Tag: growing industries (page 3 of 4)
US private job growth slows, but services sector bullish
A subindex of service industry jobs showed strong growth for the sixth … The Commerce Department said the U.S. trade deficit fell 0.6 percent to $40.5 …
WRAPUP 3-US private job growth slows, but services sector bullish – Reuters
ZTE Hosts President Carter as China-US Dynamic Drives Business Growth
Shi Lirong, President of ZTE, and Cheng Lixin, Chairman of ZTE USA, … technology industries in the U.S. and China going forward,” said Mr. Cheng.
Service sector growth hits 6-year high
It gauges growth or contraction in U.S. service industries, including retail, financial services, construction and health care. In all, those areas cover …
WASHINGTON: Activity in the US services sector jumped in July, with virtually all non-manufacturing industries experiencing growth, the latest sign of building momentum in the American economy.
The Institute for Supply Management said on Tuesday (August 5) that its non-manufacturing purchasing managers index jumped 2.7 points, to 58.7 last month – a larger increase than analysts expected. Sixteen of 17 industries in the services sector, the driver of the US economy, notched increases, said the PMI report, which analysts said was the best since 2005.
“Conditions are improving,” according to one survey participant in the construction industry. “Business is still very good,” said a supply manager in retail trade. “Expecting continued growth in the second half of the year.”
The report is the latest to indicate that the US economy continued to strengthen in the second quarter after a soft first quarter blamed on extreme cold weather.
Last week, the US government said the economy grew by a robust 4.0 percent in the second quarter and that it has generated at least 200,000 jobs per month since February. A reading over 50 in the PMI report indicates growth. It has now shown growth for the 54th straight month.
The report said 16 industries reported growth in July, including construction, real estate, retail trade, accommodation and food services, and management of companies. The only sector to contract was utilities.
The report indicated growth in business activity, new orders and employment. However, the prices index dropped by 0.3 of a point from the June level to 60.9. Economist Jim O’Sullivan of High Frequency Economics said the report was “much stronger than expected, adding to the growing list of data showing a net pick-up in the trend in growth this year.”
Have you ever considered working with grantmaking foundations? According to the Dunn and Bradstreet database there are over 5,000 “grantmaking foundations” nationwide and they are growing at phenomenal rates.
Check out this article, which includes a list of the top 100 grantmaking foundations by asset size:
JobBait: Grantmaking Foundations
Imported wines are popular with wine fans. In fact, imported wine accounts for 26 percent of dollar sales in the wine industry, according to WineBusiness.com. The thirst for imported wine is creating opportunities for wine importers.
Robert Maxwell is the president of the National Association of Beverage Importers (NABI). In Maxwell’s opinion, the first step in becoming a successful wine importer is determining which products to import. That’s largely based on potential consumer interest. Then the wine importer, also known as a wine agent, must locate the wine supply.
Before wine can be imported into the U.S., agents must file for a free federal license, followed by the appropriate state license. License expenses can vary by state. After the product is imported, labels of approval from both the federal and state governments must be obtained.
Scott Fraser started Forbes Fraser Wines Ltd. over 12 years ago. It all began when a former professor, Jim Forbes, asked Fraser if he wanted to start a hobby company importing wine. “In my ignorance,” says Fraser, “I said yes.”
The company grew steadily, “in part because I think we were smart,” says Fraser, and “in part because of good timing.”
After four years, it was enough of a “real company” for Fraser to work on it part time, which quickly led to full-time employment. Soon even his wife, Sonia, quit her job to join the growing business, working as sales manager.
Essentially, Fraser says, their business is wholesaling. “We purchase wine by the tens, hundreds or thousands of cases from wineries around the world, ship them to our warehouse, then reship them to our customers.”
The Ways of a Wine Agent
Fraser’s job boils down to finding wines, getting them into the country and preparing marketing materials for the sales team. Sonia Fraser is in charge of selling the wine, with assistance from one full-time and one part-time employee.
The romantic notion of jet-setting around the world looking for wines is just that — a romantic notion. In reality, Fraser says he finds most of his global suppliers through fax and e-mail. He then deals with all the legalities required for import, takes orders and arranges shipping.
As a small business owner, he also manages the accounting, financial analysis and inventory for the company. “We work in a [government-regulated] environment, so there is no shortage of paperwork to deal with,” he says.
