Q: I have 20 plus years in banking industry. I was laid off because of budgets cuts last October. What jobs are out there which do not require a college degree or a long commute? I am a former data entry keyer.
A: I am sorry that you have been impacted by the consolidation in the banking industry. Just 20 years ago, there were several larger regional banks that provided employment opportunities for many workers at all levels. Many of these larger banks have been acquired by national or even international banks with headquarters outside of the Boston area. There are still financial services firms in the Boston area, but many are facing challenging times.
According to research conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Employment and Training, the Massachusetts economy should continue to expand at a rate of 6.3% by 2016. Technology will continue to have a strong impact on the jobs forecast.
Health care and information technology are both expected to grow. Fourteen of the 20 fastest growing occupations will require an associate’s degree or higher. The fastest growing occupations include network systems and data communication analysts, personal and home care aides and computer software engineers.
According to this report, one growth area that you may want to consider are the office and administrative jobs least affected by office automation. Customer service clerks, receptionist, billing/accounting clerks are all roles that require significant contact with other humans. By 2016, these jobs should expand by 11%. Individuals with strong computer skills tend to fare better when applying for these jobs. The area of office and administrative jobs would likely be the best category for you to further research since some of your skills may be transferable. Some of the jobs may require further training and schooling but many do not require a college degree.
One resource to explore is the Labor and Workforce Development section of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ website (www.mass.gov). There is a wealth of information on career services, seminars, job postings and other helpful job hunting links. When I searched data entry jobs on their site, several opportunities appeared to be a match for an experienced data entry candidate. Additionally, there are One-Stop Career Centers across the state for residents of Massachusetts. To print a listing of these centers, visit http://www.mass.gov/Elwd/docs/dcs/2066a_508.pdf.
To view the full report entitled The Massachusetts Job Outlook through 2016, visit http://lmi2.detma.org/lmi/pdf/careermoves/CareerMovesJOBoutlook.pdf