Population spikes to fuel veterinary jobs - DVM
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Population spikes to fuel veterinary jobs
Employment data show healthy jobs markets in southern, western states


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports an expected 13,000 annual openings for new graduates, while only 12,700 possible qualified individuals enter the job market each year. (See "In Public Trust".)

Table 5: Most populated cities
"The work force that is in public health is starting to retire at pretty high rates, so we need to ensure students who are in veterinary school and younger are turned on to other things that veterinarians do (besides private practice)," says Nina Marano, DVM, MPH, Dipl. ACVPM, associate director of veterinary public health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Infectious Disease. "The shortages that are projected over the coming years are not only to fill current spots, but because of the growth in the need for public health positions, too."

While avian flu, SARS, bovine spongiform encephalopathy and West Nile virus continue to make worldwide headlines, veterinary positions in infectious disease and food production will continue to grow, experts say.

"Scientists, engineers, veterinarians and technical specialists likely will account for about 25 percent of all projected jobs for college graduates in food, agriculture and natural resources system," according to a USDA career outlook report.

Table 6: Top 20 states with the highest average annual veterinary job openings
The most opportunities exist in precision agriculture, functional genomics, bioinformatics, forest science, plant and animal breeding, biomaterials engineering, food-quality assurance, nanotechnology, animal health and well-being, nutraceuticals development and environmental science, the report says.

"Colleges offering programs in veterinary medicine and in agriculture and natural resources will graduate between 55 percent to 60 percent of the qualified applicants for these positions," USDA adds.

Table 7: Fastest growing states (by numbers)
USDA employs roughly 1,000 of the 2,400 veterinarians currently working in public health positions (640 at APHIS). Its Food Safety Inspection Service division expects to have about 500 positions open during the next five years.

"Veterinarians are in a unique position to fill these roles because they are well suited to address problems in health management and preparedness," CDC's Marano says. "The education that we get in veterinary school is based on population, and the recommendations that they make are going to preserve the health of the rest of the populations."

Interest might be catching up with demand.

Table 8: Fastest growing large cities*
About 300 students from 28 North American veterinary colleges participated in a CDC career day in January to learn more about opportunities in public health.

"We were overwhelmed by the response," Marano says. "It is a good time to consider this because with the unique training that veterinarians have, they are well suited to face problems with health preparedness, and they can rise to the very top of many of these organizations."


Source: DVM360 MAGAZINE,
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