We have seen the headlines of people leaving their jobs. Early retirement, shift in business related to the effects of COVID-19, child care challenges, living off savings and benefits, desire for a different career or other reasons. Employers are trying to attract employees with sign-on bonuses, increased wages, benefits and workplace enhancements.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “the number of quits increased in November to a series high 4.5 million (+370,000). The quits rate increased to 3%, matching the series high in September.”
Information from the N.M. Department of Workforce Solutions shows New Mexico’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.2% in November 2021. In November, New Mexico’s labor force continued its trend of over-the-month decreases to 951,526 due to workers dropping out of the labor force.
This means there are job opportunities. Thinking about a new career but not sure where to start? N.M. Workforce Solutions has a website that identifies in-demand industries with resources to help job seekers and businesses. The information provided here is from the Ready.nm.gov website. Go to the website to find more information on the jobs available, training and education needed/available to enter the field and be successful, and financial resources for the training and education.
No surprise here; we read about the need for health care workers daily. This industry is expected to include the greatest number of new jobs in New Mexico over the next 10 years. Health care workplaces include hospitals, doctors’ offices, home health care organizations and nursing homes. If you are thinking about a health care career, many jobs require good math and science skills. Jobs in this industry include a wide variety of educational backgrounds, ranging from medical degrees to jobs that require less than four years of college. Apprenticeships are available for medical coder and registered nurse resident.
Hospitality and leisure
As the second-largest industry in New Mexico, the opportunities are numerous – from front-of-house to back-of-house occupations to entry-level and managerial openings for any type of educational background. Career paths are available in restaurants, attractions, lodging, venues and travel-related services.
New Mexico has a program that will reimburse employers for up to 16 weeks of training.
Science, technology, engineering and math
People in STEM careers use scientific, technological, engineering and/or mathematical processes to do research and solve problems. Employers who are likely to hire STEM qualified workers include engineering companies; federal, state and local government; scientific research companies; colleges and universities; and medical device manufacturers. Many STEM careers require at least an associate degree or higher. Apprenticeships programs include instrument control electrician, machinist, mechanical measurements, MPS active ceramics and neutron generator electro-mechanical component.
Workers in the information technology industry develop the software and hardware and help us use the tools. As organizations and individuals face the threats and consequences of data theft, they need information security analysts. The kinds of organizations most likely to employ IT workers include custom computer programming companies, computer systems design companies, corporate and regional managing offices, software publishers, and data processing and hosting businesses. Apprenticeship programs include application developer, computer support specialist, cyber security support technician and network support technician.
Look around to see the commercial and residential buildings going up or restoration and remodeling work. Construction covers a range of jobs including architects, civil engineers, and skilled or licensed personnel. Employment includes private business as well as government. This area has one of the larger apprenticeship programs: bricklayer or block mason, cement mason, electrician, floor coverer, heavy equipment operators, laborer, plasterers, roofing, sprinkler fitters, carpenter, drywall applicator, elevator constructor, glazier, ironworker, painter, plumbers and pipefitters, and sheet-metal workers.
Most occupations in education and training require at least a bachelor’s degree, with many postsecondary teaching professionals holding a doctoral or professional degree. Occupations with the most new jobs over the next 10 years are likely to include elementary, preschool and middle school teachers. College-level health specialties teachers occupy the top position for highest estimated percentage increase in jobs.
(In the Dec. 19, 2021, issue of the Albuquerque Journal I wrote about the opportunities available in education and resources to enter the education field.)
Training and Education
New Mexicans are fortunate to have programs available throughout the state. Ready.nm.gov has information about the training and education offered at colleges and universities for these in-demand occupations.
Ready.nm.gov also provides information on resources to help pay for the needed training and education. Federal and state funding opportunities including grants; scholarships; GI Bill for service members, veterans and their dependents; loan-for service programs; and loan repayment programs for high-demand career fields. The availability and specifics vary based on the career areas. If financial barriers are on your mind, this is a good start to find help. Employers may also have funds available to support career advancement.
Jobs are available. Employers are looking for the right person to hire. If a new career is a goal for 2022, now is the time.