COVID-19 has provided space for many to think about their current career trajectories. The recent pandemic brought uncertainty. This uncertainty includes being furloughed or the complete loss of jobs. If you fall into this latter category and are looking to make a career switch into an industry that is both recession- and pandemic-proof, then you need to look at a career in the tech industry. Let’s discuss below some COVID-19 resilient jobs, and the skills needed for each of them.
Where to learn COVID-19 resilient jobs skills
The first step to breaking into a career in the tech industry is to learn how to code. This can happen through a few different avenues.
The traditional route
The traditional route of learning how to code is through a two or four-year degree program. This can include a computer science degree from a university, or a shorter, more career-focused two-year IT degree from your local community college or tech school. Like everything else today, these degrees can be earned entirely through online means.
The problem with this traditional route is the excessive time and money commitment that it requires. An average four-year computer science degree program in the US only contains two years of computer science-related courses.
The other two years focus on on completely unrelated elective courses. Though these extra courses might be interesting, they won’t help you much when it comes to getting a job as a programmer.
These extra courses still require high tuition rates, and a better use of time is learning how to actually apply programming skills. The average four-year in-state tuition in the US is roughly $40,000.
This figure is only tuition, not including the costs of books, technology, housing, food, and transportation. Paying the price of a new car—or new house if you attend a private university—is a huge financial decision, one that you will likely be paying off for the next decade after graduation.
Most college students in the US finance their education through student loans. These loans are impossible to get rid of. They are even immune to bankruptcy.
There are stories of government assistance programs like social security being garnished to repay these loans. In a country with $1.5 trillion in outstanding student loan debt, it is clear that the traditional education system is broken.
The alternative route
There is another way to learn how to code that is cheaper and faster than earning a traditional college degree. This is the avenue of coding bootcamps.
A coding bootcamp is a short term, intensive program focusing on coding skills. You will learn in two to four months what community colleges and university programs teach in two to four years. A coding bootcamp doesn’t require any additional courses that will not directly help you in a programming career.
Coding initiatives and bootcamps are designed to teach career switchers how to code through continuous and rigorous practical application. Their design depends on the specific career. So if you attend a web development bootcamp, you learn different programming languages than if you attend a cybersecurity program.
How to finance a coding bootcamp
Most career switchers finance their coding bootcamps through an income-sharing agreement, aka an ISA. An ISA is a reversed-engineered student loan. Instead of career switchers trying to finance a second degree, coding schools like Hack Reactor invest in their students.
With an ISA, it is a written agreement between the student and the coding school that states the student will pay back their tuition, but only after they have acquired a programming job that pays a livable salary. Once a graduate finds suitable employment, they will make monthly payments that are based on their new salary.
An ISA’s repayment structure is such that it is in the coding school’s best interest to make sure their graduates are prepared to succeed in the tech industry and have a job as soon as they graduate. Because of this, many coding schools partner with local tech companies to easily place their graduates in well-paying programming jobs.
Top coding COVID-19 resilient jobs
The tech industry has proved to be resistant to economic recessions and global pandemics. So your choice to join the ranks of programmers is wise. Let’s talk briefly about a few of the top coding jobs.
As a web developer, you will be in charge of programming the functionality of websites. These professionals make sure that the website performs as the user expects it to. This includes making sure that buttons work, as well as any integrated AI like automated chatbots, timed advertisements that automatically generate after the user has scrolled for an allotted amount of time, or a specific point on the page.
Web designers code in programming languages like Java and HTML.
If you’re not sure what they do, software engineers build desktop-based software that improves our lives every day. Software like productivity, accounting, word processors, and organizational applications keep businesses running and on the same page. Software engineers are especially vital in the new remote workforce.
As teams find themselves working from all over the US, and the world, software like customer relationship management (CRM) has become incredibly important for meeting deadlines.
That demand will continue, making the software engineer one of the COVID-19 resilient jobs. Software engineers write code in SQL and Python.
Mobile developers are the programmers behind the creation of our favorite apps, from social media apps like Facebook and Snapchat to the mobile-optimized app version of our Google Drive and FreshBooks. If you use it on your smartphone or tablet, it has been engineered by a mobile developer.
Mobile developers program in different languages. Which one they use depends on whether they are developing an app for an Android or an Apple device. Android-powered devices typically require C++ programming. Mobile apps for Apple devices are coded in Swift, which is a mobile development language developed specifically for Apple by Apple.
Conclusions on COVID-19 resilient jobs
Whether you acquire your skills via a college degree or opt for a coding bootcamp, becoming a web developer, software engineer or mobile developer is a great way to secure your financial future. These professions have plenty of earning potential and a superb job outlook, as do many other careers in the tech sector. If you are looking to have a prosperous and lucrative career, you can simply do no better than tech.