skills become obsolete.

So how can younger workers, as well as current workers who will find themselves employed for longer than they anticipated, keep their skills current? Workplace training is a strong option, whether it is formal or informal. In an effort to compete, many employers offer some form of tuition benefit. In a recent Apollo Research Institute study about tuition benefit programs, we recommended that employees consider the full range of benefits of participation in these programs, the greatest of which is the continuous skill development necessary to stay competitive in the workplace.

Workers must also take responsibility for their own ongoing training by pursuing certifications, taking advantage of free training, and participating in networking and mentorships that expand their skill sets.

6. Is there anything else you would like to add?

In terms of career trends, we are very excited about the findings and insights from our Women Lead study. As I mentioned, the book is launching in late January, and it features career advice from more than 200 female executives as well as data from our quantitative study of 3,000 female and male managers.

There are three main findings from the book that we will continue to discuss and explore in 2013:

  • Why women are the preferred future leaders, and are in demand in the workplace.
  • Why women are the future problem solvers and negotiators.
  • How women are redefining career paths and career development.

We invite anyone who would like to learn more about Women Lead and the future of women in the workplace to join the conversation.

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