“The sales side involves dealing with a very wide range of customers, from…liquor store managers to food-and-wine-loving restaurant owners to individual consumers,” says Fraser.
Most of the jobs in this industry are sales positions. Wages depend on factors like the person’s level of experience, the company they work for and its compensation plan. Fraser says a typical salesperson can expect to earn from the low-$30,000s to upwards of $50,000 in salary and commission.
“Owner-managers can obviously do better,” says Fraser. “But it takes many years to build up a wide enough selection of products and a broad enough customer base from a standing start.”
He notes that most companies are very lean, employing only a sales force, a sales manager, a senior manager-owner and support staff. Few companies have a middle-management level.
According to the most recent figures from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES), purchasing managers earn an average annual salary of $81,570 in the U.S.
Degree-holders do tend to have an advantage when pursuing a sales position in the wine importing business: a degree in marketing may be particularly helpful. However, Fraser feels that for someone with a flair for sales and excellent people skills, the actual type of degree is unimportant.
Winning at Wine Importing
For Fraser, one of the high points of working in the wine importing trade is the camaraderie. “Everyone in the business knows everyone and [they] are largely on friendly terms,” he says. “Despite the fact our products compete, we all get along.”
The downsides of the business can include low profit margins and less than outstanding salaries. Since most of the people agents deal with are thousands of miles away, there can also be a sense of isolation.
Fraser points out that wine importing isn’t a high-pressure sales kind of business. The key, he says, lies in developing good relationships. “Success comes from building personal ties to your customers over a long period of time,” he says. To enjoy this business, you must like people, food, and of course, wine.
Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field, see Purchasing Managers, Buyers and Purchasing Agents in the OOH
National Association of Beverage Importers
Check out the association’s home page
The Wine News Magazine
Timely feature stories and comment columns about happenings in the wine industry
Would you like to work in a sports career? The odds of becoming a professional athlete are pretty slim. But if you love sports, there are still plenty of career possibilities in the sports world, even if you aren’t on the all-star team. Sports fans can find a wide range of jobs working behind the scenes of the sports arena.
Sports are fun, but professional sports are also a business. And somebody has to keep that business running. That means lots of opportunities for people who can combine an interest in sports with other — less physical — skills.
Making the news
Jason Kay oversees sports reporters as editor of The Hockey News in Toronto. Sports reporters interview athletes, coaches and others involved in the sports world.
Kay says that his job offers writers and editors some perks: “I do get to attend any game I want to attend, sitting in the press box,” he says.
But he adds that his job isn’t just watching hockey. One of his least-favorite tasks is watching The Hockey News’ budget to make sure it stays balanced.
His writers don’t have to track the budget, but they do need to know how to write. Kay says he looks for a background in journalism, although it’s not necessarily a requirement.
A knowledge of the game is a definite requirement, however. Writers need to know the fundamentals of hockey as well the inner workings of the NHL.
There are reporters who specialize in other sports, too, from archery to wrestling. Some are able to write about a range of different sports. Sometimes, they are responsible for taking their own photographs, too.
There are also journalists who tell stories primarily through photographs. In sports, these photojournalists are known for their ability to capture the action at a game in striking images. While most pay hundreds of dollars for their own equipment, it’s worth it when they see their pictures in the pages of Sports Illustrated.
Other communications professionals in sports are media relations and communications officers. Working for an athlete or team, they write press releases, are interviewed by news sources, and write content for their client’s website. They may also arrange press conferences and organize meetings.
If you have a way with words, any of these careers could be your ticket to a career in sports.
The numbers game
Who said math and sports weren’t related? Sports teams need people to work with their financial statements — after all, there is a lot of money involved in professional sports!
Michael Aronesty is a senior audit manager for Deloitte and Touche. He works with the NFL and audits their financial statements. For him, working on teams and meeting young people are the best parts of his job.
Auditors are certified public accountants who check financial statements created by a company’s management. These statements must be examined by an auditor to ensure they are accurate.
Aronesty says his job can demand a lot of hours (about 60 hours a week on average), but it gives him some freedom as well: “I manage [an accounting] team of five to 20 people,” he says, adding the only person he must report to is a partner at the firm.
His advice for up-and-coming number crunchers: “Just be professional and prepare yourself to give it 100 percent.”
