Saturday, July 5, 2008

Where are the jobs in NW Indiana?

I had another job related comment/question on this site this week. I am travelling so I haven't had a chance to email back, but I will Monday.

Where are the jobs and job growth opportunities in NW Indiana?

A: It is my humble opinion that NW Indiana is actually one of the better balance regions of Indiana right now. We still have strong manufacturing, sure as a whole that industry has declined since the 70's, but steel mills and heavy industry are hiring right now. Steel is strong and many heavy industry manufacturers are running double and triple shifts in NW Indiana. A key to a job in industry in NW Indiana, for safety sake, may be to get that great paying job and then right away go back to school. Use the great job to prepare for the very real possibility that it may not last forever.

Indeed real estate is sluggish. NW Indiana never really saw the runaway growth of Indy or Chicago, perhaps along 41 in Dyer and Schererville you could say there was big growth, but everywhere else was very balanced. The residential market is soft right now, but only down a percent or two in actual median values. Construction is off, and of course banks have over-reacted and will punish the market for an extra couple years to make up for getting burned in 2007. I would be cautious entering the real estate, construction, or development industries right now. There may be some niche opportunities, but all in all, wait a year and let the market solidify.

There is a solid opportunity in technology, with computer service and programming companies still growing and growing and expanding. Not just geeks though, sales, accouting, service, customer service, marketing ... all jobs that I've heard are hiring in technology related work.

Lawyers, accountants, engineers, architects ... always in vogue but frankly in most cases the people I know who have some energy are going it alone instead of joining the big companies. NW Indiana is finally a market wide open to free-lance and entrepreneur ... small shops and even home offices.

We need medical doctors and nurses and medical service workers in NW Indiana. You'll find more openings than people if you are qualified in one of these areas.

Retail is tough, pay is low and hours are long. It's out there, but be careful if you do take a retail job that you consider it temporary and keep networking and getting more education.

More later today, gotta run to a meeting

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