Congratulations, matriculator! No more teachers, no more books, no more dodging that most unpleasant of tasks: finding a job.

I hope you've put some thought into this during your scholastic career (unlike me, who never gave it a moment's attention) and taken courses that you'll need to get a job in one of the fields likely to be hot in the future (art history is not, alas, among them.) To that end, here are some of the jobs that the U.S. Dept. of Labor expects to be in high demand in the near future:

Education and health services -- With we boomers growing old and cranky, the health field will continue to boom. As we retire from teaching, lots of jobs will open up in schools, too. 3 out of every 10 new jobs will be in these fields.

In professional and business services fields, administration and service businesses and waste management and remediation companies are projected to add 1.7 million jobs by 2016. Employment services will be especially hot, as corporations increasingly turn to task-oriented staffing and outsource personnel functions.

Computer-related jobs will continue to grow, up by almost 40%. Information businesses are also on the climb, up 6.9% by 2016, led by wireless and internet-based communications.

Art, theater, archeology and history majors can take comfort in projections that employment in the leisure and hospitality sector is projected to grow by 14.3%.

If you haven't planned a career, however, I wouldn't panic. Ask a dozen boomers what they planned to be when they were in college, and what they ended up doing; there is usually no connection between the two. Most of us muddle through life, stumbling into a career, or at least a string of jobs, that pay the bills. I see no reason your generation should be expected to do otherwise.


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