“Show me the money”
Anyone who saw the movie Jerry Maguire has an idea of what it’s like being a sports agent trying to survive with just one client. While it isn’t realistic for an agent to make a living with one client, having only a select number of clients does make for better relationships.
“Sports agents are not only into negotiations … they’re also mentors for the client,” says Lynn Lashbrook. He is president and founder of Sports Management Worldwide (SMWW), a sports management company that also offers sports job training programs.
Lashbrook started SMWW in hopes of giving everyone a chance to be educated in their dream job. He still works as a sports agent, but his primary goals are educating and training future sports executives.
Agents give advice to athletes, help them find sponsorship, and look for off-season career opportunities and financial investments for their clients. And you don’t have to be Tom Cruise to get the job.
“We’re giving all types of people the opportunity to get into sports,” said Lashbrook. “I believe deep down in my soul that sports should be a contribution to society, not a reflection of society.”
With schools like SMWW, students have a chance to study for a short time to see if there’s enough action for them in the career.
If none of the above appeal to you, don’t worry: there are plenty of other jobs in the professional sports industry. Think of any big business — a sports team needs many of the same professionals.
Other behind-the-scenes careers in sports include: event coordinators, ticket operations managers, scouts, athletic trainers, sports announcers, equipment managers, directors of player operations, facility managers, equipment managers and statisticians.
North American Society for Sport Management
Program and career information for students
Find out what’s happening in the world of sports
Women Sports Careers
Job boards, networking and tips for women
There are many reasons people want to become lawyers. One of the most common reasons is a desire to help people. Elder law is a legal specialty that helps a rapidly growing segment of the population — the elderly.
Elder law is a pretty new field. It began only two decades ago. The American Bar Association recognized it as a distinct field in the early 1990s.
Although it’s a new field, it’s expanding quickly. There are now about 5,000 members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) in the United States.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) predicts that demand for lawyers will grow at an average rate through 2014. However, the OOH predicts that elder law is one of the legal areas that will see the most growth.
Allan Bogutz practices elder law in Arizona. He says the recent development of elder law shouldn’t be surprising.
“In 1900, the average life expectancy was 46 years,” he says. “The causes of death were different. They were infection, industrial accidents and childbirth. People are living longer now. So when we talk about elder law being a new field, elders are kind of a new field as well. Law and aging is a new issue completely, because aging is a new issue.”
Shifting roles within families and social changes are also contributing to this need.
“Prior to World War II, we could expect that elder people would, for the most part, go to live with their families,” Bogutz says. “Care responsibilities for older people fell on daughters and daughters-in-law. Now, nobody’s home in two-income families, and also people retire to distant places and their family is not there. So contextually, elder law is a new field meeting a new need.”
What exactly do elder law attorneys do? Depending on their cases, elder law attorneys could work on issues such as age discrimination, elder abuse, long-term care planning and guardianship.
Bogutz says that within the field, some sub-specialties will likely be in high demand. These include family business succession (the logistics of passing on a family business), arrangements for disabled adult children, taxes and financial planning.
Ann Krauss is a spokesperson for the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). She says that as the baby-boomer generation ages, more people will be looking for information and legal advice on these issues.
Hugh McLellan practices elder law. He says that when he and his partner started their firm in 1992, they practiced both elder and labor law.
“After a while, we just thought, ‘This is crazy. We don’t need to do labor law, there’s so much work in elder law,'” he says.
McLellan believe elder law will provide opportunities for at least the next 20 years. During this time period, the number of people aged 65 and up is expected to continually increase.
Like other lawyers, elder law attorneys must first attend university. Then they attend law school. Law school is three years of study. Students must then pass the bar exams for their state. After completing this education, they can practice law.
Elder law training is similar to other legal specialties, but those in the field say elder law can provide some unique opportunities.
“Elder law is different from other areas,” Krauss says. She says elder law is not adversarial, in contrast to the perception many people have of law. “Individuals attracted to elder law seem to have that caring and compassionate willingness to go above and beyond for their clients.”
Krauss gives examples of NAELA members holding their clients’ hands in hospital emergency rooms and finding new homes for dogs after the death of clients.
Bogutz says those unique aspects of elder law require a special set of skills.
