Economic instability and recessions can lead to a lot of uncertainty in the job market. For professionals, it can be a time to reassess their skills or consider a career change. For students, it can make a lot of sense to look for jobs that are more resilient to economic downturns.
Despite the uncertainty that recessions can bring, some jobs are especially well-suited to weather a recession—especially in today’s job market.
Here are five careers that are expected to stay in demand:
1. PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT
Healthcare professions are usually well-protected from recessions. Today, few are as in-demand as physician assistants. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects employment for physician assistants to grow by 28% by 2030—much faster than the average for all other occupations. (1)
Physician assistants provide many of the same services as physicians, but their training is typically quicker. Many healthcare institutions are relying more heavily on physician assistants to staff hospitals and care facilities. As the elderly population in the U.S. continues to increase, so will the demand for professionals in many fields of medicine.
Physician assistants typically complete a bachelor’s degree in healthcare or a related field, and many have prior experience in patient care.
Read our articles related to Healthcare Education to get a more in-depth look at various healthcare related jobs, including 7 Health Sciences Careers You Shouldn’t Overlook and 3 Ways to Get Started in a Nursing Career.
2. LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
Demand for law enforcement officers is usually tied to changes in local and state budgets and is less influenced by recessions than other professions. Law enforcement might be a good career choice for those interested in working within the justice system. The job benefits are typically better than average and officers also have an opportunity to retire earlier than other professionals. BLS predicts that despite potential downturns in the economy, overall employment for law enforcement officers will likely grow by 7% by 2030.
The requirements for law enforcement officers vary by location—some departments require a college degree, while others require only a high school diploma. After their education, candidates typically complete a training academy, followed by on-the-job training.
Our Introduction to Criminal Justice course is ideal for exploring the history and types of law enforcement, and is a low-cost way to fulfill common general education social sciences requirements.
You might think that demand for accountants would decrease during an economic recession. While this is sometimes true, overall demand for accounting services usually remains high. This is due to many factors:
- companies continue to become more global,
- new technologies are changing how finances need to be managed,
- the tax landscape continues to evolve, and
- many mergers and acquisitions continue throughout economic downturns.
Most accountants obtain a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a similar field and must pass the Uniform CPA Exam to receive a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license. After starting their careers, most accountants work full-time, with some overtime hours during peak busy periods throughout the year, most notably during tax season.
4. TEACHER / PROFESSOR
Like law enforcement officers, teachers are usually affected more by local and state budgets, rather than economic fluctuations. BLS projects more teachers will be needed in high schools and elementary schools. As parents push for smaller class sizes, the number of kindergarten classes across the country is expected to rise. (2)
For college and university professors, demand is expected to increase in the next decade due to more people seeking higher education to expand their own careers. (3) Many institutions will rely on part-time teachers and adjunct professors to accommodate their increase in students. These are often good entry positions for those ultimately seeking a full-time education career.
Typically, teachers complete a bachelor’s degree in education. Many postsecondary teachers obtain a master’s or PhD in their field before working in a classroom.
Check out our article, Which Teaching Prerequisites Should You Take Online, to get more insight into how to start a teaching career.
5. IT PROFESSIONAL
While economies constantly change and the job market fluctuates from year to year, technology continues to advance. Specifically, information technology plays a more integral role across industries, making it ideal for those seeking a career that stays in high demand during a recession. While many IT services are now outsourced globally, the cost of managing projects overseas is starting to catch up with the savings companies have previously enjoyed from outsourcing. As a result, the demand for IT professionals in the U.S. is expected to steadily increase over the next decade at a much faster than average rate for all other occupations. (4)
While most IT professionals start with a bachelor’s degree in computer science or computer programming, many take continuing education classes and maintain current certifications in their specialty.