As society advances and technology develops, different careers become “hot.” At one time, telegraph officers and cattle drivers were hot jobs. Today, however, hot jobs involve systems and inventions that our grandparents probably never would have dreamed of.
One thing that can make a job a hot job is popular culture. For example, many young people have wanted to become forensic specialists and investigators in recent years because these jobs have been portrayed as exciting on popular television shows. Given that there are now entire cable channels dedicated to food preparation and interior and exterior home design, the culinary arts and home design have become two popular fields of study in colleges all over the nation.
Societal awareness of certain problems can also have an impact on which jobs are hot. For example, in the 1980’s and 1990’s, the rise of the AIDS virus influenced many people to go into medical research so they could do their part in finding a cure for this and other terrible scourges. Today, many people have learned about global warming in middle school and high school, and have a greater appreciation for environmental and ecological concerns. As a result, colleges and universities are full of students studying environmentally-friendly (or “green”) technologies. These include fuels that don’t pollute the environment, energy-efficient homes and cleaner transportation systems. One can only wonder at the impact all of these students will have on our ways of life in the very near future.
A job can also become hot when there are plenty of openings for it. This is how the market balances itself out. For instance, look at nursing. There has been a severe shortage of nurses in the past decade or so, a trend that is likely to continue for some time. However, the fact that there are so few nurses has meant that people who do become nurses have not only a range of job offers available to them when they complete their education and training, but they also will get to enjoy generous benefits packages, plenty of annual vacation time and much more choice in terms of what hours they’ll work. In time, word of the attractiveness of this career will spread, and the nursing shortage will no doubt be corrected.
And then there are the jobs that are always popular, but that become hot from time to time. Take special education teachers as an example. Special ed teachers have long been valuable and respected members of society. But this career has suddenly become “hot” because many people have read and seen news media accounts of the rising number of children with autism. Also, many more countries around the world are expanding their special ed programs because their governments have developed a greater awareness of the good these programs can do for young people. And so a career that’s been around a long time has suddenly become hot.