“Elder law has two components,” he explains. “One involves the specific areas of law that affect older persons, which include things like retirement, pensions, planning for giving your business to your children, planning for possible disability needs, age discrimination, planning for housing as people’s needs change and planning for what’s going to happen at the time of your death.
“The second component of elder law is the lawyer’s knowledge of the specific needs of aging clients. That involves things like dealing with special furniture for people who have difficulty getting up or down — and special furniture might mean nothing more than chairs with arms — making sure that buildings are accessible for people with disabilities, using larger print for documents, being available to provide home visits if necessary. Also being sensitive to the issues that are around changes of life, such as retirement or facing the end of life.”
Bogutz adds that the practice of elder law can also have many benefits. “It’s an extremely rewarding practice, professionally and emotionally,” he says. “I think you learn more from working with older clients, and many of us don’t get to be close to older people too much.”
At the same time, he recognizes the potential emotional downfalls of working with aging — and eventually dying — clients.
“At some point you acknowledge that the end of life is a natural, normal component of life,” he says. “Helping people to address that in a professional way, and making certain that all of their wishes are carried out and end-of-life care is going to be given in the way they prefer, gives you a certain satisfaction as well.
“So it can be frustrating to lose clients, but at the same time you have a sense of accomplishment that you helped them do it their way.”
Bogutz adds that elder law can also show a more positive view of growing old.
“We sometimes make assumptions about older persons that simply aren’t true.A very small percentage have substantial hearing loss. A very small percentage have physical disabilities. A very small percentage go to nursing homes. Many people are healthy, active and vital until the last couple months of their lives.”
Bogutz says that if students are interested in elder law, they can begin by getting involved with older people right away. He adds there are always opportunities to volunteer. “There are retirement homes, nursing home, retirement communities that are looking for people to assist with sometimes just looking in on people, sometimes with delivering meals, sometimes simply providing socialization,” he says.
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging
Links to services and resources available to older people
National Elder Law Foundation
Certifies experienced elder law attorneys in the U.S.
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
National organization of elder law attorneys
I just read a great article on Yahoo Finance about the hidden job market. Although Headhunter Dave Perry and I differ slightly in reccomendations on technique – I agree completely with his logic and LOVE his ideas!
David Perry, a longtime headhunter, says you’re wasting your time if you’re looking for job postings online. And he should know: he’s often the guy on the other side helping companies lure new talent. Perry, who’s based in Ottawa, says that in the last 22 years he has accomplished 996 searches totaling $172 million in salary. And the bottom line in today’s economy, he says, is you have to tap the “hidden job market.”
I reccomend reading the full article here:http://finance.yahoo.com/career-work/article/106829/How-to-Get-a-Job-When-No-One%27s-Hiring;_ylt=Agmsp1E6FiQWXdsO3zFKHKG7YWsA
People have long been visiting the country to pick their own fruit. But these days, there are many more activities enticing tourists to the farm.
Farmers are finding unique and innovative ways to attract city slickers, not only to bolster income but also to promote agriculture and rural living.
According to Purdue University research, nature- or agricultural-based tourism is the fastest growing sector of the U.S. tourism industry, averaging a 30 percent increase since 1997.
From farmhouse bed-and-breakfast operations to winery tours, specialized product sales and Halloween attractions, farmers are taking a chance on tourism.
At nine years of age, Jerry Howell, living on a pig and chicken farm, decided to sell a few pumpkins from a wheelbarrow. Decades later, he’s running the Howell Family Pumpkin Farm, relying completely on revenue from visitors.
“I realized, heck at nine I’d made 28 bucks. So, the next year I asked my dad to plant more pumpkins and that year I sold a wagon load,” says Howell. “It just kept getting bigger.”
A jack-o-lantern display in the 1980s was so successful that the family started school tours and wagon rides. They also added a 3,000-square-foot haunted barn and a 25-foot robotic pumpkin dinosaur called Pumkinosaurous Rex.
There are pony rides, hay romps, a pumpkin catapult, animal petting areas, pumpkin carving demonstrations, scarecrow displays, puppet shows and a corn maze adventure.
“This [agritourism] is now our only source of income. There are no more chickens or pigs and we make all of our money in one month [October],” he says.
While the Howells rely entirely on agritourism, Mike Bose has successfully added a corn maze component to his existing turkey and vegetable farm operation.
