Industries with Jobs for Single Women

By Paula Santonocito

smw - industries with jobs for single womenLast September, explored “Hot Careers in a Cooling Economy.”

With the economy beginning to heat up, it’s time for another look at industries with employment opportunities for single women.

Still Hot

Several of the fields noted last year still have jobs. In fact, despite a lackluster employment market, some of these fields have a lot of unfilled positions.

Lady in White. Nursing remains an in-demand profession. Although the recession has eased the nursing shortage somewhat, the nursing population as a whole is older, which means fewer nurses in the future.

The profession’s demographic coupled with aging baby boomers translate to ongoing employment opportunities.

And these opportunities aren’t only in hospitals. Community-based clinics, home duty nursing, step-down units for people ready to leave the hospital but not yet ready to go home on their own, drug-store based clinics, and nursing homes all require licensed nurses.

Girl Geek. Jobs in information technology (IT) are also relatively plentiful, particularly if you have certain skills, like knowledge of network security, training in virtualization or certification in Java EE or SAP.

Yes, single women, information technology currently remains a male-dominated field. In fact, the National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT), a non-profit coalition looking to increase women’s participation in IT, indicates that although women hold more than half of professional positions overall, they hold fewer than 22 percent of software engineering positions. NCWIT research also shows that within the Fortune 500 IT companies, fewer than 5 percent of chief technical officers are women.

So why go there? Contrary to popular belief, tech jobs aren’t only for geeks. Many IT jobs give you a chance to use your creativity. What’s more, IT positions pay well. A recent survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) finds a college graduate with a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering can expect an average starting salary of $61,407.

In addition, many companies are interested in building a more diverse workforce. If you’re a woman and you have IT skills, you’re likely to find employers beating a path to your door.

Saleswoman Wanted. Sales, too, remains a hot field, almost regardless of industry. If you have strong sales skills and a proven track record, you’ve got tremendous market value. Add in-depth knowledge of a particular industry or product line and you can close the deal on that sales job.

Of course some fields lag behind others, while certain fields are also highly competitive. It’s not the best time to go into advertising sales, for example. However, that said, online advertising offers more potential than print.

Pharmaceutical sales and medical equipment sales (again, related to an aging population) remain hot. Sales related to information technology products and services should also start to rebound as the economic recovery kicks in.

Realtors, too, report increased activity now that credit markets have begun to free up and buyers believe housing prices may have hit bottom.

Career Advantages

These fields all offer advantages for single women for several reasons.

For one thing, all have the potential for flexibility in terms of hours and/or work location.

Nursing is a career with round the clock need. Because of the demand, employers are often willing to accommodate a nurse’s scheduling needs. IT, meanwhile, is the profession that pioneered telecommuting. Many IT jobs still offer this benefit, at least on a part-time basis. A sales job often comes with the option of working remotely or making your own hours.

For single moms especially, flexibility may be essential.

But for all single women, who often forge their financial way solo, earnings matter as well—and all these jobs offer respectable salaries.

In most instances, these positions also come with health care benefits, which in effect add to take-home pay.

Other Options

Still, what if nursing, information technology or sales don’t sound appealing?

Teaching is another hot field, and for single moms with school-age children, the work schedule is ideal.

The federal government is also hiring, and surprisingly a wide range of positions are available at locations throughout the United States. Visit USAJOBS, where you can search for positions that match your skills and experience.

The green economy continues to offer employment as well and, as detailed last year at, opportunities abound.

Finally, if you’re considering a complete career change, you may want to take a look at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, which projects the fastest growing occupations from 2006 to 2016.

Of course it goes without saying that a career in a new field is only a good move if it’s a fit for you. But with a solid sense of self, enthusiasm, and the necessary information, a single-minded woman can take on the employment market—and meet with success.


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