After a sobering and difficult year for U.S. workers, the economy still has 10 million fewer jobs than before the pandemic began.
And while 2021 holds the promise of vaccinations and the return to something akin to “normal,” for those who have lost their jobs or have been furloughed – and even those who are working through the pandemic (as evidenced here and here and here) – COVID-19 is forcing many to consider changing careers.
While “changing careers” might seem a frightening prospect, the average person will do so five to seven times in their lifetime, with 30 percent of the workforce changing jobs or careers every 12 months and nearly half of all workers making a “dramatic” career switch.
Bridging the Tech Skills Gap
Most job seekers (including recent college graduates) are unaware of and unprepared for the increasingly technological demands of jobs in almost every career—from project management to healthcare. Coupled with an economic recession, high unemployment rates, and a worldwide pandemic, the prospects of landing a high paying job — or your dream career — amidst the sea of applicants can likely feel daunting.
An IBM report, Strategies for Building and Maintaining a Strong Workforce, found that more than 120 million workers across the world’s 12 largest economies may need to be retrained in the coming years, but only 41 percent of CEOs say they hold the skills necessary to drive business.
Recognizing the technology gap between available market skills and the demands of the job market, the University of Vermont Continuing and Distance Education recently launched its Center for Leadership and Innovation, offering individuals and organizations a variety of programs and self-paced courses to prepare participants for career change or advancement in high demand areas, including actuarial science, cybersecurity, digital marketing, and computer science – many of which have been singled out on LinkedIn’s recent list of top 10 jobs that had the highest number of available positions – have experienced steady growth over the last four years, pay a livable wage, and require skills that you can learn online.
Digital Marketing Career Opportunities
Erik Harbison, lead instructor of UVM’s top-ranked Digital Marketing Fundamentals Professional Certificate, noted that he’s seen that demand for digital marketers reflected in his (virtual) classroom.
“People, whether directly or indirectly, they’re shifting from their industry A into marketing as an option because they’ve done the research and they google and ask, What’s a great career in 2021 and digital marketing is on that list,” Harbison said. “Not everyone, but most people have some familiarity with social media, so that’s the tip of the spear to get people interested, but then the other surprising factor is realizing that the supply of marketing opportunity – no matter what your level is – has not really been grossly impacted because some businesses know they need to be online for the first time or they need to be online in a more strategic wat. So the supply is there, and the marketplace for digital marketers continues to grow.”
Opportunities in Healthcare
According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in healthcare professions is expected to grow 15 percent from 2019 to 2029 – much faster than the average for all other occupations.
Hot jobs in healthcare include speech pathologists, as early identification, bilingualism, and the demand for direct and contract services contributing to high demand, as well as medical and health services managers, with a (staggering) projected growth of 32 percent, and health and wellness coaches.
If you like science and current issues and you want to solve problems and make a difference, then consider the ever-evolving field of public health, a field very much in the public eye since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. You’ll work on implementing prevention measures, promoting healthy behaviors, and researching global and community health. The field spans a variety of academic disciplines and professions, from epidemiology and biostatistics to environmental public health and health policy.
The three fastest growing jobs in public health include:
- Biostatisticians, who gather data and oversee surveys.
- Epidemiologists, who work in health departments, universities, laboratories and out in the field, collecting samples, conducting interviews and laboratory analysis, and analyzing data.
- Global health professionals, who work with organizations and agencies dealing with disaster relief, immigrant/refugee health, maternal and child health, bioterrorism, disease prevention and more.
Build Critical Thinking and Team Dynamic Skills
Looking for concise, affordable, and self-paced courses? Through a partnership with MindEdge, Inc., UVM Continuing and Distance Education is pleased to offer a number of options designed to help you enhance your credentials, earn professional credits, or explore an area of career interest while balancing the demands of your busy life.
If you’re undecided about the direction you’d like your career to go or simply interested in exploring other options, UVM and MindEdge, Inc., offer three free online courses through March 31st.
Browse all of the MindEdge/UVM offerings.
Learn more about UVM’s Center for Leadership & Innovation.
Explore Public Health at UVM.