A Guide to In-Demand Career Paths Post the Coronavirus Pandemic
Updated: Jun 29
The COVID-19 pandemic has largely left the United States workforce in a haze. Its detrimental effects can be seen in the slowing of the hospitality and travel industries as well as in the unemployment rate, which reached 13.3% in May 2020 - a 9.7% increase since May 2019. However, the United States is in recovery, and with the reopening of restaurants and hotels will also come the start of a new age within the workforce.
The United States workforce will need to adapt for the post-pandemic world. With recruitment and even some workplaces being shifted to largely remote and online platforms, the incoming working class must acclimate to these new technological realities. One of these realities is the changing demand in the job market.
The pandemic gave light to the shortcomings of the US economy as well as the importance of certain professions. Studies of career paths that were in demand pre-COVID-19 versus projections of careers that will continue to rise post-pandemic show a substantial change. A change that is important for the rising Gen-Z to analyze and consider before choosing a career path and perhaps even a college major.
Here is a brief overview of some professions that were largely in-demand before the coronavirus outbreak this Spring:
Application Software Developers design computer applications and programs. It typically requires an educational background in computer science and/or engineering with a bachelor’s degree, at a minimum.
Home Health Aides provide care to people with disabilities and/or illnesses from within their homes. Requirements include a High School diploma as well as completion of specific training programs.
Registered Nurses (RN) assist physicians in providing medical care to patients who are suffering from ill health. In order to become an RN, you must complete an Associate’s Degree in Nursing.
Operations Research Analysts use advanced mathematical techniques to provide statistical data that can assist in the decision-making process for businesses. Typically, it requires a bachelor’s degree, but higher-level positions may also require a master’s degree.
Although certain jobs remain crucial and in high demand, there has indeed been a shift in the job market. Here is a brief overview of some professions that are now and will continue to be largely in-demand:
The field of biomedical engineering has long been considered a crucial industry, mobilizing during natural disasters and public health crises, when supplies are most needed and yet in limited supply. Throughout this pandemic, bioengineers have been at the forefront of manufacturing the much-needed medical supplies such as ventilators, masks, gloves, etc. As the demand for these products will continue to increase, so will the demand for these crucial workers.
Physician Assistants provide medical care to patients both under the supervision of a Physician and oftentimes independently. They have been crucial health care workers during this Pandemic, and as Telemedicine services increase throughout the entire US, the need for PAs as well as general medical assistants will continue to increase alongside it.
Economists - whether working for the government, in the private sector, or in academia – analyze data regarding economic activity and trends in order to make projections. In order to reopen the US economy in an efficient and safe manner, economists will play an increasingly large role in directing economic policy as well as advising businesses.
Whether it be teaching jobs, general management, or school deans and administrators, jobs in the education sector are projected to be at the top of the post-pandemic in-demand career list. With the challenges posed to schools and universities this spring, the education sector as a whole has needed to adapt to an online platform, bringing light to the importance of all the employers within it. Not only did jobs within education remain one of the most stable during the pandemic, but they played a crucial role in ensuring the transition to online learning was smooth and equitable for all students.
The post pandemic world will be a rather new one, and the job market is no exception. So for all Gen-Z out there, COVID-19 has shaken the workforce and led to a great number of changes; it is important to understand these changes and adapt accordingly.