Top 10 Careers

Top 10 Careers in Demand for 2021

2020 forced many of us to change aspects of our lives, including how we approach education, jobs, and career changes. Some industries were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and could be the last jobs to surge back when the economy recovers.

Conversely, the COVID-19 pandemic shed light on some of the most in-demand careers available. ER jobs increased by as much as 89% during the pandemic, according to a University of Chicago labor report. Another aspect of change concerned worker flexibility. It was not uncommon for nurses to travel further away from home to meet patients’ needs. Meanwhile, many workers found new workplaces at home. 

Pivoting continues into 2021. Whether you are looking to get back in the workforce, or have an understanding of the current job market, we hope our list of the top 10 careers in 2021 and HR expert advice can help you narrow your search.

The 10 Careers in Demand

Based on data compiled from LinkedIn and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs like nursing, construction, and education face good job prospects. In other instances, the pandemic created an additional need in industries like e-commerce, digital marketing, and mental health

For each job, we listed the general duties (though they can change based on your work environment and specialty). We also added the skills you want to acquire to make your transition into the job successful.

1. Nurse Practioners

Nurse Practitioners represent one of the fastest-growing occupations in the U.S. In hospital settings, their duties vary wildly, depending on the hospital or specialty. They carry out the first part of a physical examination, including taking your blood pressure and checking your weight. Nurse Practitioners also prescribe medications and schedule tests.

Skills:

  • Leadership, patient care, and critical thinking

Qualifications/Level of Education:

  • Graduate of an accredited school of nursing  
  • Obtain state licensing upon graduation 

Salary Range:

  • $76,874-$142,766

2. Business Development Officers

Business Development Officers are integral in maintaining relationships with company stakeholders. They can also be responsible for analyzing past financial performance and making recommendations for improvement.

Skills:

  • Negotiation, business analysis, and communication

Qualifications/Level of Education:

Salary Range:

  • $62,128-$75,443

3. Digital Marketing Professionals

Digital Marketing Professionals leverage brand assets like websites and social media pages to gain brand recognition and increase leads. Accomplishing this can take many forms, from email marketing to social media campaigns to crafting sales reports. Digital Marketers must abide by brand guidelines when creating campaigns. 

Skills:

  • Analytics, website development, SEO writing

Qualifications/Level of Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing
  • Experience in SEO content writing, social media, or email marketing
  • A portfolio showcasing work on campaigns and their impact

Salary Range:

  • $50,099-$93,041

4. Data Scientists

Data Scientists help companies and organizations make sense of the data they receive. They can analyze numbers to forecast trends, make recommendations, and design data-gathering machines. 

Skills:

  • Programming, data manipulation, and analysis, data visualization 

Qualifications/Level of Education:

  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in data science 
  • Have experience coding (Python, R, SQL)
  • Knowledge of machine learning techniques

Salary Range:

  • $58,700-$89,100

5. E-Commerce Workers

While duties can vary by company, E-Commerce Workers are the face of the organization. They are the ones with direct contact with customers via email, phone, and live chat. They can also be responsible for building and maintaining online marketplaces, processing orders, diagnosing issues about an order, and much more. 

Skills:

  • Customer service, strong problem-solving, the ability to multitask and prioritize 

Qualifications/Level of Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing
  • SEO experience 

Salary Range:

  • $26,276-$48,796

6. Loan and Mortgage Experts

Loan and Mortgage Experts guide customers through the process of obtaining a loan or mortgage. This often involves answering any questions the customer has, directing them to other resources the financial organization offers, and more. In some cases, they might also be the ones deciding on whether the loan receives approval. 

Skills:

  • Risk management, customer service, and attention to detail 

Qualifications/Level of Education:

Salary Range:

  • $75,209-$99,323

7. Workplace Diversity Experts

Experts in Workplace Diversity cultivate an environment of legal compliance and employee engagement. To achieve this, they will implement diversity initiatives that impact hiring, retention, and innovation. Their training tends to be ongoing to keep up with successful workplace practices. 

Skills:

  • Policy and procedure writing, cross-cultural communication, and inclusive management 

Qualifications/Level of Education:

  • At least a bachelor’s degree in human resources, social sciences, or other related fields
  • Continuing education through workshops
  • Experience volunteering with multicultural organizations

Salary Range:

  • $41,011-$76,161

8. Construction Managers

Construction Managers ensure projects run smoothly and meet their completion goals. They manage all aspects of construction, create timetables for completion, and work with supervisors, contractors, and suppliers to troubleshoot any problems. 

