what fields have hiring booms right now?

It’s the Thursday “ask the readers” question. A reader writes:

I loved hearing from a reader recently who shared some info on their “exploding field” as a privacy specialist. It was great to learn about the topic and think about where there are future opportunities. Would you consider putting out a call to readers to share experience with other industries that are going through a hiring boom? This could be new and developing fields like today’s letter described, or established fields that are seeing a renewed push for hiring.

I would also appreciate hearing from folks regarding what sort of candidates or skill sets would make for a competitive applicant in their field. I currently work in fundraising but would like to try a different field, and am sometimes feeling a little bit pigeon-holed and wondering where my skill set might take me, so this is very top of mind!

Readers, please share in the comments!

Please include what qualifications would help someone transition to the fields you’re naming (other than the obvious qualification of having worked in it already).

{ 933 comments… read them below }

  1. Ask a Manager* Post author

    Please don’t forget to include what qualifications would help someone transition to the fields you’re naming (other than the obvious qualification of having worked in it already) since the topic is presumably going to be most of interest to people thinking about changing fields. Thanks!

      1. Nonny Mouse*

        I’m getting invitations to apply out of the blue; haven’t been in the classroom in 15 years.

        1. SanPellegrino*

          Me too! I haven’t taught since 2016 and I keep getting unsolicited emails from school districts.

    1. Anastatia Beaverhousen*

      I think after the last two years and many of the laws going into effect in specific states that there will be a lot of teaching jobs not filled for this school year.

        1. Flower necklace*

          I love my job, but I don’t blame anyone who leaves. I’m in Virginia, where our governor set up a “tip line” for people to report teachers.

        2. Prospect Gone Bad*

          I don’t know if we can make blanket statements like this. “Teacher” is completely different industry depending on the state. In my area, I’ve actually known people going into it (partially) for the money and there is fierce competition for a FT position. People here leave because stuff gets too strict and stuffy and bureaucratic. Source: BFF and some relatives are teachers and complain about how the admin hand-ties them with endless new rules and saying “we can’t do anything” to most of their problems.

          1. Anonym*

            This is important! Alison, if you see this, would you consider adding to your note at the top that people should include (or should consider including) location?

            1. Teitelbell*

              I grew up in Bucks County and now live in Texas. I am appalled at the state of public education and always wonder if it’s just the times or the place. Now I know for sure it’s the place. Not exactly sure about teacher salaries but substitutes only make $110 per day.

          2. Irish Teacher*

            Yeah, in Ireland there is huge competition for teaching jobs. It does depend on subject. Schools are crying out for Irish teachers (as in the Irish language) and some other subjects like Physics, but other subjects like History, Geography, Civics…you could get 100 applicants for a single job.

            1. Guern*

              That is because no-one really speaks Irish in professional work and people who study it are studying it the way one would a hobby such as aeroplane or boat modelling.

          3. Drago Cucina*

            Teaching specialties also factor into this. Is there a teaching college nearby? In Alabama for years if you were a math or special education teacher there were openings. General elementary education? You needed to have family already teaching in the system. Even then it was difficult. The supply far out weighed the demand. Also, the willingness to move impacts the ability to be hired.

            There has been a very slight shift with retirements and teachers not willing to embrace remote learning. But, there have been multiple applicants for every position. In my smaller city we have a university with a the state’s largest education program.

          4. CatMintCat*

            I’m a teacher in Australia and, while the teacher shortage is very real and numbers of applicants and new graduates are dropping fast, the issues are different. For many, the issue is low pay (I earn over $100,000 as a classroom teacher and don’t feel underpaid but I also don’t live in a hugely expensive city). The other issue (and this is mine) is workload. The government keeps dumping more and more data collection and administrative jobs on us, which are a huge time suck and do not connect, even a little bit, to what we do in the classroom. I’m hanging on for retirement in three or four years, but I know a lot of younger teachers are looking fora way out – and many are finding it. Employment issues are also a problem for many – it is incredibly difficult to get a permanent position in this state, and going from one twelve month contract to the next keeps food on the table, but does not allow for longer term life planning – nobody will give you a mortgage, for example, if your employment is on this basis.

