Recession-Proof Jobs in 2008 Larry Buhl, for Yahoo! HotJobsPrint Email IM Bookmark del.icio.us Digg A steady stream of discouraging economic news is bringing with it talk of the dreaded "R" word. Economists at Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley say the U.S. is heading for its first-blown recession in 16 years, and a recent CNN poll found that 57 percent of the public believe the U.S. is in a recession already, with the economy topping the list of voter's worries. A recession could hit some job-seekers hard. "A lot of people won't have the luxury of going for their first choice in a down economy," said Sophia Koropeckyj, an economist at Moody's Economy.com. However, many employment sectors are expected to remain strong despite a possible recession, and job-seekers may have more success if they focus on recession-proof professions. The Bright Spots John Challenger, CEO of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, told Yahoo! HotJobs that careers in the following fields may offer a good chance of weathering a storm this year. * Education. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has historically shown teaching to be relatively recession-proof. But demographics are important: High-growth areas like the Sun Belt offer much better prospects than the Rust Belt. * Energy. "This is a major issue for the global economy, and jobs related to oil and gas, alternative energy and even nuclear are likely to see strong growth," Challenger said. * Health care. Almost half the 30 fastest growing occupations are concentrated in health services -- including medical assistants, physical therapists, physician assistants, home health aides, and medical records and health information technicians -- according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. * International business. "If you have a strong knowledge of other cultures, and an ability to work in another country, you'll find plenty of opportunities," according to John Challenger. "If you're first generation Chinese, with business skills and Chinese language skills, you're in good shape. * Environmental sector. There is a huge and growing industry geared to combat global warming. "Not only will professionals with skills in sustainability issues be in demand through the end of the decade, we are likely to shortages of professionals with 'green' skills," said Rona Fried, president of sustainablebusiness.com, a networking service for sustainable businesses. * Security. "Crime doesn't stop during a recession, and police officers, port security specialists and international security experts will continue to be in demand," Challenger emphasized. Other Sectors Feel the Slump Koropeckyj and other economists agree that many troubled industries will feel the pain from the deflating housing bubble. "The housing slump will touch anything related to housing, from real estate to investment banks, to engineering and architecture," Koropeckyj said. Though public sector jobs grew at a fast clip in the last five years, state and local government jobs are likely to slow as home values, and, consequently, tax revenues, sink. The housing slump could even extend to industries dependent on discretionary spending, like restaurants and retail, she indicated. Manufacturing, too, long in dire need of an upswing, is likely to keep waiting for one through 2008, Koropeckyj said.