Skills:

  • Organization, team management, and risk management 

Qualifications/Level of Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, or building sciences 
  • On-the-job experience

Salary Range:

  • $66,682-$123,838

9. Mental Health Specialists

Mental health professionals counsel patients to improve their mental health, discover healthy coping techniques, or manage mental health illnesses. They’re often employed in a variety of healthcare facilities and can leverage both counseling and social working skills.

Skills:

  • Compassion and empathy, ability to diagnose, and critical thinking 

Qualifications/Level of Education:

Salary Range:

  • $34,234 -$63,576

10. Speech-Language Pathologists 

Speech Pathologists evaluate, diagnose and treat people with language, speech, or swallowing disorders. These professionals are trained to handle a wide range of communication issues and design activities based on speech-language therapy.  

Skills:

  • Detail-oriented, listening skills, and compassion 

Qualifications/Level of Education:

  • Master’s in speech-language pathology
  • A state license (a license is required in most states) 
  • Clinical experience 
  • Speech-language pathology certificate (some employers prefer candidates to acquire either a clinical or an Association certificate ) 

Salary Range:

  • $61,940-$99,380
Careers Salary Range Top Job Titles
Nurses $76,874-$142,766 Registered Nurse, Nurse Practitioner
Business Development Officers $62,128-$75,443 Business Development Executive/Officer
Digital Marketing Professionals $50,099-$93,041 Marketing Specialist, Creative Director, Graphic Designer 
Data Scientists $58,700-$89,100 Data Scientist 
E-commerce Workers $26,726-$48,796 Customer Service Representative, Content Writer
Loan and Mortgage Experts $75,209-$99,323 Loan Officer, Mortgage Officer, Loan Underwriter
Workplace Diversity Experts $41,011-$76,161 Diversity Expert, D& I Specialist
Construction Managers $66,682-$123,838 Project Manager, General Contractor 
Mental Health Specialists $34,234-$63,576 Therapist, Social Worker
Speech-Language Pathologists  $61,940-$99,380 Speech-Language Pathologist 

Sources: LinkedIn’s Jobs on the Rise Report, Labor Department Bureau of Labor Statistics  

Tips from the Experts 

Along with learning which careers are in-demand, having expert guidance from those responsible for making hiring decisions can make all the difference. 

Focus on the important skills

Emma Liebmann, VP of People Operations for Collage.com, recommends students focus on one skill when gaining experience and education.  “Project management is a stand-out skill. If you can manage a project successfully, it likely means you are good at problem-solving, stakeholder management, persuasion, and thriving in high-pressure situations as well as other leadership abilities. These are all skills that will stand out to employers because they signify that someone can get things done.”

Spruce up your resume

Another skill to acquire is the art of selling yourself to recruiters. When creating your resume, “be able to summarize your experience is equally important,” states Glen Loveland, a talent acquisition consultant for CGTN. “Putting a summary section on a resume or a bulleted list of what you bring to the table will help a recruiter quickly assess who you are.” 

Make sure to triple-check your resume for any grammatical errors, as one can give the recruiter the wrong impression. Also, attempt to hook the reader from the beginning. Dimitris Tsapis, the HR manager at Retail CRM Cloud adds, “Do not write basic and boring intros. Get right to the point. You do not need to tell your life story and all of the details about your education and what you know. It’s better to go with telling how exactly you can be an asset to the company.”

Highlight your future contributions 

You also want to leverage your experience to show you can acclimate to what employers want in a candidate. With remote work becoming a more practical reality for some companies, and with many students learning remotely during the pandemic, it creates the perfect match. “It means employers will now be looking for candidates with skills and strengths that apply to remote work, which can be different from those needed for an in-office setting,” remarks Liebmann. “The ability to work independently without oversight or strong written communication skills needed for asynchronous communication.”

And when you land the interview, you must acquire another art: differentiating yourself from others. “The strongest interviews feel more like conversations, with the candidate listening attentively and providing a response that’s both true and tailored to the specific question,” adds Jon Hill, chairman, and CEO of The Energist, who also possesses 25 years of recruiting experience.  When the candidate has a chance to inquire about a company, Hill advises, “Asking questions about the work environment, culture, and values to gauge how well they’ll fit at the company. It demonstrates confidence and self-awareness that in turn make me feel more comfortable about offering that candidate a position.”

Choosing a career during the Covid-19 pandemic  

Many of these skills translate to a successful career whether you want to be a nurse, construction manager, or digital marketer. Ultimately, we hope that having this information will assist you in the job prospecting process. 

As you navigate the job market and industries witnessing job growth, remember to keep an open mind. During an economic downturn, focus on what you can control: networking, improving your skills, and polishing your resume. This way you can lay the groundwork now and be equipped for when the economy reaches better levels of normalcy again.

Read more:

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How Valuable Is Having an Advance Degree in Today’s Job Market?

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