Amidst a new year approaching, the country is grappling with rising COVID-19 cases and worker shortages, predicting the future of work in 2021 is different than ever before. While the October jobs report shows employment numbers slowly clawing their way back up from the historic decrease of the spring, some sectors are expected to lose what jobs they’ve gained. However, the impact of the pandemic is also expected to influence what jobs are in-demand throughout the next year – and perhaps the next decade. What roles will be most needed in 2021 and how can you prepare to meet that demand? Here’s what you should know.
The top healthcare jobs for 2021
Healthcare is a priority, especially when dealing with a pandemic coupled with the traditional flu season. As COVID cases rise throughout the winter, the need for trained and skilled workers in a variety of health-centric positions will be vital to slowing the spread and keeping care available for those who need it. Even further, the pandemic has created new roles, or increased the need for previously underutilized ones. In 2021, we’ll see new openings for jobs in
- Home health care. Coupled with an increasingly aging population, the need for socially distant care and keeping patients out of hospitals and nursing homes will increase demand for in-home care. Whether working with elderly patients or the immunocompromised, agencies should be prepared to increase their current staffing numbers and provide effective training to incumbent and current employees. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts up to 1,159,500 new jobs by 2029.
- Medical assisting. As physicians, clinics, and hospitals see an increase of patients – especially in those offices that provide COVID-19 testing - medical assistants will be a vital part of keeping order and safety in mind, as well as triaging patients. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 139,200 new jobs by 2029.
- Contact tracing. Contact tracing isn’t a new job, but it is one that is now in high demand as state’s work to effectively trace potential new outbreaks and quarantine those exposed to the virus. There is an expected need for up to 300,000 new contact tracers in the upcoming year.
An increased demand for skilled trades workers
Besides healthcare, skilled trades industries like manufacturing can expect to see an increased need for dedicated, trained workers to fill vital roles. While the need for skilled workers in trades isn’t new – these industries have increasingly needed more employees throughout the last few years. The higher demand for manufactured products throughout the pandemic has created an influx of new jobs. Roles that are expected to increase include
- Manufacturing and warehouse roles. Workers will be needed for a variety of manufacturing roles as companies increase production on in-demand goods. Additionally, in order to maintain and keep workflow at its peak, there will be a growing need for industrial supervisors and maintenance technicians. Warehouse roles can be expected to add from 100,000 to 300,000 new positions.*
- Transportation and maintenance. As more people have come to rely on online ordering and contactless delivery, we expect a growing need for truck drivers and diesel maintenance technicians to fill these orders. By 2029, it’s expected the industry will add at least 163,100 new jobs.
- Tech-centric roles. With more and more companies shifting to a work-from-home model where applicable, trained and knowledgeable tech and computer maintenance workers will be in high demand. From analysts to help desk staff, companies and workers will rely on these team members to troubleshoot and repair connectivity issues and more – all from a distance. Technology-focused job posts increased by 20% from February to March, and with more businesses utilizing remote work, that’s expected to increase.
Prepare for the future of work with a trusted training partner
The future is here and, as we prepare to navigate 2021 while combatting COVID-19 and adhering to local and state safety guidelines in the coming year, ensuring you’re fully staffed could be a challenge. But with flexible, online training programs in high-demand roles and industries, you can prepare current and incumbent employees to confidently take on an influx of new work. Penn Foster offers a variety of cutting-edge training courses to fit the needs of your business.
Besides training new and current employees to take on more responsibility, our flexible, customizable programs can be an effective tool to reskill furloughed and displaced workers who’ve lost their jobs since the beginning of the pandemic. Contact a training expert today to find out how your company can leverage in-depth skills training.
“Essential Work: Employment and Outlook in Occupations That Protect and Provide : Career Outlook.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Accessed November 23, 2020. https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2020/article/essential-work.htm