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by eka05 on Twitter

Looking Ahead to a Recession-Proof Career

At some point in their lives, students can’t help but think about their future and what careers they’re going to pursue.  No time is it more significant than today, with the shape that the global economy is in.

The good news is that there are recession-proof careers out there, as well as corresponding college courses to help prepare you to land those careers.  Here’s a quick look at some courses “guaranteed” to land you a high-paying job abroad.

The Courses

A lot of people are into continuous and lifelong learning, so it’s no surprise that SPED and English teachers are in demand.  Pursue an education course if you’re interested, but be aware that there may be budget cuts depending on where you go.

Science and Engineering-related courses will come in handy as the people move toward being more environment-friendly.  The current emphasis on alternative energy sources is effectively a clarion call for these scholarly people

Law and accountancy courses help produce people whose services will always be needed, regardless of the state of the economy.  These days, the field of debt management is a crucial one—someone has to do the work of auditing, preparing reports and helping those in financial need.

It’s about the Service

There will always be people out there who need to be cared for, and this is where nursing, care giving and other health care-related courses come in.  Take note that this is a bit sticky:  the country has a whole lot of nurses looking to get into the action, so you may not find the demand to be as great as it used to be.

If you prefer a more in-depth, technical approach, medicine is always good, as people are more conscious about their health these days.  The emphasis need not be on physical health alone—degrees that work on the different aspects of a person’s well being are also welcome.  These include physical therapy, the psychology and the behavioral sciences, etc.

Since everyone needs to eat, having a Culinary Arts degree or a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management will help you to meet people’s needs in a delicious, satisfying way.  Between the two, the former may be more practical, as the some people tend to shy away from eating out in a recession.

The Business of Technology and Then Some

Any degrees related to business, entrepreneurship (especially if it has the letters MBA in them), finance or economics are solid plusses in today’s changing world.  Effective salespeople will never be without money for long, especially when plenty of business alternatives exist for them.

Lastly, there are foreign companies out there looking for tech-savvy people to design computer networks for them, so don’t write off your IT or computer engineering know-how.

A Word of Warning

You may have noticed that I enclosed the word “guaranteed” in quotation marks earlier.  There’s a good reason for this:  the world is constantly changing, and what may be guaranteed today, may not be so in the future.  In fact, perhaps change is the only real thing that’s guaranteed.

Finally, I’ll leave you with some parting advice:  ask yourself what the basic human needs are—things that people no matter what the state of the global economy.  One of my mentors once said that if you can help solve someone’s problems or meet their needs, then you’ll never be out of a job.

A Job Market Forecast for New College Students in the Philippines

So you’ve made it to the college of your choice.  Congratulations!  That’s only the beginning though.  The acid test will come after you leave the hallowed halls of your university.

Preparing for work is one thing; knowing what’s out there after college is another matter altogether.  If you truly intend to join the workforce after you graduate, it helps to have an idea of what the job market is like these days.  That’s what this article is for.

The Zeitgeist

As you know, days past saw a massive migration of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) to foreign soil in the hopes of providing a better life for their families back home.

That changed, however, when the global recession hit.  People the world over have lost their jobs.  It’s said that jobs related to banking, manufacturing and telecommunications are among the hardest hit.  Some businesses have closed down while others are doing their best to stay afloat.

All in all, the picture that economists have painted of 2009 does not bode well for graduating students.

What Can We Do?

The good news is that we don’t have to simply resign ourselves to the situation.  There are things we can do about it.

For one thing, governments are scrambling to mitigate the effects of the crisis.  In the Philippines alone, emergency jobs have been set up for retrenched Filipino workers.  The setup is supposed to be a win-win situation:  the government gets more people to work on infrastructure and other projects while workers get paid.

Besides those, there are professions out there that tend to be recession-proof, simply because they fill people’s basic needs (food, for instance).  If you’ve ever considered a career change, or if you have skills or interests that lie along these same lines, now is probably a good time to adjust and to explore possibilities.

If you’re not already a subscriber of lifelong learning, now may be a good idea to become one.  Read books and attend seminars.  If need be, consider going back to or continuing your schooling.  If you keep learning and growing, and you should do fine.

Hope Springs Eternal

Albert Einstein once said that (and I paraphrase), “Problems cannot be solved with the level of awareness that we had when we first encountered them.”  In other words, we need to graduate to the next level of awareness in order to solve our problems.  It helps to see this global recession as a means of growing and maturing.

As with all kind of tough times, it never hurts to pray.  The Philippines is supposed to be the only predominantly Catholic country in Asia, and what better time such as this to appeal to a Higher Power for help?

Economic forces may be beyond our control, but we always have a choice about how to respond to any given situation.  More than anything else, it’s our attitude, rather than our aptitude, that will help us survive and thrive during these tough times.

The Current Most Popular College Courses in the Philippines [2011-2020]



During certain points in the school year, it’s not surprising to see masses of seniors trooping to various university campuses for the purpose of taking their entrance exams.  After all, that’s a major step in being able to attend the college of their choice.

Picking a college to attend is only half of the decision, though.  The other half involves choosing an actual course to pursue.  With the myriad of choices available, how does one narrow things down to a more manageable list?

One strategy is to find out what most college courses people are into these days.  Don’t sweat it, as we’ve compiled a helpful little list for you.  Here they are, in no particular order.

Medical Courses:

The aging population of developed countries, medical tourism and the expansion plans of developing ones have given rise to the increase in demand of health care workers.  According to the Department of Labor and Employment, the manpower request for graduates of health related courses has been steadily increasing by 2.3% yearly.

Nursing: while there seems to be a temporary surplus of nurses in the country, it is expected that the demand for graduates of this course will continue to increase within the next 10 years.

