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10 of the Best Degrees for the Future: Careers that will Survive the COVID Outbreak

When the coronavirus struck the United States, it didn’t just come for our health; it came to take our jobs as well. As the world slowly begins to return to itself, you may wonder what are the best degrees for the future? What will the most employable degrees end up being? With social distancing measures in place to slow the spread of the virus, business has taken a backseat to public health. To put it bluntly, Covid-19 has caused the American economy to come to a screeching halt, and when it begins the process of recovery, it could be unrecognizable.

While no one knows exactly what the future holds for the U.S. job market, it’s safe to say that some careers will be preserved, and others may even flourish in the coming years. In this article, we’ll share some of our forecasts regarding career paths that could prove recession-proof as well as those that may come out on top, despite the economic damage incurred by Covid-19.

Teacher

Some of the top degrees in demand for the future will most certainly be in education. Devoted teachers who are there to guide students as they struggle to work through the chaos this pandemic has caused.

Although schools across the nation have closed their physical campuses due to the coronavirus pandemic, teachers continue to work hard–perhaps even harder than before–to provide their students with a quality education. As parents around the nation scramble to assist their children with distance education assignments, they’re realizing just how vital educators are to student success.

No matter how our economy fares in the future, kids will always need an education, and licensed teachers are the most qualified individuals to provide it.

Psychologist

One of the best degrees to pursue in the wake of this pandemic will be in psychology. As people struggle to acclimate to the changes that have happened, the need for qualified psychologists will be more important than ever.

In recent decades, society has come to recognize the importance of mental health services. Once regarded as only necessary for a small percentage of the population, psychological and counseling services have become more commonplace over the years.

In the wake of the pandemic, jobs in the mental health services have proven even more important. Social distancing measures have caused some segments of the population, such as senior citizens, for example, to become isolated from their family members. It’s well-known that feelings of alienation can exacerbate or even cause depression. Fear of becoming sick or losing one’s job amid the public health crisis has also led to heightened anxiety for many.

All things considered, it’s likely we’ll see more career opportunities for psychologists in the future, and some of these positions may involve telehealth services.

Biological Technician

Certainly one of the best degrees for the future will be in the field of biology. Biological scientists will feature prominant in containing and conquering the coronavirus.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for biological technicians were growing faster than the average occupation even before the pandemic hit. Now, these professionals are in high demand due to the greater need for medical research to find treatments for Covid-19. Widespread testing for the novel coronavirus has also resulted in more open positions for biological technicians.

And there’s more good news for individuals interested in a career as a biological technician. Since medical research probing Covid-19 and viruses like it will likely continue long after the current public health crisis subsides, job opportunities for qualified individuals will likely experience a boom for at least the next decade.

The many questions posed by the coronavirus pandemic will take many years, and many minds, to answer and biology technicians are crucial to this process.

Supply Chain Manager

The catastrophic failure in the supply chain as the pandemic has swept the country is clearly evident. When considering some of the best degrees for the future, competent supply chain managers will be crucial in keeping such a breakdown from happening again.

Employment of supply chain managers was growing steadily before anyone had ever heard of Covid-19. Since the pandemic began, demand for these professionals has increased. Why? Because the novel coronavirus has thrown a wrench into the national (and global) supply chain. Because of mandatory business closures and restrictions on travel, buyers have had a harder time tracking their supplies, and the movement of commodities has slowed down considerably. These are problems that can have disastrous effects for all stakeholders involved from the manufacturer all the way down to the consumer. Highly proficient supply chain managers and logisticians are needed to quickly create solutions to these problems.

There’s a good chance that the demand for supply chain managers will remain high even after we start to see cases of coronavirus decline. Having experienced the worst-case scenario for supply chains, companies will likely want to hire these experts to ensure they’re prepared in the event that another disaster strikes.

Accountant/Auditor

When we begin to start repairing and rebuilding the economy, “number crunchers” will prove invaluable in helping to sort things out. One of the best degrees for the future is a bachelor’s and/or master’s in accounting.