“My family has been farming for over 100 years and been fighting for market share. This is a way for us to ensure viability of the farm and to bring people back out to the farm — to connect between urban and rural communities.”
Picking unique themes for the corn maze has garnered media attention, which Bose considers the best marketing tool.
“Ending up on the news does more good than anything and giving to charity is another way to get attention,” says Bose. His corn maze logos have included golf, football and hockey themes, as well as a bucking bronco.
Visitors come from around the world. The maze also attracts youth and church groups, birthday parties and other special events. “We do really big numbers in September and October. It’s big business,” says Bose.
Steve and Dorothy Enger open their 1,600-acre North Dakota farm to the public annually through the fall months. The couple expanded into agritourism as a means of additional income.
Known as Fall Family Fun on the Farm, attractions include a haunted house, indoor games, face painting, miniature golf and cow milking — all to supplement the growing of carrots and pumpkins. “It is treated as any other enterprise on the farm,” says Dorothy Enger.
And it began quite by accident.
“We were working with our church youth group and decided to have a Halloween party at our farm to raise money for [a charity]. It seemed like a lot of work to do for just our church for one night, so we opened it up to the public. People came and said they liked it and asked us to do it again. It has grown each year since,” says Enger.
Adding “agri-entertainment” makes for a very busy fall at the Enger farm. “It gets very hectic at times because the crops we raise and the fall activities in our yard are all taking place at the same time as harvest. It makes for very short nights of sleep and sometimes not even going to bed,” she says.
Each year, something new is added and is always home-made and self-financed.
“We find it virtually impossible to get finances for this. Lenders frown on it and so do insurance companies. One better be prepared to have the means to start themselves,” says Enger.
The U.S. government may provide funding through agencies such as USDA Rural Development, the Rural Community Empowerment Program, and the National Council of State Agriculture Finance Programs.
And while branching into agritourism has proven successful, Howell says he sees the need to further diversify. “We’ve been realizing that all our eggs are in one basket and we’ve had a couple of rainy Octobers, so we’re developing singing chickens as a side business.”
Howell is building animatronic chickens that pop out of crates. Chick-n-motion products will be marketed to other entrepreneurial farmers who have expressed interest in this type of attraction.
However, he says agritourism isn’t for everyone.
“It’s for people who like people…because at times the large crowds can be very stressful. It’s not for all farms.”
Enger agrees. “People who get into agritourism are a different thinking kind of people than the norm. They are energetic, creative, jack-of-all-trades kind of people. One can’t afford to hire all that is to be done.
“They need to work with and understand marketing, construction, be people-oriented and be willing to start from the ground up and build the business just like they did with their traditional farm,” she says.
While diversification is important for added income, farmers feel strongly that there should also be an educational component to agritourism operations.
“Seventy percent of the population used to have ties to the farm, which was huge, but now it’s just two percent,” says Howell.
“We are teaching what farms are all about, how plants grow, and that we need bees for pollination, etc. A lot of people don’t get exposed to it all.”
Loans for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers
Find out about an assistance program for beginning farmers
United States Department of Agriculture
Get extensive information on a range of government programs
The world’s largest cornfield maze company
Source: Career Pro News
When Larry Ponemon first got into the field of business ethics more than 20 years ago, many corporations didn’t understand the importance of ethical behavior.
“Most companies didn’t see the connection between good business and good ethics,” says Ponemon. He is the founder of a couple business consulting practices.
Today, in the wake of scandals at companies like Enron and Tyco, more businesses appreciate the importance of having someone on hand to make executives more accountable.
The Ethics Officer Association had 19 members when it was incorporated in 1992. Today, it has almost 1,000 members.
“The career is growing with the exponential growth of concern with ethical issues in every part of our society,” says Cornelius Von Baeyer. He is an independent consultant on workplace ethics.
“It used to be that there was a story or two per week on ethics that appeared in the media. Now such stories are daily, and, in fact, many stories have an explicit ethics issue embedded in them.”
Von Baeyer says an ethics officer usually provides advice to employees faced with ethical dilemmas. Officers also accept complaints or allegations about misbehavior and attempt to resolve them.
He says many of those charged with handling a company’s ethics also have other responsibilities. “Often, managers responsible for human resources, legal services or even operations are asked to take on ethics-related duties as part of their normal work.”
