Few of us enter the workforce expecting to work forever – but it turns out some professions are more conducive to the long term than others. The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College released a study on the topic this spring. Overall, the study found that some skills last until retirement age, and some don’t.
Investopedia.com wrote about the center’s findings, saying skills for some careers fade as we age.
The Center for Retirement Research studied white collar and blue collar jobs alike, and the human skill set diminished in both sectors. However, when it comes to careers with the best longevity, writing and math fared well, truck driving did not.
The researchers developed a “Susceptibility Index.” This “measures how likely the physical and cognitive abilities required by an occupation are to decline during the working years. On the high end of the list included airline pilots, jewelers, maids, and housekeepers. In addition, truck drivers, oral surgeons, kindergarten teachers, photographers, and licensed practical nurses made the list.
Some of these careers cut short due to physical limitations.
Those may include the loss of fine motor skills rather than an overall decease in mobility; jewelers and oral surgeons need steady hands and precise movements. Still others – such as truck drivers and airline pilots – may need a combination of long attention spans and the ability to sit still for many hours at a stretch.
Alternately, the study found, “crystallized” cognitive skills such as vocabulary tend to last well into a person’s 60s and 70s, meaning that oral and written comprehension and math skills can last throughout a career.
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