News & Events : News : BioMed Engineer Ranked #1 for Growth by 2018
April 26, 2011
Top 10 List: Where the Jobs Are
Source: New York Times
By: Cecilia Capuzzi Simon
Date: April 13, 2011
Looming worker shortage. That’s not a phrase one expects to hear at a time of high unemployment. But when experts look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ list of the fastest-growing occupations, that’s what they see: more than a million new jobs on the horizon by 2018, and a worker pool that may not be trained to fill them.
Such a list was first compiled in 1946, just after the end of World War II, to help veterans on the G.I. Bill make smart educational choices. One need only pay attention to news reports to guess where the current shortages may be: eight of the fields in the top 10 categories are health care or wellness related; one is in financial services; and the other is in the information technology field.
But, points out Michael Wolf, an economist with the bureau, “The mere fact that a category is fast growing does not mean you can get a job in it.” For most of these occupations, training (sometimes years of it) is necessary.
1. BIOMEDICAL ENGINEER
Job Growth: 72 percent, or 12,000 new jobs by 2018
Salary: $82,550 mean; $103,000 for scientific and technical consultants
The Field: This relatively new specialty bridges the medical and engineering disciplines, with emphasis on engineering. Biomedical engineers design and build innovative devices (artificial limbs and organs, new-generation imaging machines) and improve processes (for genomic testing, or making and administering drugs).
Why It’s Growing: Thank the quick clip of technological advances. Pharmaceutical and genomic industries, in particular, are “exploding,” says Helmut H. Strey, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Stony Brook University, which has about 100 students in its master’s degree and Ph.D. programs.
Training: If you’re attracted to this field, you aren’t afraid of math, chemistry, physics and engineering, and already have the coursework. Engineers and biology majors are likely candidates for career transitions, though Dr. Strey believes that engineers will find it easier to complete required biology coursework than biologists will getting through the engineering. Either way, a master’s is a must.