Business Careers Outlook
Because it is such a broad category, it is difficult to project growth for business as a whole. It is entirely possible, and even common, for one industry to suffer slow growth or decline while another industry thrives. There are certain trends, however, that affect business as a whole.
Almost all businesses are affected by changes in the economy. When the economy is thriving, consumers have more money to spend, which means that they buy more products and services. When the economy suffers a downturn, however, virtually all businesses suffer along with it, as consumers cut back on spending. During economically unsound periods, many companies lay off or terminate employees in order to stay afloat.
The economy is currently experiencing one of these unsound periods. During the early 2000s, there were a number of layoffs and mergers in Internet businesses, airlines and travel, retail, and computer and electronics industries. It remains to be seen what long-term effect the terrorist activity and ensuing military action will have on U.S. business. In addition, rising inflation, especially of oil and energy costs, together with recent declines in the housing market suggest a continued risk of an economic decline. Most businesses are being cautious and conservative in spending, hiring, and expansion.
Another trend that will affect many, if not most, businesses is that of increased use of technology. As every industry becomes more automated, workers who have technological skills become ever more important, and technology-related industries will continue to be an area of rapid expansion. It is becoming increasingly difficult for workers in almost every position to survive in the modern business world without basic computer literacy. In addition, as computers continue to cut down on human work, some jobs may be eliminated or combined to reduce costs.
Technology will continue to influence the way business is done in other ways as well. There is likely to be a continuation of the increased use of the Internet as a buying-and-selling medium. Telecommuting and entrepreneurial home-based businesses, too, are expected to continue to increase due to technological advances and the ease of communication between computers.
Recent years have seen some changes in the corporate structure, which may continue. In the last decade, many companies have cut positions in an effort to reduce costs and enhance organizational efficiency. Called downsizing, this trend has the largest effect on middle-management workers, but also creates increased workloads for remaining employees who must take on the duties and responsibilities that were previously handled by workers whose jobs have been eliminated. Another troubling trend for U.S. workers is the practice of outsourcing jobs to other countries, as technology, globalization, and political influence allow corporations to employ workers outside this country for significantly less money than American workers would be paid. This trend has especially affected workers in manufacturing, but increasingly affects those in other businesses as well.
Careers in Business:
- Accountant and Auditor Career
- Billing Clerks
- Bookkeeping and Accounting Clerks
- Business Managers
- Chief Information Officers
- Collection Workers
- Cost Estimators
- Cultural Advisers
- Customer Service Representatives
- Data Entry Clerks
- Event Planners
- Executive Recruiters
- Forensic Accountants and Auditors
- Internet Consultants
- Internet Executives
- Internet Store Managers and Entrepreneurs
- Internet Transaction Specialists
- Labor Union Business Agents
- Management Analysts and Consultants
- Office Administrators
- Office Clerks
- Public Relations Specialists
- Purchasing Agents
- Receptionists Secretaries
- Temporary Workers
- Typists and Word Processors
- Webmaster Career
Related Career Fields:
Related Career Cluster:
For More Information:
- Accounting Careers
- Computer Science Careers
- American Business Women’s Association
- International Franchise Association (IFA)
- Junior Achievement
- U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
- Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO)