Many industries have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to major declines in new hires and layoffs, but that does not mean that all hope is lost for iSchool students looking for jobs in information technology and consulting. Director of Career Services Christopher Perrello reminds students that they may just need to look outside traditional industries for IT positions, as many are growing during the pandemic.
Here are Perrello’s top 5 industries, plus a few honorable mentions, that are still hiring and growing amidst the uncertainty brought by COVID-19:
1. Teleworking Software
Students and professionals across the globe have grown accustomed to using Zoom for class and work, but did you know that the company saw an 87% increase in job postings during 2020? According to Perrello, this means that while it is still competitive to get a job at a company like Zoom, the massive growth brought on by the need to work from home during the pandemic is creating an intense need for IT professionals in the industry.
Perrello also recommends that students looking for jobs and internships in the telecommunications industry should look to companies like Slack, Skype, WebX, Microsoft, and Google, which are all seeing growth in job opportunities right now.
2. Healthcare and Pharmaceutical IT
It is no surprise that the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries are seeing a need for new hires during a global health crisis, but according to Perrello, these industries were already on track to grow 8% over the next year, even before the pandemic happened.
“We’re already starting to see an emphasis on hiring for database administration in the healthcare industry as hospitals and care facilities need better software and methods for keeping patient information,” said Perrello.
Companies that do this kind of work include Epic Systems, which is a major software company used by many American hospitals to manage patient records. Students can also look for opportunities in medical and pharmaceutical testing technologies as the pandemic created a greater need for this as well.
3. Educational Technology
Online and digital learning is a major trend during the COVID-19 pandemic, with many students kept home to learn on their computers. According to Perrello, this has led to major growth in the educational technology industry that created jobs and opportunities that will continue to grow.
Perrello recommends that students look for opportunities in four specific areas of educational technology. The first is general software engineering technology positions across the industry, and the second is for learning management systems like Blackboard, which is used here at Syracuse University for students and professors to manage coursework. Other, broader online learning platforms such as Chegg and Masterclass are seeing exponential growth and increased job opportunities as well. Finally, language learning apps and softwares like Duolingo and Babbel are also hiring right now.
4. Logistics and Transportation for Warehouses
As people stay home more during the pandemic, tech companies that transport people like Uber and Lyft are seeing declines, while companies that transport goods are seeing massive growth as people order from home. Companies like UPS, DHL, and Ryder need IT managers, project managers, and software engineers to help meet the demand of increased shipments of goods and important medical supplies.
“We’re talking about serious growth for mega firms like Amazon who are filling tons of orders right now and even big healthcare companies that are transporting medical supplies and protective equipment to hospitals,” said Perrello.
5. E-Commerce and Digital Retail Strategy
Traditional box stores are suffering due to shut downs and restrictions for social distancing, which means that hiring for brick and mortar shops is down. There has been a major surge in online shopping, however, which means that major online retailers are looking to hire digital strategists, software engineers, and data analysts. Perrello recommends that students look for digital opportunities at companies like Amazon, Wayfair, and Petsmart.com as the online shopping market becomes more robust.
While the job market may seem bleak to students and recent graduates at first glance, there are actually many more industries that are hiring or seeing growth in job postings. Perrello recommends that students look at three more industries during the ongoing pandemic.
One industry that is growing robustly right now is the legalized cannabis industry. While more states begin to make it legal recreationally and medically, Perrello notes that the industry will need information technology professionals to establish the industry.
Another major industry right now is streaming platforms, as many companies like Disney, NBC, and HBO have launched their own streaming services creating many new job opportunities for students with an IT background. Perrello recently had an iSchool student hired at Disney+ with a full time job offer after graduation.
Finally, Perrello recommends that iSchool students look to the financial technology industry for job opportunities. Major companies such as Ripple and Stripe are hiring for both internships and full time positions.
While it may seem difficult right now for students to find the job opportunities they had always dreamed of, there are many opportunities for information technology in nontraditional industries. The pandemic has required flexibility in a multitude of areas, and by using that flexibility for a job search can help students find exciting opportunities and experience in areas they might not otherwise have considered.