Over the past few months, the American job market has seen a lot of change. Employees made the transition from commuting into an office every day to working from home. Some people lost work or experienced reduced hours, and the unemployment rate in the U.S. has jumped to 13.3% as of May 2020. However, new challenges breed new opportunities, and there are some jobs that are flourishing amid these uncertain times. What’s more, these challenges are paving a new path for the future of work and how prospective employees look for new job opportunities. Let’s take a look.
Jobs on the Rise
While some industries have experienced a downturn due to the pandemic, others have experienced a huge increase in demand as a result. All of them have one thing in common: they directly impact consumers’ key needs during this time.
Of course, healthcare is top of mind for us all right now, so it’s not surprising that the demand for healthcare workers and pharmacy workers has steadily increased. For example, CVS is hiring 50,000 employees and Walgreens is looking to fill 25,000 permanent and temporary positions.
To keep up with the increase in demand for home eating, major grocery chains are hiring in-store shelf stockers and delivery staff. Additionally, Instacart is looking to hire 300,000 contract workers over the next three months.
Beyond physical needs, humanity’s need to remain connected – both socially and professionally – has driven demand within the tech industry. With more users working from home than ever before, the need for dependable telecommunications software has never been greater. While telecommunication has already experienced a 44% increase over the past 5 years, the current need for video conferencing platforms, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration services will only further facilitate this growth. With the increase in remote work, many employees found themselves helplessly fumbling with laptops and other equipment. So, it’s unsurprising that tech support jobs are on the rise as well. With physical call centers and operation centers shut down, companies still need agents to take customer and technical support calls.
As more employees telecommute, unprecedented stress has been placed on virtual private networks (VPNs) and other systems securing remote work arrangements. As a result, some security jobs have seen a 20% surge in demand. As businesses begin to emerge from the global lockdown, it’s likely that the need for security talent will become even more apparent as businesses look for the safest way to resume business operations.
As the demand for security jobs has recently increased, so has the security skills gap. To guarantee that an organization’s business can continue, organizations must ensure that VPNs, network devices, and other devices being used in the remote environment are updated with the latest software patches and security configurations. Additionally, networks must be constantly monitored to prevent hackers from accessing the organization’s VPN connection. To do this, however, requires a skilled security workforce that can be hard to come by due to the ever-increasing demand. If organizations wish to close the skills gap, they will need to look beyond the typical graduate talent pool and see the value in other forms of security education such as internships.
How to Stay Secure While Job Hunting
Hackers know that everyone is spending more time online. They also know that many Americans have recently been laid off and are looking for new jobs, leading to a surge of fake job scams. According to Forbes, the Better Business Bureau has reported more than 13,000 job listing scams in North America alone since December. Users searching for jobs online must proceed with caution and look out for suspicious job postings disguised as real businesses to protect their personal data.
So, if you’re looking to change career paths during this time or are on the hunt for a new job, follow these tips to protect your security and personal data.
Go directly to the source
If you come across a job posting that seems suspicious, go directly to the business’ career page to verify that the listing is real. Likewise, beware of any so-called recruiters who reach out offering you a job that seems too good to be true. Be skeptical of emails, phone calls, or text messages claiming to be from organizations with peculiar asks as well.
Hover over links to see and verify the URL
If someone claiming to be from an organization sends you a message with a link, hover over the link without actually clicking on it. This will allow you to see a link preview. If the URL looks suspicious, don’t interact with it and delete the message altogether.
Beware of what you share
If you get what appears to be a suspicious request from a recruiter, an HR representative, a friend, or family member, verify the message with that person directly before opening or responding. Remember that an employer will never request sensitive information such as social security numbers or bank routing numbers over email or text.