Pale Wire (Popscene)

Friday, February 24, 2006

The Future Needs Help
Nerds, too.

According to a report issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics last November (link), here are the ten occupations expected to grow the fastest between now and 2014:
  1. Home health aides
  2. Network systems and data communications analysts
  3. Medical assistants
  4. Physician assistants
  5. Computer software engineers, applications
  6. Physical therapist assistants
  7. Dental hygienists
  8. Computer software engineers, systems software
  9. Dental assistants
  10. Personal and home care aides
Six of them include either the word assistant or aide in their title. What with the baby boomers graying out and people in general living longer, the health stuff is no surprise. But what about the dental rankings? Here's how the BoL's Occupational Outlook Handbook explains it:
Population growth and greater retention of natural teeth will stimulate demand for dental hygienists. Older dentists, who have been less likely to employ dental hygienists, are leaving the occupation and will be replaced by recent graduates, who are more likely to employ one or even two hygienists. In addition, as dentists’ workloads increase, they are expected to hire more hygienists to perform preventive dental care, such as cleaning, so that they may devote their own time to more profitable procedures.

Fewer dentures equals more dentists. Good hygiene means more hygienists. The same thing can't be said for agriculture, where better farming means fewer farmers(link).