The current top overseas destination of graduate nurses are Saudi Arabia, UAE, Singapore, Kuwait, United Kingdom, US, Qatar, Taiwan, Ireland and Trinidad and Tobago.

Specialized nurses [operating, ER, anesthetic, scrub, theatre, critical care/ICU, pediatric, cardiac, burn, pediatric, oncology, catheter, and trauma] will also be in demand in European countries like Belgium, Spain, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, Norway, Finland, and Denmark. Asian countries like Bruniei, Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan on the other hand will need Dental Nurses, Chief Nurses, Head Nurses and Nurse Managers.
Other medical workers like Doctors, midwives and Physical therapists will also be in demand in countries like Poland, Belgium, Germany and Singapore.  A more detailed list of countries needing such personnel are listed below:

Medical Doctors: Australia, Korea and Saudi Arabia
Pharmacist, Orthodontists, Pediatric Technologists: Saudi Arabia and USA
Medical Technologists: Saudi Arabia, USA and New Zealand
Physical/Occupational Therapists: USA
Speech Therapists: USA
Optometrists: Oman
Male Dieticians: KSA, Qatar and UAE
Dental Lab/Dental Assts: KSA, Qatar and UAE
Medical Technicians (Bio‐Medical, Anesthetics, Laboratory, Respiratory, Emergency, Medical Gas and Medical Records): Saudi Arabia and Qatar
Microbiologists: Saudi Arabia
Caregivers: Israel, Japan, UK, Switzerland, Taiwan Belgium, Libya Macau


The growing lack of skilled educators in developed countries has also sparked the rush towards education courses.  Specially needed are elementary, secondary, science, math, physical education and childcare teachers, professors and lecturers in KSA, Libya, Seychellles, Macau, US and South Korea.

Culinary Arts and Hotel & Restaurant Management:

The rise of tourism as part of the development plan of quite a number of countries here in Asia, the Middle East and some parts of Europe has also catalyzed the demand for Chefs, tour guides, hotel mangers and other tourism related workers.  Demand for skilled workers in this area has been increasing steadily by a factor of 3.5% yearly for the past 5 years garnering a total of 160,300 manpower requests from several countries.
Top destination countries of graduates of these courses are Libya, Kuwait, UAE, CNMI, Oman, KSA, UAE, Korea, Macau, Singapore and Romania.

Banking and Finance Courses:

The increasing inter-connectedness of the global economy as well as the growth of the global financial market has also increased the demand for graduates of banking and finance graduates.  Of special mention in this category are Accounting Clerks, Bookkeepers, Auditors, Cashiers, Credit Card Analysts, Finance Analyst/Specialists, Accountants (Account Officer, Analyst), and Risk Management Officers.  These workers are in demand in developing countries and financial centers such as Libya, Kuwait, Singapore and Switzerland.

Engineering Courses:

Projects regarding megacities construction in the middle east, plans to increase manufacturing capacity, and the rise of renewable energy have all resulted to the shortage of skilled engineers worldwide.  The last 5 years alone have seen 256,000 manpower requests from different countries.  The demand for engineering graduates has been steadily increasing by 2.5% yearly.
Engineering Graduates of the following fields are poised to take advantage of this global demand:

  1. Civil Engineering: Structural, Design, Safety, Planning and Contract
  2. Electrical Engineering: Manufacturing, Construction and Renewable energy
  3. Mechanical Engineering: manufacturing, real estate and renewable energy
  4. Mining Engineering: Mining
  5. Geodetic Engineering: Mining and real estate
  6. Metallurgical Engineering: Mining
  7. Chemical Engineering: Manufacturing
  8. Industrial Engineering: Manufacturing

Top Destination countries are Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Macau, Belgium, Germany, Norway and the USA.


A particularly interesting development in the most popular college courses based on global demand is in relation to cyberservices.  Demand for skilled workers in this industry has been increasing rapidly at about 6.4% yearly which is more than twice the other courses.  The last 5 years alone has seen more than 400,000 requests for manpower both locally and internationally.

In demand workers under this category are:

Creative Industries

  1. Broadcast Engineer
  2. Video Editor
  3. Video Graphic Artist (Animators)
  4. Visual Artist Designer
  5. 3D modelers
  6. 3D Artist
  7. 3D Animators
  8. Flash Animators
  9. Animation Artist
  10. Clean-Up Artist
  11. In-between Artist/In-betweener
  12. Clean-Up Art Checker
  13. In-between Checker
  14. Animation Checker
  15. Web Designer
  16. Multimedia Artist
  17. Library builder
  18. Layout artist
  19. 2D digital animator
  20. Graphic Assistants


  1. Java Programmers
  2. Oracle Developers
  3. Web Developers
  4. IT Programmers
  5. Software Development
  6. Computer Programmers
  7. Developer (Software, Web)
  8. IT/Information Technology (MIS Developer, Platform Engineer)
  9. Specialist (Learning Solution, System and Technical Support)
  10. Systems Analyst


  1. Accountant (Back Office Processing)
  2. HR Outsourcing Specialist (Back Office Processing)
  3. Call Center Agent
  4. Medical Transcription Editor
  5. Medical Transcription
  6. Financial Accountants
  7. Technical Support Engineers
  8. Autocad Operators
  9. Legal Researchers
  10. Legal Analysts

Top Destination Countries of the graduates of these courses are:  Saudi Arabia, UAE, India, Singapore, Australia and US.

It’s All Up to You

Hopefully, I’ve gotten the gears in your mind turning.  Now that you have a more manageable list to refer to, your next order of business is to reconcile your needs and wants with what the world needs and wants.

We’ll talk a little bit more about that in another article, though.  For now, keep in mind that this list will only applicable for so long.  The world and its preferences are constantly changing, and consequently, its most popular courses will change along with it.

Source: Project JobsFit of DOLE