We are experiencing what many call the “new normal”. But while great uncertainty looms, there are also ample opportunities for those ready to reevaluate their career goals. With the tech industry currently demonstrating maximum job safety, now may be the perfect time to consider a move.
The spread of COVID-19 means the world now looks like a very different place. Businesses have shut down or shut down, people have been ordered to stay home, and activities, such as eating out or taking a vacation, are a thing of the past.
For many, however, the most worrying aspect of the crisis has been the economic one. Over the next three months, more than 11 million people in the UK alone could end up being made redundant or unemployed. And, according to the International Labor Organization, full and partial lockdown measures are affecting nearly 2.7 billion workers around the world. They are four out of five of the entire world workforce.
But while uncertain times lie ahead, there are also ample opportunities for change, particularly when it comes to your career.
Do you find yourself laid off or out of work due to the pandemic? So, one of the best things you can do is take advantage of the free time you now have to plan a career move. And with IT and technology jobs still in high demand, there’s never been a better time to design a new course for your career.
Here’s how you can start planning your career change.
How do I plan my career goals?
With well-paid positions continuing to be created now and in the long run, especially in the digital and IT industries, it’s a great time to rethink your career goals.
With more time available, you will want to be clear about what those goals and objectives are. Here are some tips to get you started and some questions to ask yourself:
Take stock of your current skills: what are my main strengths and skills? Which of these can I take advantage of to make my transition or climb easier? Imagine where you would like to be in 5 or 10 years – Where do I live? What have I achieved with my career trajectory? Think about your lifestyle: what lifestyle do I want? What jobs or types of jobs could support this lifestyle? What salary level could support this lifestyle? Clarify the impact you would like to have: what impact would I like to have with my work? What kind of work do I enjoy doing? What challenges do I enjoy taking on? Understand what skills and experience you will need to get there – What new skills do I need to develop? What skills and competences will open the doors I want?
While these questions can help you reflect on what you would like to do, it is also important to do some research on your potential new career path. Talking to friends or family members working in that industry, attending industry events such as free lectures and webinars, and reading a bit about your chosen subject area can help you make a confident decision.
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The IT and technology sectors are demonstrating resilience
While the effects of this crisis are universally felt, some sectors are showing signs of resilience. Chief among these is IT, or information technology.
According to the latest Business Impact of Covid-19 Survey (BICS), sectors such as food and hospitality and art and entertainment are seeing redundancies of up to 40-50%. Information, communication and technical activities, on the other hand, have fired less than 15% of workers.
It’s easy to see why. Technology is playing a vital role in fighting the virus and supporting us throughout the blockade. And it’s not just for now. The tech industry is currently thriving and is a great source of job security, which continues to fuel the demand for technical skills in areas such as coding and cybersecurity.
What roles will job security offer me?
If you’re interested in a career in technology but wonder which roles and industries offer the most job security, here are 3 career paths to consider:
With the majority of business and social interactions taking place online, cyber attacks are on the rise. According to an ISACA study, over 60% of businesses surveyed were concerned about cybercriminals targeting their systems, particularly during this pandemic. This makes online security and data protection a high priority for both businesses and individuals.
All of this makes cybersecurity a profitable career path. And, with hackers and phishers getting smarter and smarter by the day, you can rest assured that roles in this area won’t go away for long.
As more and more of our time is spent online socializing, shopping and conducting business, we will need the websites and applications to support it. Software developers design, create and maintain these environments for us.
In fact, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that demand for software and application developers will increase by 25% over the next decade.
The needs of this type of role are creative, not just technical, and it is often the case that no two days are alike. All of this makes programming an exciting and varied field to get stuck in and a great long-term career path.
IT project management
As technical roles and projects continue to fuel high demand, companies are also recognizing the importance of coordinating the people involved. Therefore, leadership and management skills for highly technical projects will continue to be needed to ensure success and a good return on ROI for companies.
A role in digital project management is perfect for those who enjoy the challenge of leading and coordinating teams and making sure project goals and delivery are met within time and budget. Those with keen technological knowledge and skills can earn even higher wages.