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A Look Into In-Demand Jobs During the Pandemic

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Over 13 million Americans were reported unemployed last month, marking a 7.8 million increase since February. It’s not difficult to see how this bleak figure came to be. With a pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns sweeping countries worldwide, a recession was just another crisis that was waiting to happen. As millions struggle to weather this pandemic-induced economic upheaval, some careers have emerged as possible one-way tickets to financial security. 

Sales

Rising to the top of the list is the ever-pervasive profession of sales. Contrary to popular opinion, sales is the oldest profession in the world. Think about it: In the beginning, there was a serpent that sold a (forbidden) apple to Eve, who then (unwittingly) sold it to Adam. Of course, we all know how that transaction went down (hint: eternal damnation). But the point is, sales is something we cannot do without. 

Even the economy’s transition to tech has not stopped the advent of sales. If anything, sales permeated the tech industry thus giving rise to Software-as-a-Service or software sales. A career in software sales typically starts with software sales development representatives (SDRs) who, on average, earn somewhere between $48,000 to $65,000 annually. 

With the pandemic forcing us to work from home, sales—a career that’s most definitely not restricted to the office—has become one of the optimal choices. 

Software Engineering

Engineering is perhaps in the same league with sales in the sense that both professions, despite being in the game for years running, are still witnessing tremendous growth across the job board. In a report released by LinkedIn late last year titled “2020 Emerging Jobs in the US Report”, 50 percent of the list was made up of engineering-based roles. In the same way that sales has filtered through the tech industry, so has engineering through the field of Software Engineering

Software engineering is one of the indispensable jobs in the IT board, backed by the ubiquity of software in the market. Almost every industry uses software which was developed by—you guessed it—software engineers. It’s this demand for them that makes the career so well-renumerated, recording a median BLS salary of $105,590. There’s no point in going round and round to stress the importance of this profession. Just know that the demand for it is not about to wane anytime soon.  

Data Science 

The role of the data scientist was once dubbed as the “sexiest job of the decade”. Years later, this title still rings true. With the field maturing so rapidly, a final consensus on data science’s formal definition is yet to be made but it is, in general, the extraction of concrete and actionable insights from massive unstructured datasets. 

Expounding on this, data science has a five-stage life cycle consisting of:

Capture: data acquisition, data entry, signal reception, and data extraction

  1. Maintain: data warehousing, data cleansing, data staging, data processing, and data architecture
  2. Process: data mining, clustering/classification, data modeling, and data summarization
  3. Analyze: exploratory/confirmatory, predictive analysis, regression, text mining, and qualitative analysis
  4. Communicate: data reporting, data visualization, business intelligence, and decision making

Effective data scientists then are those who can identify relevant problems, gather and sift through lakes of continuously streaming data, understand and glean insights from these, and prescribe action in a way that adds value to stakeholders.

With the race to fill the pipeline at full tilt, colleges and universities have been scrambling to get ahead, having launched degrees in data science only recently. However, most of these are only offered at the graduate level, out of reach for those who can’t even afford a bachelor’s degree. 

To help get data science education off the ground faster, short-term programs that offer certifications or immersive training have stepped in, thus allowing aspirants to break into the industry, whichever stage they may be in their career. Among these are data science bootcamps

It’s the Digital Era 

With the list above, it’s easy to spot the pattern: the key to job security lies in tech. And is that really surprising? The emergence of the pandemic gave way to the fast-tracked adoption of tech across industries. But this digital disruption has already been in the works over the years. Now, those in the industry are reaping the benefits. It’s not too late to join them. 


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