Posted by: Lindsey Gerdes on July 10
By: Anne Vandermey
A lot of ink has been spilled about the “shovel-ready” construction projects that will be funded by the $787 billion stimulus package now winding its way through the legislature. But what you might not know about are the many white-collar, entry-level jobs that will also be created by the coming wave of federal dollars.
Monster.com has a great primer on how recent grads can capitalize on the $787 billion in stimulus funding. They outline some of the key areas that will be targeted by the recovery spending—infrastructure, health care, alternative and renewable energy, education, small businesses and government. They then break down applicable jobs in those fields.
For example, in shovel-related work, the site points to a likely increase in demand for civil engineers and cost estimators. If that sounds too technical, there are also postings for sales, PR, marketing, and customer service positions in the companies that supply the industry.
Beyond infrastructure, most new opportunities created are likely to be in health care, where nearly two thirds of the FY 2009 stimulus spending is expected to go. Laurence Shatkin, author of the book Great Jobs in the President’s Stimulus Plan, says these “test tube-ready projects” will be largely staffed by college graduates, including some with limited experience in the field. Shatkin also points to the development of a smarter electric grid, the computerization of medical records, and the development of a larger broadband network, as initiatives chock full of opportunities for educated workers.
Granted, workers with specialized skills are in highest demand. There are fewer stimulus-related jobs that lend themselves to a liberal arts degree, though Monster.com does list quite a few. For those looking for to cultivate more marketable specialties, Shatkin recommends taking a diverse array of undergraduate courses—possibly throwing in some statistics training with those English classes. Another option is graduate school or additional education at a community college, which can be a cheaper alternative, and is often focused on preparing students to work in local businesses.
Then there are jobs within the government itself—at present one of the only surefire growth industries out there. For those, the primary resource is USAJobs.gov, the federal government’s employment portal. There, you can search through all federal jobs, or specifically peruse the jobs created by the stimulus package. For a more focused government site, try StudentJobs.gov, where the listings are tailored to students and recent grads and are broken down by agency. Though neither site is terribly user-friendly, the sheer number of listings is encouraging. An online on brochure linked to from the student jobs site even promises “Opportunities for EVERYONE!”
That’s nice to hear in a hiring climate where it doesn’t seem like there are opportunities for anyone.