The COVID-19 pandemic made a profound impact on all phases of life, not of the least of which has been the job market. The initial weeks and months of the pandemic created exponential job loss in the United States, from which a slow correction is underway.
While society gradually moves toward some normalcy, certain changes brought on by the pandemic will remain — including some on the labor market.
The concept of essential jobs has been front-and-center since the nation closed down in March 2020. Certainly the vital services of healthcare workers cannot be honored enough, and the importance of careers outside of the medical industry has taken on greater prominence. Some of these careers will remain vital in new ways well after the pandemic runs its course.
For example, while millions were unable to visit local stores for essential products in the early phases of the pandemic, those goods were still needed. Workers in the shipping and transportation industry were vital to keeping life going.
Consumers were already trending toward using more online shopping before COVID-19, but the pandemic accelerated that course. Careers in both the public-facing portion demonstrated their usefulness, as did those behind the scenes.
Ensuring orders were fulfilled and product demands met, Logisticians played a critical part in distribution during the crisis. With the already prevalent trend of online shopping and an evolving distribution model, Logistician is one essential job from the pandemic with upside in the foreseeable future.
Although COVID-19 furthered along an ongoing trend in retail, it created new trends in other industries. Advancements in telecommunications made remote work possible during quarantine, and according to a Harvard Business School study, at least 16% of employers intend to keep work-from-home options after the pandemic.
With an increase in business being conducted online, internet infrastructure built to keep up is vital. Network and Systems Administrators fill this essential role. And as far as ensuring the safety of transactions and correspondences made online, Information Security Analyst, a career already on a steady climb pre-pandemic, should see even more opportunities post-pandemic.
At the forefront of the entire battle against COVID-19 were healthcare workers. Healthcare had already proven itself recession-proof during the economic downturn from 2008 through 2011, seeing industry-wide gains over the course of the Great Recession.
While COVID-19 specific demand will drop commensurate with dissipation of the virus, healthcare as an industry will remain one of the fastest growing in the American economy.
Respiratory Therapist was projected at 19% growth before COVID-19, so this highly important field will continue to hire and offer substantial pay in the future. Expect similar, continued growth opportunities for Radiologic and MRI Technologists.
And of the most significant changes we can expect to day-to-day life, more social awareness of best health practices may be among the most noticeable. Careers in Occupational and Health Safety should see greater demand and command solid wages in the post-pandemic world.