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Pandemic Proof Careers

Pandemic Proof Careers – Best IT Jobs

No one can really predict to what extent the coronavirus pandemic will affect our nation's economy. With the virus a constant threat and no sign of it disappearing any time soon, it may be time to turn towards a "pandemic proof" career. Statistics show that some jobs are more recession-proof than others and that we might be saying goodbye to some on the cusp of extinction. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 29% of jobs would be suitable for work from home scenarios. Other research and surveys say this number could be closer to 40%. Using ONET and OES data, the BLS estimates that 63% of U.S. jobs require significant onsite presence and that the remaining 37% can be performed entirely at home or remotely. Making the transition towards pandemic proof / recession proof jobs can be daunting, but in a world that faces uncertainty, it might be the best move for students.

Choosing a Pandemic or Recession Proof Job

The 63% of jobs that have been most affected by the pandemic are primarily in the hospitality, arts, recreation, and entertainment sectors. A lot of these occupations are unlikely to make a rapid return as COVID-19 lingers and even re-surfaces in some areas for a second wave. E-commerce, tech, medicine, manufacturing, delivery drivers, and trade jobs have, for the most part, seen growth since the beginning of the pandemic.

Job Sectors that Survived (or Thrived) During the Pandemic

  • Software development and technology – the pandemic is actually driving demand since companies use cloud computing and technology to help businesses and individuals adjust.
  • Informational technology – as a growth industry, and because of the demand to stay connected, IT is relied upon for cloud computing, cybersecurity, and a range of other tasks.
  • Engineering – most fields of engineering including aerospace, electrical, automation, civil, and mechanical don’t see job loss, especially when they have contracts with the government.
  • Teaching – including tutors and a new wave of teachers offering virtual services.
  • Healthcare positions – therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and related workers stay in strong demand during recessions due to the psychological toll a recession can have on a person.
  • Judiciary Workers – those involved in working in the criminal and civil courts typically does not see drops during a recession. The COVID-19 pandemic created an exception with court proceedings pausing due to the public health crisis.
  • E-commerce marketing – certain sectors in e-commerce saw huge growth while others saw diminishing returns. Marketers that can provide results during difficult times or curb declines won’t see much job loss.

Some technology careers, including computer occupations, are expected to grow 12% from 2018 to 2028, while specific tech jobs could see growth as high as 32%. People working in tech jobs are among those most likely to be allowed to work from home, offering a significant advantage of stability during recessions, pandemics, or other catastrophes. A joint CNBC and Change Research survey found that 42% of respondents said they were now working from home, a huge increase from the 9% of respondents who worked from home before the pandemic. Since networks, databases and websites still need to operate world-wide, IT workers tend to stay in demand, making the best IT careers also some of the best recession-proof jobs to look into.

With big shifts towards remote work, a future-proof career will most likely include positions that have flexibility within stable industries. Technology careers encompass a wide range of fields and are even integrated into most niche industries. These jobs aren't limited to endless hours of mind-numbing screen time; there are technology jobs that include research, development, and creativity across industries as far apart as entertainment and agriculture. The BLS predicts that IT positions will continue to grow due to the emphasis on cloud computing, information security, and the collection and storage of big data.

Let's explore some of the exciting opportunities out there.

Highest Paying Tech Jobs

  • Computer and IT scientists - $122,840 per year
  • Computer network or cloud architects - $112,690
  • Computer systems engineers - $90,920
  • Computer system analysts - $93,610
  • Database administrators - $93,760
  • Information security analysts - $99,730
  • Network security - $99,730
  • Software developers - $107,510
  • Web developers - $75,580

Some of these positions don't even require a bachelor's degree! With online courses and even some free training, it's easy to test the waters and determine your interest in a technology-related career that has shown stability accompanied with a pretty decent paycheck.

The highest paying tech jobs aren't necessarily the ones that show the most growth, however. Below are careers that are predicted to show an above average demand for new talent.

Fastest Growing IT Jobs

Looking to get your foot in the door within an industry that is showing steady growth? Some of these IT jobs are in demand and show great promise for the future.

  • Cloud Architect or Systems Engineer – These positions slightly differ in that cloud architects design cloud-based systems while engineers have a wider role looking at the infrastructure as a whole and often know programming and computer languages.
  • Software Developer – This position creates the applications or systems that run on a computer, mobile device, tablet, or similar devices. They focus on designing, programming, monitoring, and evaluating the software they create.
  • Data Analyst, Scientist, Engineer – These three positions are entwined but focus on different actionable intentions using data. Analysts summarize data and engineers are responsible for maintenance and development, while a scientist uses data and machine learning to predict insights.
  • Network Security Professional – Protecting online data from being compromised and safeguarding networks and files for companies and organizations are the main roles of this career. With the increase in cyberattacks, these jobs are likely to have long, stable futures with top CIOs making over $200,000 per year.
  • AI Architect – Working with machine learning, natural language processing, programming, integration, and the implementation of AI are the major job roles for an AI Architect. By the end of the 2020s, AI is expected be a part of everyday life, from interacting with you on your smart device to protecting your bank account. Starting salaries are around $143,000 and typically require a master's degree and experience in data analytics, working with big data, and computer science.
  • Systems Administrator – The crux of this job revolves around fixing computer server problems. Sys Admins work with installing and overseeing computer systems and related equipment for companies and organizations.

Looking to combine a tech job within a certain industry? These industries are showing growth for tech jobs and happen to offer some of the highest paying IT jobs:

  • Financial Services
  • Transportation
  • Healthcare
  • Energy/Utilities
  • Aerospace
  • Defense & Government
  • Manufacturing

Finding a pandemic-proof / recession-proof job within a desired industry can seem limiting, but also offers a range of benefits that can include better insurance, more flexibility, and stronger pension options. Luckily, some of the fastest growing IT jobs also fall into the highest paying IT jobs category. Although some may require a bit more schooling and experience up front, starting in the tech industry now could pay off in a big way in a few years. Now is the perfect time to test the waters, improve your skills, and dive into a rewarding career that has already proved to be pandemic proof. For recent graduates, check out some of the best cities for IT grads to find out where you might find the best IT jobs paired with ideal living costs. Now is the perfect time to test the waters, improve your skills, and dive into a rewarding career that has already proved to be pandemic proof.

Additional Learning Center Resources