By Elizabeth Exline
Have you changed jobs in the past two years? Been recruited? Quit without having another job lined up, or just regularly scanned available jobs? Have you upskilled with a certificate or even a degree?
Given the state of the job market in 2022, chances are good that you answered yes to at least one of the above. That’s because, while trends aplenty have cropped up over the past year (and we’ll get to them soon), three of them seem to dominate the landscape:
With a wealth of data available on how the workplace is growing out of its pandemic-induced constraints, we’re digging into the latest job outlook and trends as well as how to best ensure you’re ready for what’s ahead.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) couldn’t have predicted the COVID-19 pandemic, but it pulled together enough data by September 2021 to issue a rather insightful release titled Employment Projections—2020-2030.
To offer a comprehensive picture of the job market, the document accounts for recovery growth as well as non-pandemic-related growth.
This data corroborates what University of Phoenix career advisor Ricklyn Woods has seen firsthand. Healthcare may continue to attract students, she says, but many of those graduates are seeking nonclinical roles.
“There are a lot of people who want to study healthcare, but they don’t necessarily want to be patient-facing,” Woods explains.
She points to roles in insurance, billing, pharmaceutical research and health administration as increasingly attractive.
Another trend? Technology.
For anyone born after 1990, there was indeed a time when choosing a field of study in anything but technology meant that you didn’t need to learn technology.
Those days are over.
Today, technology is integrated into virtually every field, from human resources to healthcare.
“No matter what you’re doing, you need to be able to know how to navigate technology and systems; otherwise, you’ll be left behind,” Woods says.
By way of example, she points to a client who had 20 years of experience in healthcare administration. The employee was ready to move to a bigger practice, but she lacked the technological skills bigger organizations required, making the transition difficult without upskilling.
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BLS isn’t the only organization collating data on the state of the job market. LinkedIn compiled its own Jobs on the Rise report for 2022 based on job titles that had the highest growth rates between January 2017 and July 2021. According to the report, jobs in healthcare are indeed having a moment (“vaccine specialist” tops the chart), but they’re not the only ones. Roles in human resources and DEIB are on the rise too.
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Other highlights include:
In 2022, University of Phoenix commissioned its second Career Optimism Index to assess how American workers felt about their jobs and the employment landscape in general. The survey includes responses from 5,000 adults who are working or wish to be working, as well as 500 employers.
The results are extensive, but some key highlights are:
So, what do all these numbers mean? Forbes recently assessed the same reports from BLS and LinkedIn to identify the following trends:
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While employers and employees may not see eye to eye on what opportunities for upskilling are available, they do agree that continued education is important.
“You have to keep learning, and it doesn’t just stop with the culmination of a degree,” Woods says.
That can be a hard thing to hear, especially if you’ve recently completed a degree program. But upskilling doesn’t have to be intimidating. Woods offers the following tips for staying up to date in your field:
If investing time and money in your career gives you pause, you’re not alone. Plenty of people wait for their employers to foot the bill for a class, a course or even a degree, Woods notes. But there’s another way to look at the situation.
“Taking ownership of your own career development through ongoing professional development is an investment,” Woods acknowledges. “But it’s an investment that, if you plan strategically, you should be able to see a return on.”
When it’s time to actively search for a new job, use the downloadable resources below, which cover the two pillars of any job search: writing an effective resumé and drafting a powerful cover letter.
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