The job of an accountant or auditor has proven to be relatively recession-proof for two reasons. For one, keeping good financial records is a necessity for companies, not an option. This is especially true during tax season. Secondly, accountants and auditors have highly specialized skill sets, meaning not just anyone can perform their duties.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported careers in accountancy and auditing to be growing steadily pre-pandemic, and there’s no reason to expect a dramatic downturn.

Physician Assistant

Healthcare workers have proven to be the true warrior heroes during these dark times. When considering what the best degrees for the future, think about pursuing the path towards being a physician assistant.

It’s no wonder that jobs in healthcare are currently experiencing an uptick. As the coronavirus threatens to overwhelm hospitals and medical facilities across the United States, there’s a greater need for healthcare professionals who can provide medical services and treatment to this influx of patients. Physician assistants are in particularly high demand because they are qualified to perform many of the same tasks as doctors, yet they can be trained in less time.

Due in large part to the aging baby boomer population, the demand for physician assistants was incredibly high even before the Covid-19 health crisis. The need for these professionals is even higher now.

Software Developer

The COVID-19 outbreak has made many realize just how crucial reliable technology is in the modern world. One of the best degrees in an uncertain economy will certainly be in the field of information technology.

The coronavirus has completely changed how we interact with others on a daily basis. Due to social distancing measures, we’ve all been forced to learn, work, socialize, and conduct business from afar. In doing so, we’ve realized just how useful technology can be. From Zoom classrooms to new telehealth apps, technology has stepped in to bridge the six-foot-plus gap that must now separate us all.

That technology doesn’t create itself, though. Software developers are currently in high demand because of their ability to create web-based applications that solve the problems social distancing has created. Thanks to these professionals, we’re finding ways to stay connected and remain productive even during times of quarantine.

Software developers won’t likely be pushed aside after the coronavirus crisis has ended, though. As we realize new uses for software applications, we may continue to rely on them even after the immediate need has passed. That will mean prolonged job security for developers.

Lawyer

Many things have changed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. One thing that hasn’t is that people will not agree on issues both great and small. In considering a career, one of the best degrees for the future will be in legal studies.

The occupation of a lawyer may not be the first that comes to mind when you consider jobs that will survive a recession, or a pandemic. Yet, legal experts find themselves in high demand whenever things go wrong, whether it be a car accident, a natural disaster, or yes, a global public health crisis.

The coronavirus has given attorneys an entirely new set of legal issues to address such as whether colleges should refund tuition and how much authority governments should have amid an outbreak, for example.

The bottom line? In good times and bad, people will find things to disagree about. Thus, lawyers will continue to be called upon to resolve these disputes.

Social Worker

Unfortunately, issues like child abuse, drug addiction, and terminal illness won’t go away once the coronavirus wanes. These are the kinds of problems social workers are good at solving, so their careers will likely remain secure.

According to the BLS, employment opportunities for social workers were growing much faster than average prior to the public health crisis. In all likelihood, this upward trend will continue post-pandemic. Since Covid-19 has disrupted our lives in so many different ways, there will probably be an even greater need for professionals trained to address behavioral and emotional issues as we all attempt to recover some type of normalcy.

Nurse

One thing this pandemic has taught us is that there will always be a need for nurses and other healthcare workers. Their devoted, tireless work on the frontlines has made us more aware of what has always been true…they are heroes.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there was a severe shortage of nurses even before the coronavirus overburdened our healthcare systems. Now, the need for licensed nurses has never been greater. Colleges and universities around the country are even allowing their senior nursing students to graduate early in order to fill open slots for qualified healthcare professionals. Moreover, hospitals and other medical facilities are offering nursing candidates higher salaries and signing bonuses to ensure a full staff.

As you consider our predictions regarding occupations that will survive the pandemic and thrive in its wake, keep in mind that we aren’t looking to fill the job of fortune-teller. Since the future of our economy is currently so volatile, there are really no qualified candidates who could fill that role. Still, it’s wise to consider all perspectives as you career-plan for life post-Covid-19.   

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