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Job Market Skill Gaps In Detroit

Since employers are searching for workers that align with the needs of the company, it helps to have the desired skills necessary to compete. Many employers throughout Metro Detroit have found that it is difficult to find someone well suited for the part.

Skill gaps tend to be specific to each field, and some may be highly specialized within a particular company. According to a recent entry in the Harvard Business Review, one of the biggest challenges for workers these days is to stay useful. "Today, individuals must constantly hone and enhance their skills to remain relevant in the workforce."

Certain employers are looking for workers. There are three job markets in the Metro Detroit region that offer a wealth of opportunity for qualified candidates.


One job market that is seeing high growth opportunity is the medical field, particularly nursing. A registered nurse (RN) cares for patients, often providing support for the doctor as well. Responsibilities include administering medicine and answering health questions and concerns to evaluating and alleviating patient discomfort.

This career requires specific credentials and certified training, usually in the form of an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree, or a diploma from an accredited nursing program.

Registered nursing is the occupation with the highest number of projected jobs available, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The number of new nursing jobs that will enter the employment market between 2010-2020 is estimated to be a staggering 711,900. That is an anticipated 26 percent growth for that 10-year period.

The increased demand comes at a time when a large segment of the population -- baby boomers -- are aging, thus increasing the demand for medical providers as they approach this critical point in their lives. Technological advances will play a role in the increased need for RNs as well, according to a journal report by the National League for Nursing.


Security handles crime prevention and generally offers protection of person and property. The main duty of a security officer involves patrolling a specified perimeter and keeping guard, often acting as a crime deterrent. Security personnel also monitor surveillance systems.

A high school diploma or equivalent is generally needed for entry level positions in this industry. A background check is mandatory for this field. Security personnel may be required to be armed and must be properly licensed because many states require security guards to hold a license. The job description shifts to meet the specified needs of the employer and the building or property.

Security guards are often employed by school districts, hospitals, the banking and gaming industries and at government facilities.

The outlook for jobs that fall within this category is steady. Anticipated growth for this occupation is expected to reach 19 percent from 2010 to 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, the BLS reports that the number of jobs for security personnel in 2010 was at 1,090,600 and is projected to increase to 200,200 by 2020.

Criminal Justice

Criminal justice is experiencing growth at a rapid pace. This field encompasses anything to do with criminals and crime, including laws related to crime itself. The occupations available to those who pursue criminal justice as a career are varied.

Dependent upon which area is being pursued, potential hires need a specialized skill set catered to that particular branch within the broad scope of criminal justice. Criminal justice includes detectives, police officers and sheriffs. Occupations within this field are varied and expand to include border patrol agents, crime scene investigators, criminologists and FBI agents.

Pursuants of a criminal justice position can start with a high school diploma and supplement schooling with work experience and on-the-job training. Professional degree requirements vary according to the chosen field, and range from a college degree, or a doctorate, to completing training at an academy.

The job outlook for criminal justice is as diverse as the careers it encompasses. For investigators and private detectives, the projected outlook is strong. The anticipated growth rate from 2010-2020 is 21 percent, with an increase of 7,100 jobs to be added to the current 34,700 positions nationally, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is a "faster-than-average" growth.

In stark contrast, police officers and detectives are expected to see a slower-than-average rate of growth from 2010-2020 at seven percent, according to the BLS. In 2010, the number of jobs in this field was 794,300 and figures show that only 58,700 new jobs will be added within the next seven years. The curtailed demand is due to decreases in department budgets, leading to stagnant salaries.

After receiving a BA in Photography from Savannah College of Art & Design, Nicole Wrona began working with a diverse range of musicians. In addition, she is a freelance writer for numerous publications. Her work can be found at and

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