Choosing a career? Read this first

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the land of opportunity is offering a much leaner version of opportunity for those entering the work force today. The Bureau's Occupational Outlook Handbook lists what jobs are hot, and what jobs are not.

As you might expect in a nation with an enormous pre-retirement bubble, health-related careers dominate the hot jobs list. If you would like to make a living bathing, probing, cleaning the teeth or schlepping the bedpans of boomers, jobs should be plentiful. Unfortunately, the pay for most of these would put you soundly in the category of subprime loan candidates; in other words, scraping by.

The other area projected to provide opportunity is the computer industry, especially network systems geeks. These jobs will pay considerably better, but there is no reason to believe the pace of change in the industry will slow down, so buying into a career in this field probably means accepting ceaseless retraining and frequent job change.