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11 Recession-Proof Careers (and How to Get One)

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2020 has proven that very few jobs are truly guaranteed to withstand a large economic downturn. The current pandemic has created a huge shock to our society and economy. If you have been impacted by the current crisis, or just looking for “re-careering” options, you may be researching new work options. Here are a few things to consider:

Explore Options

Realizing we all perform better in roles we enjoy, open your mind to ways you can weave what you enjoy into one of the employment areas listed below. It may not be obvious at first. Perhaps talk or brainstorm with a friend, family member or co-worker to see what they think. If you can find that link/connection between what you really enjoy and what role interests you most, it’ll set you up for sustained success along your professional journey.

Review Skills

Determine what skills or training you will need to make a transition into a potentially new field. Consider opportunities to obtain some training/education now–maybe a degree or maybe not–but some training that will give you enough of a foundation to jump in to do the job at hand. Reminder: any additional training you seek and complete will give you an advantage compared to your competition.

Manage Expectations

What you may have been doing before 2020, or were on track to be doing, may have drastically changed. It’s equally important to be assertive and confident in the search to find your “next” job as it is to understand that every employer is trying to survive. Be open to opportunities and offers knowing that they are often starting points and can grow over time and in your favor!

So what are the jobs that have a higher probability of sustaining the current and future economic challenges? After searching through half a dozen different expert sites (including Glassdoor,, Time, LinkedIn, Money Crashers, and MSN), this list is a compilation of the fields that came up repeatedly demonstrating they may offer more longevity.

  1. Healthcare professionals: including physicians, nurses, physician assistants, nurse aides, physical therapists, psychologists, medical assistants, pharmacists, pharmacy techs, community healthcare workers, etc.
  2. Educational professionals: includes teachers (K-12), professors, academic advisors/guidance counselors, librarians/archivists, coaches/scouts, administrators, instructional coordinators and teacher aides.
  3. Information Technology: includes database administrators, network administrators, software engineers/developers, systems operators/administrators, programmers and desk-side support/help desk.
  4. Law Enforcement: including police officers and sheriff's deputies, firefighters/fire inspectors/investigators, corrections workers, and detectives/criminal investigators.
  5. Social Service professionals: including social and community service managers, social workers, human service assistants, childcare workers, and mental health/substance abuse counselors.
  6. Financial Services: accountants, actuaries, auditors and insurance providers/underwriters/ appraisers.
  7. Funeral directors
  8. Public Services: including utility workers, court and municipal workers, transit workers and recreation managers
  9. Public Relations and Marketing professionals
  10. Veterinarians
  11. Attorneys

Scottsdale Community College offers 100+ degree and certificate options that prepare students for a wide variety of careers and allow working professionals the opportunity to gain new skills in their current role for advancement or recareering. See the complete list of programs available

The future of work is rapidly changing given the current and extremely unusual circumstances.  There will be new opportunities as a result of all of this change and roles from the past will likely circle back around. It may just take some time for the rebound to occur. Leverage this time and invest in yourself -- you are worth it!

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