      1. Sloanicota*

        Also, I was disappointed to learn (because I’ve been looking to change fields) that a lot of the fields that are very in-demand right now, like nursing, teaching, or being a pilot, have a very slow process to get certified – often several years in classes before they’re able to set foot in a workplace, with expensive education requirements. There may be state-specific opportunities that are better at jump-starting new careers while still teaching what students need to learn.

        1. Flower necklace*

          Substitute teaching is a way to get into teaching. I was looking at my district’s job portal recently out of curiosity, and they are offering a long-term sub position. It’s guaranteed year-long contract and doesn’t require a teaching license.

          I also know several teachers who have taught on a provisional license.

          1. Ellis Bell*

            I’m in North West England and we can’t get a decent supply teacher for love nor money. Same deal with agency classroom assistants. Agencies have downgraded their qualification bar considerably to allow for more “classroom supervisors” rather than teachers. It’s a bit of a baptism of fire, but the experience is there to be had, especially if you go in as a TA first.

          2. Rara Avis*

            Substitute teaching is usually hourly pay and no benefits. Even long-term positions are like that where I am. (CA)

            1. Flower necklace*

              This newly created position is different. According to the website, it is a “fully benefited role (including health insurance, Group Life Insurance, VRS, sick leave and personal leave days) and requires the employee to commit to working 195 days. Candidates filling these exempt positions will earn $40,950 annually and will work in accordance with the 195-day instructional personnel calendar.”

          3. StephChi*

            You can’t actually teach classes with only a sub certificate, though. You can only take attendance, inform the kids about the assignment that’s been left for them to complete, and basically be a warm body in a room. If you’re OK with that, being a sub is fine. However, if you actually want to teach, subbing won’t lead to a real teaching position, unless you’re concurrently completing an ed program leading to full certification, which is the only way you can teach. Receipts: I’ve been a sub in the past and am currently (17 years now!) a fully certified teacher.

        2. Nonny Mouse*

          Yes, you are expected to have a teaching degree in order to teach, in most states. While it’s often not regarded as such, it’s a very important job and there are skills to be learned.

            1. dawbs*

              Depends.
              In the schools local to me, the minimum is one year of student teaching.
              Even if you are taking the classes to get certified at the same time (which, FTR, is VERY unlikely; they don’t tend to be offered as night classes and student teaching is teacher hours–which keeps you on site in a classroom 7:00-3:00) you’re looking at a year. Assuming you have to take the classes before student teaching, 1 year of classes plus student teaching requirements, you’ve got a minimum of 2 years.
              Even with already having a bachelors.

          1. Seeking Second Childhood*

            In some regions, a higher degree in the subject matter or years of experience will substitute. Especially for science/math. This will need to be checked locally.

            1. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

              Charter’s and private schools also often have lower requirements for teachers in some places, so that can a way to gain experience

        3. LDN Layabout*

          have a very slow process to get certified

          Two of the jobs listed involve holding peoples lives in their hands and the other two (nursing is the twofer) involve vulnerable populations. I get the frustration but…it’s a decision feature, not random.

          1. GythaOgden*

            Yeah. It’s one of those ‘You don’t just WALK into Mordor’ situations.

            I don’t think anyone goes into aviation on a whim. I watch a lot of videos on YouTube but I don’t think I’ll just rock up to Heathrow and ask to borrow an Airbus. I think I’d at least start with a Fokker or an Embraer. Or ask if I can dust off Concorde and take her for a spin. Seriously, I can’t even drive, so goodness knows how I’d get on in the cockpit.

            That said, my local vicar is a priest and regularly flies relief/resourcing/supply trips to the Scottish Islands when she’s not down here in Berkshire preaching. She’s amazing — I would love it if she turned up to communion dressed in old-fashioned goggles, a leather helmet with a white scarf and landed a Cessna in the aisle, but I think the Church of England frowns on such things and the bill for repairing the roof would get a bit pricey. She was one of the first people I knew who had to self-isolate during Covid, and given flying for any pilot can be such a thrill that some of the murder-suicides committed — when the pilot intentionally crashes the plane — involved the fear of being stripped of their license because of health issues, we were all worried for her facing two weeks grounded in that way.

