2020 forced many of us to change aspects of our lives. It included how we approached education, as well as job searchers 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 7 careers in 2021 and HR expert advice can help you narrow your search.

The 7 Careers in Demand

Based on data compiled from LinkedIn and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs like nursing, construction (depending on where you live), and education face good job prospects. In other instances, the pandemic created an additional need in industries like e-commerce and digital marketing with more people conducting their shopping online. While the strain of the pandemic has created a large need for mental health specialists.

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. Nurses

Nurse practitioners represent one of the fastest-growing occupations in the U.S. They will do the first part of a physical examination like take your blood pressure, check your weight, and much more. In hospital settings, their duties vary wildly, depending on the hospital or specialty. Nurse practitioners prescribe medications and schedule tests. If you have leadership skills and critical thinking, this may be the career for you.

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. While there are many facets of the business world to get involved in, if you are someone who is analytical and a strong communicator or negotiator, you may want to consider being a development officer.

Qualifications/Level of Education:

Salary Range:

  • $62,128-$75,443

3. Digital Marketing Professionals

They leverage brand assets like its website and social media 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. We all know that the digital space is integral in the success of the majority of businesses, so why not apply your skills to this growing and in-demand field?

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 Science Specialists

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. While it is not for everyone, if your skill set includes programming, data manipulation and data visualization, this would be the career for you.

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. Frontline E-commerce Workers

While duties can vary by company, these 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. The main skills you may want in this career field are customer service, strong problem-solving, and the ability to multitask.

Qualifications/Level of Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing
  • SEO experience

Salary Range:

  • $26,276-$48,796

6. Experts in Workplace Diversity

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. This field has greatly gained importance and demand, so if you have strong communication skills and inclusive management style, this could be a rewarding career path for you.

Qualifications/Level of Education:

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

Salary Range:

  • $41,011-$76,161

7. Mental Health Specialists

These professionals counsel patients who want to improve their mental health, discover healthy coping techniques, or work to overcome mental health illnesses. They’re often employed in a variety of healthcare facilities and can leverage both counseling and social working skills. Launch your career in this field by applying your compassion, empathy, and critical thinking skills.

Qualifications/Level of Education:

Salary Range:

  • $34,234 -$63,576

Choosing a career during the Covid-19 pandemic 

Many of these skills translate to a successful career whether you want to be a nurse, E-Commerce worker, or work as a 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.