Research is an essential part of the job search. You know that, obviously, so you do your due diligence. You research industry trends, company background, and general resume tips. The extra-diligent will also check out industry recruiter blogs and get the inside scoop on what recruiters looking for. If you’ve gone that far down the hiring rabbit hole, you’ve probably seen mention of something called the skills gap. So even though there are lots of jobs and lots of job seekers, recruiters are having trouble finding the right candidates. The skills gap refers to a mismatch between the skills that job seekers have and the skills companies are trying to hire for. But how did we get here? And how can you get ahead of the national skills shortage to come out on top?

What is the National Skills Shortage?

Researchers estimate that the national skills shortage will grow to 29 million skills in deficit by 2030, representing over 9 million workers whose skills won’t match the needs of the job market. The crazy part is that the skills employers are looking for aren’t out of reach. In fact, the most needed skills are those for middle skill jobs – those that require more than a high school diploma, but less than a full four year degree. So you don’t need a fancy, six-figure education to get ahead of the national skills shortage!

Why does the skills gap exist?

The root of the skills gap lies in the fact that society has been pushing a 4-year college degree as the only way to get a “good” job. That’s simply not true. Accredited trade schools and apprenticeships are affordable, accessible ways to start the foundation for a great career. But we were all put into the college pipeline, so the skills we graduated are better suited for the ivory tower than the real world. And while a college education can blossom into a fruitful career, it’s not the only way. Trade schools can prepare you for a specific career in a short amount of time. And, since the skills are in high demand, you don’t have to worry about the entry-level job search struggle that many recent grads face. Even if you went to college, you can always enroll in a trade school if you want to make a career pivot.

How can I get ahead of the national skills shortage?

To take advantage of the skills gap, you have to have the skills the market needs. The most in-demand jobs are in healthcare, infrastructure, and law. And even though the jobs are qualified as “middle skill,” the paychecks aren’t.  These jobs include nurses, radiation therapist, electricians, paralegals, and home health ads – high paying jobs in high demand. So what do you need to land these jobs? Let’s break it down.

Electrician

Entry-level electricians have great job security and make $55,000 a year. Some of the top skills you’ll need to succeed are blueprint interpretation, mechanical aptitude, and troubleshooting. Working as an electrician, you can join a union, be employed as a contractor, work for a specific company, or start your own business. The level of flexibility and control you want to have over you schedule is up to you.
Learn more about how to get a job as an electrician.

Paralegal

As the essential grease between the gears of legal professionals, skilled paralegals are highly sought-after. To be an effective paralegal, you need to have strong research skills, an understand of the legal system, and be super organized.
Learn more about how to get a job as a paralegal.

Radiation Therapist

If you want to break into oncology, radiation therapy is a great career option. Earning $80,000/year on average, radiation therapists and radiologist are essential healthcare personnel. Employer are looking for people who understand human anatomy, high EQ, and have good communication skills. This is, of course, on top of a wealth of clinical skills, so you can effectively operate equipment and interpret diagnostics.
Learn more about how to get a job as a radiation therapist.

Nurse

Nurses are the backbone of our hospitals and healthcare systems. They are highly trained professionals who help us feel better when we’re sick or hurt. In addition to a completed nursing program, employers look for people who have strong critical thinking skills, great time management, and good at treatment planning.

Home Health Aide

One of the fastest growing and most accessible jobs, the need for home health aides is exploding the US. Most employers only look for a high school diploma, and then they’ll provide on the job training. To be a truly great health aide, you’ll need strong interpersonal skills, high attention to detail, and some medical knowledge. You’ll learn a lot on the job – and it’s a great entry-level job if you want to move up the ladder in the medical profession.

If you want to get ahead of the nation skills shortage, you’ll need the skills to bridge the gap.