In this guest post, Founding Partner of Socialfix Media Terry Tateossian discusses job categories and occupations unaffected by COVID, and what types of opportunities jobseekers can find moving forward.
The global pandemic of 2020 created chaos and uncertainty for many people and businesses across the globe. As many retail stores, travel destinations, bars, and restaurants closed due to prolonged lockdowns, the need to reevaluate and reimagine traditional ways of business was more obvious than ever.
Innovation in every industry was heightened as people created solutions to provide products, services, entertainment, and education during an unprecedented shift in daily lives. As traditional “Main Street” businesses closed, online shopping surged. This trend opened possibilities for careers focused on providing medical services, essential workers, biotech services, medical supplies, digital services, logistics, shipping, coding, and graphic design to further expand and attract new talent. Many companies such as Amazon, Walmart, and Target announced new job openings and hiring opportunities.
Work from home and other remote career paths were highly sought-after and in demand as working remotely was deemed necessary and required during multiple and prolonged lockdowns. Companies that would previously not entertain allowing their workforce flexible hours and remote work, learned to adjust and pivot to a work-from-home model, seemingly overnight.
So what are some of the promising career paths to pursue and occupations unaffected by COVID? According to LinkedIn, the “most in-demand jobs during the coronavirus” included positions in the logistics, health care, and technology fields. Opportunities in education, construction, services, and accounting also made it in the top 10. Let’s review some of the career paths that experienced rapid demand during 2020 and beyond.
1. Technology & Web Developers
The demand for seasoned web and software developers has historically experienced steady growth over the past 10 years. However, this profession became even more important during the pandemic as more people relied on software and SaaS services during their daily lives. According to the 2020 Worldwide Developer Population and Demographic Study, the pandemic has led to an increase in available jobs and the addition of over 500,000 new jobs, reaching a total of 24.5 million jobs worldwide.
In addition, projected consumer behaviour will continue to follow COVID trends and continue shifting toward predominantly online shopping experiences.
Having a great digital product, whether that is a website, an e-commerce store or a SaaS solution, is no longer a ‘nice’ business strategy reserved for major retailers and big brands. It is a necessity for Main Street businesses as well. That means hair salons, laundromats and med spas. They all need to have a professionally designed website to interact with their customers in the post-COVID era.Terry Tateossian, Founder, Socialfix
As a result, major brands as well as local small businesses are recognizing the necessity of a well-crafted and reliable e-commerce website as an essential component of their business and marketing strategy and doubling up on talented web developers. That’s what makes it a top job category and occupation unaffected by COVID.
2. Digital Marketers
The digital marketing occupations encompass many different roles ranging from VP of Marketing to search engine optimization specialists. During the worldwide pandemic, professionals with fewer technical skills experienced a short setback while companies were looking to cut costs and save resources during the unforeseen and unprecedented COVID pandemic.
However, many brands are expanding and focusing on delivering creativity, innovation, and enhanced customer experiences through digital mediums. The future of work is bright for digital marketers looking to push past traditional limits and reimagine the way we interact with brands online.
Pre-COVID trends in remote work, e-commerce, and customer experience are accelerating and more people are taking steps toward entering a new field of work in digital marketing.
3. Copywriters & Content Strategists
Although occupations requiring physical proximity experienced the largest disruptions at work, content creators such as copywriters and content strategists were in high demand. With e-commerce trends growing two to five times faster than pre-pandemic, brands are requiring more content deemed as “unfiltered” or less-scripted. With most consumers experiencing worldwide lockdowns, the majority of brand enthusiasts spent most of their time shopping online, playing video games, or otherwise entertaining themselves. Digital natives were previously trending this consumer behavior. However, COVID dramatically increased the demand and volume of content.
Content creators, influencers, and copywriters are traditionally the type of professions that lend themselves to working remotely. From “How-To” videos to memes to short-form social media videos, the landscape for creating content is limitless both pre- and post-pandemic.
4. Social Media Marketers
Social media marketing involves the creation and management of brand reputation, content creation, and performance optimization via multiple social networks such as YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and others. The demand for talented and experienced social media managers prior to the pandemic accelerated during the lockdowns. Creativity skills that utilize engaging imagery, video content, and authentic community engagement will be highly valued going forward. Brands that pushed up their sleeves and met the demands of consumers by hiring the right employees to manage social media content during a major crisis will enjoy continued loyalty from their followers for years to come.
5. UX/UI Designers
To enhance the efforts of a company’s web developers, UX/UI designers work to improve the experience and interface of digital products such as cloud software, mobile apps, or websites. So what exactly do UX/UI designers do? Think of UX design as how a car drives, shifts gears or protects you in an accident and UI as the color and design of that car.