But some companies employ full-time ethics officers. And many experts expect that the demand for these professionals will grow.
Ponemon says the career can be rewarding.
“A career in the business ethics field has a major advantage over other jobs,” he says.
“Not to sound too smug, but helping people and companies out of a serious jam or helping senior management solve complex problems can be very rewarding.”
Von Baeyer and Ponemon say that public and stock market sensitivity to scandals at Enron and the like play a big role in the increased recognition of corporate ethics officers.
But there are a number of other factors, including stricter laws. Plus, a number of business schools have included ethics education as part of their programs.
Still, only about a third of accredited business schools require business ethics coursework, says Diane Swanson. She is the founding chair of the Ethics Education Initiative at Kansas State University’s College of Business Administration.
She first got interested in the field while completing a PhD in business administration. At that time, she realized that ethics education was a major part of many business programs.
“When I realized that I got more ethics education while taking my MA in economics than most MBAs get, I began to be concerned about the lack of ethics education in most business schools,” she says.
“The eruption of corporate scandals is no surprise to me, given the amoral philosophy of business promoted in a lot of business degree programs.”
She says ethics officers can help fill that gap by providing training and advice that some business schools don’t offer. For instance, ethics officers at many corporations have created help lines that employees can call to report and clarify ethical concerns.
However, the role of the ethics officer in a company also depends greatly on how much a corporate CEO or board of directors values ethical integrity.
“Ethics officers can only make a difference if CEOs want them to make a difference,” Von Baeyer says.
“The support of the CEO is crucial. No doubt, in some organizations, the ethics program is primarily window dress. That’s a pity, given the real benefits that can be drawn from it, including increased customer loyalty, product reputation, investor confidence, employee productivity and risk reduction.”
Ponemon agrees that some companies hire ethics officers just to reassure the public, and then bury them in the chain of command.
“Unfortunately, many ethics officers are too low in the corporate hierarchy,” he says. “They don’t have the visibility or power to resolve serious problems.”
The experts agree that, to be effective, the ethics officer should answer directly to the CEO or board of directors.
“The signals sent from the top are those that really matter,” says Swanson. “If the CEO is committed to improving ethics, he or she can elevate the role of ethics officer meaningfully.”
You’ll need training in a number of areas. That includes not just business ethics, but also business law, human resource management and business and society.
Von Baeyer also recommends getting involved in professional activities as soon as possible.
“There are numerous round tables and workshops and conferences on various aspects of ethics in cities across Canada,” he says.
“Such events and the organizations sponsoring them are generally happy to accepts students and beginners and those who simply have an interest in the field.”
Ponemon says a good ethics officer also must have a number of personal qualities that can’t be learned. Obviously, that includes a strong personal moral code. “You must be principled, with the backbone to stand up for what is right, true and fair,” he says.
However, other qualities also are important, including good people skills and a strong commitment to your work. “This is a tough field,” Ponemon says. “To survive, you must be dedicated.”
But even in ideal situations, Von Baeyer stresses that the ethics officer isn’t a cure-all. “It’s obviously impossible for all decisions with an ethical component to be sent off to an ethics officer for resolution,” he says.
“The ethics official can only help employees to think through the ethical issues, remind them of basic corporate values and help defend them if their careful ethical decisions come under fire.”
Ethics Officer Association
A professional association that also provides training
Ethics Resource Center
Lots of resources here
Read the latest articles
The medical devices industry has seen much growth in recent years. It offers many job opportunities to those hoping to venture into this field.
The aging of our society appears to have an impact on this field. As people get older, they generally need more medical care.
In the U.S., there are 76 million baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964). And the number of Americans age 65 and older will double over the next 30 years. That’s according to figures released by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
“The aging baby boomer population should be a big bonanza for the health device and supply industry,” says a report by U.S. Business Reporter. “Medical devices have a tendency to be used more by the elderly in disproportionate amounts.”
The report also points out that longer life expectancies are having an impact. “Women have an average life expectancy of 78 years, while men have a life expectancy of approximately 69 years. This bodes well for medical device [and] equipment companies because they can generate more usage for their products with the longer life expectancy.”
Frost and Sullivan is an international market consulting and training company. One of its reports links the recent growth of the industry with an aging society.
