As follow up to my “Skill Up” article for Job Action Day 2011, I wanted to write a series of articles on job skills needed in 2012. My hope is to help job seekers overcome the “Skills Gap” and acquire the new jobs opening in energy, environmental and infrastructure.
Job Skills Needed For 2012
A person recently asked me “What the top skills employers want for 2012?” After listening to my clients and job seekers, here are the most important skills that are needed in no particular order.
Computer & Programming Skills
Industrial/Construction Craft skills
Financial & Budget Analysis
Knowledge of environmental and sustainable practices
Knowledge of emerging markets
Knowledge of government regulations
Knowledge of safety practices
Knowledge of STEM subjects
Leadership & Supervisory
Presentation & Persuasion
Product development & marketing
Report & technical writing
Why Are These Important?
The Skills Gap has become a bane for the long term unemployed because they have had few opportunities to bring their skills up-to-date. Many of the hottest jobs in 2012 will go unfilled due to shortages of qualified applicants. This list is a starting point for job seekers to evaluate their current skills; seek out places to develop new ones and get into position to take the new jobs.
What You Need to Do Now
Check with the local community colleges to find out if they have partnered with employers on job training programs
Check with Department of Labor to find out about federal or state sponsored job training programs
Check with local charitable organization and networking groups for leads on job training programs
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for water & waste water treatment operators is expected to be strong over the next decade(See more information). The shortage of water treatment operators is not just due to the high number retirements and crumbling infrastructure. The knowledge required to treat water is becoming more complicated. Operators not only have to understand a plant’s mechanical systems, they also have to learn about the latest advances in computerized control systems and treatment processes. Further, the loss of experienced operators may also be a huge loss of industry knowledge. With these challenges affecting the industry, new people are sorely needed especially in the rural areas of the US.
How Do You Get Training?
Water treatment operators are not required to have a college degree but they must complete a state approved training program and apply for a license. Here are links to water and waste water treatment training and licensure programs in every state:
In the coming decade, the certified safety professional (CSP) will be in high demand because companies can no longer afford for accidents and disasters to increase insurance rates, scar their reputations and sink their stock prices. In response to the rise in safety compliance positions, we decided to explore what skills employers want in the safety professionals. Here are some of our findings .
The ability to create and implement safety programs across cultures: One of my clients recently said,“What works in Peoria, IL may not work in Pune, India. I need a safety manager who understands that concept.” In the global workplace, there is no such thing as a “cookie cutter” safety program. Safety professionals have to be sensitive to the cultures, communication styles and languages of the people across their companies because miscommunication can lead to accidents or disasters. Companies will be looking for safety professionals who understand how to deliver and manage multicultural programs.
The ability to communicate in financial terms: Safety professionals must be able to communicate the benefits of their safety programs in financial terms such as Return on Investment (ROI), Triple Bottom Line (3BL) and Internal Rate of Return (IRR). Communicating in these terms will help assure corporate managers that investments in safety equipment and programs are not only protecting the lives of their workers but averting the chance of large disaster related insurance payouts as well.
Crisis Management & Situational Leadership: “When it comes to emergency response, safety managers have to have nerves of steel and the mind of a battlefield commander.” The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident and the BP oil spill have brought crisis management and situational leadership to the forefront in the corporate board room, the media and the general public. Successful safety professionals will need training and experience in these areas to handle complex emergencies and intense media scrutiny.
Advanced knowledge of Long Term Assessments: Companies want their customers, shareholders and stakeholders to know they are responsible in their operations. Safety professionals may be called upon to do long term assessments to help companies understand the long term health & safety impacts of their operations on workers and suggest changes which will reduce repetitive work-related injuries, chemical exposures and other medical related issues. The goal of these assessments will be to improve immediate worker health & safety and reduce long term medical costs.
A Point to Remember
The job market of the next decade will favor those who deliver strong results, embrace continuing education and build lasting professional relationships through networking. As a CSP, you are in a unique position to accomplish these objectives. The question is: Are you doing these things?