UX designers concentrate on the real users and their preferences and online browsing habits. With a record numbers of companies such as Google, Apple, Twitter, and others working remotely or offering more fully remote, partially remote, or remote-friendly jobs, UXers work is also rapidly changing.
According to an August 2020 Glassdoor report, the tech industry is seeing an overall increase in job postings — more than any other industry: Tech job openings increased 13.4 percent month-over-month. As we discussed above, the large increase is driven by shifting consumer behaviour and increased demand for e-commerce and other online services.
6. Telemedicine Professionals
In some industries, innovation is driven by necessity. Telemedicine is one of those industries. COVID forced the healthcare community to change how it approaches patient care during the pandemic. Before COVID, the barrier to adoption for telemedicine was focused around fear. Practitioners assumed technology would be unreliable or negatively impact their bottom line. But as COVID challenged many healthcare practices, they had to quickly adapt and provide alternative solutions to their patients.
Going forward, virtual visits for both inpatient care and others will continue to be an option for patients looking to manage and support a healthy lifestyle, manage their weight or adhere to medication. And even if another strain of the virus causes mass lockdowns, telemedicine is another occupation unaffected by COVID.
7. Online Educators & Tutors
The rise of online learning is another category that saw exponential increase during COVID-19. As schools and universities were forced to shutdown during the height of the pandemic, many educators and tutors turned to platforms like Zoom and Google Meet. Transitioning towards online education allowed both students and teachers to remain connected and advance their learning.
Researchers confirm there were a number of observed positive effects of online learning. It appears that online education leads to increased Information retention and results in less time needed to assimilate new information. The result seems to fare well for online educators and tutors beyond the pandemic years.
8. Personal Shoppers & Essential Delivery Workers
Altered shopping behavior among consumers opened an opportunity to companies focused on food and beverage delivery, personal shopping and other shipping and logistics occupations. To demonstrate the rapid growth in 2020, companies like Instacart and DoorDash experienced meteoric growth during the pandemic lockdowns of 2020.
As the new imposed lifestyle changes of staying home, eating at home, washing hands, and keeping social distance slowly settled in, the demand for delivery workers and personal shoppers rapidly affected the labor market.
The pandemic touched every part of people’s lives. And delivery apps rose to the challenge. During COVID, Instacart met consumer needs, and consumers responded by making Instacart an essential part of their daily lives. In the first half of 2020, Instacart saw a 500% increase in order volume and a 35% increase in average basket size. The Instacart network and operations grew as well:
- 10k+ new stores (40k total stores)
- 150+ new or expanded partners (500+ total retailers)
- 1,500+ new pickup locations
- 15x number of care agents
- 3x number of shoppers (500k+ total shoppers)
Mobile food delivery platforms are proving, once again, that the future is digital.
Grocery and retail stores remained competitive during the pandemic by offering shoppers the ability to grocery shop from the comfort of their homes without requiring a visit to their physical stores.
The trend towards ordering groceries and other essential items online is likely to continue post-COVID as the convenience and time savings will be hard for shoppers to forego going into the future.
How to Thrive Professionally by Landing a Job or Occupation Unaffected by COVID
“There probably isn’t a recession-proof career field,” Michelle Terrell, internships and workforce services director at Valencia College, told NPR for an article in April about entering the job market after college.
Yet one thing is certain. COVID sped up innovation and technology adoption in many industries that seemed to be historically lagging. The advance in digital consumer behavior resulted in one less employment requirement: physical proximity.
Employers are more prone towards welcoming remote workers. Business owners are realizing that having employees work from home is not something they should fear but should rather embrace in order to remain competitive. Web developers and UX designers, digital and social media marketers, copywriters and personal shoppers are only a few of the examples of occupations unaffected by the COVID pandemic.
Let’s all hope progress continues in the fight against the pandemic and we can all return to normal soon. Until then, hustle hard.
Terry Tateossian, Founding Partner of Socialfix Media, an 18 year-old digital marketing agency, is a fourth-generation entrepreneur who is recognized as an Inc. 5000 America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies, Forbes’ Top Women in Business, Fastest Growing Women Presidents by WPO, and 40 Under 40 Business Leaders by NJBIZ. Terry has been featured for outstanding leadership and career accomplishments in numerous industry publications as an engineer, a thought-leader in technology, and an innovator in the field of marketing. But her favorite and toughest earned title is being “Mom” to her 2 children.
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