“Demand in the medical device industry continues to increase due to the aging baby boom population and the ailments associated with getting older,” says the report.
“In addition to the population getting older, people are becoming more aware of the importance of remaining physically fit. As an increasing number of people are participating in sports and fitness programs, the number of injuries resulting from this has risen as well. This will sustain the growth of the market for medical devices.”
Kevin Murray is the vice-president of regulatory affairs for a medical devices trade association. He agrees. “As people age, they obviously become more susceptible to disease, injury and that type of thing,” he says.
“So there is a demand for medical treatments. And with that comes the demand for more use of medical equipment and devices. So it certainly has provided an opportunity for the industry. And it has also provided an opportunity in the development of new types of devices to treat disease and other types of medical problems that we are seeing an increase in because of our aging society.”
Roy Wallen is the marketing director for a medical device manufacturer. He says the aging boomers will impact the medical device industry in several ways.
“The bulk of experience in the field is with people that are starting to work their way out of the workplace, so having qualified workers is a challenge,” he says. “In addition, as people are aging, it provides more opportunity, a bigger market, for health care related systems.”
Wallen stresses that the number of older people in our society is increasing and there are more medical device systems available. But there are fewer workers. That means a greater reliance on technology. “There are more patients with fewer people to take care of them,” he says.
“In the medical device area, technology is evolving pretty rapidly now,” Murray says.
“We are seeing tremendous developments in products that we hadn’t seen before. And we are seeing some really interesting treatments being developed. I think it potentially could be a pretty exciting area to be involved in. And certainly on a global level, there is a growth opportunity.”
He says growth is limited by cost constraints in Canada, the United States and Europe. “[But] there are also emerging countries that are expanding the market, like China, a lot of the Asian Pacific countries, South America and Latin America,” Murray says.
“Those countries will probably outpace Canada, the United States and Europe in terms of growth and market opportunities. The future is going to be in a lot of these emerging countries, like China, whose population is over one billion.”
There are a number of job opportunities within the medical device industry field. Bob Stiefel is a director of clinical engineering services. He oversees the technicians and engineers who work with the medical devices in that facility.
“The technicians inspect, calibrate and repair medical equipment in the hospital and help users in the safe and proper use of some of the more sophisticated equipment,” he says.
“Engineers evaluate equipment, design changes or new equipment and help in planning for new types of technology to be introduced in the hospital.”
Stiefel says these two fields of work exist within the whole medical device industry. “The same types of folks [technicians and engineers] find jobs in teaching, in manufacturing and in regulatory agencies, all dealing with medical equipment. So there are many aspects to how technical people are employed in the medical device field.”
Those looking to enter this field should major in some form of engineering. “Electrical engineering is very popular, although biomedical is probably the most appropriate…. Mechanical engineering is also very important,” Stiefel says. He adds that pre-med is also an option.
There are also opportunities in marketing. In that case, business classes would be needed, along with a scientific background, according to Murray. “Also, more devices will depend on computer technology. So there may be more positions in software design or writing original code,” he says.
For high school students, strong mathematics skills, the ability to work with computer systems and strength in the life sciences areas are all important, Wallen says.
There are other things high school students can do now to begin to prepare for a job in this field. “The thing that immediately comes to mind is to volunteer for a few weeks or a couple of months in a hospital and, in particular, in an area of the hospital where medical technology is being used or serviced,” says Stiefel.
For those who do decide to pursue this field of study, Stiefel says, there will be jobs waiting for them. “The field is wide open. There is a demand for all types of people in technical fields,” he says.
“These days, we are almost constantly looking for more people for the department. The same is true in other departments, literally around the world.”
The higher-level jobs in this field require extensive education. “But there are a lot of opportunities in laboratory medicine or in entry-level positions that don’t require a high level of education,” Wallen says. “So there really is a range of opportunity for people, depending on what their skills or desires are.”
The rewards of working in the field are an added bonus. “I think that applying one’s interest in technology to medical technology provides a double reward,” Stiefel says.
“For me, it satisfies my interest in technology and it satisfies my desire to contribute to society. It is hard to find an area where you can contribute to society better than in health care.”
Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation
A resource for those in the industry
Medical Device Manufacturers Association
Encourages the development of new medical technology
Medical Equipment & Technology Association
A wealth of useful resources and information