            Another factor contributing to the risks is that flight school is expensive and loans hang over your head a long time after graduation. That was part of Andreas Lubitz’ decision to take his plane down into the Alps. Pilots are a breed apart — they have to be really enthusiastic about what they’re doing, have excellent maths and physics knowledge, be passionate and keep their physical and mental health in top shape.

            1. Media Monkey*

              hello fellow berkshire resident! my cousin’s son (i have no idea what that makes him to me – second cousin? terrible at that stuff) is going into the RAF to learn to be a pilot and the minimum term you have to sign up for to get pilot training is much longer due to the cost of it. it’s a 12 year minimum service rather than 6 year for non-pilot RAF and 3-4 years for Army/ Marines/ Navy.

              1. GythaOgden*

                Fab! I wish him the best of luck. My grandad wanted to fly during the war, but he was colourblind. He probably had a more interesting time than if he’d gone up in a kite — he finished his law degree and helped sort out property disputes in liberated Europe and Asia. It’s a shame I never really knew him as an adult, because I wish I knew what that all entailed. It sounds more interesting than actually fighting.

          1. Carrots*

            No, but you should be able to apply to a job that will pay for your 2-3 years of teaching/training first, rather than take on the cost and the risk yourself.

            1. Sloanicota*

              Yes I apologize, I wasn’t trying to indicate that the training wasn’t necessary for those fields!! Naturally it is critical. Just that the way current requirements are structured make it impossible for me to consider switching no matter how desperate the need is or how good I might ultimately be at it – and actually teaching it seems like has the lowest barrier to entry already, so I moved the rest of my thoughts on this to the nursing section. I do understand why pilots aren’t an easy to access track either haha (but, if we desperately need more pilots, why is the individual expected to take on the debt and risk over multiple years?)

              1. Seeking Second Childhood*

                Fun fact… Historically the easiest way for someone to get a commercial jet pilot qualification has been to enlist in the military and have them train you. Yes this was quite a blocking point for women. (Source? I wanted to fly planes when I was a kid, but I didn’t want to go into the military.)

              2. GythaOgden*

                Because it’s amazingly expensive to train someone, and costly if it goes wrong. It’s like any career path that requires a high level of specialised training and holds peoples lives in the balance — it can’t be done on a shoestring.

                (I get that it is frustrating. I had an argument with a friend when she wondered aloud why doctors had to work such long hours. My cousin is actually a doctor, and the amount of expertise and experience she had to have is just phenomenal, and humans only live so long, so that achievement is correspondingly compressed down.

                The ever-increasing sophistication of medicine probably doesn’t help — the sort of things they can do now is astounding but it comes at the expense of centuries of people dying in agony to work it all out. That’s one reason why my husband allowed doctors to use him as a living specimen — his cancer was unusually aggressive, so they really struggled to discover why it was so powerful and he let them keep him in the MRI unit way longer than they otherwise would do, because even if they couldn’t do much for him, they could do more for some other poor sod if they had data from his case. Even then, he lasted another year on a drug that had been made available to the NHS just that same summer.

                Things are just so complex that to master them in time to have a productive career as a doctor or pilot, the study period has to be condensed and done at an exhausting pace for eye-watering sums of money. I may well ask my pilot-vicar friend how much it cost her to learn; she’s not in commercial aviation but flies light aircraft on supply trips in the oilfields and it’s her second passion after the Church.

              3. Global Cat Herder*

                I have a lot of relatives who are nurses, and not many of them did four years of college right after high school. Several of them first got a CNA (1-3 months training), then worked somewhere that paid tuition reimbursement while they got their LPN (1-2 years), then worked somewhere that paid tuition reimbursement while they got their BSN (3-4 years depending how much credit they give you for the LPN). One got a Home Health Aide certification first (2 weeks training) and did that for a while to save up for the CNA training. Another did an EMT (3 months) first then a BSN. Lots of options.

                1. A non-nurse*

                  In my state, LPN can be done in 9 months. RN can be done in either 2 years (associates degree) or 4 (BSN). I’m not positive, but I think after the associate’s degree, you only have to do another two years for the BSN.

                  (And a friend in another state had a bachelor’s degree in something unrelated, she did a program that gave her a BSN in under two years which included the classwork and on-the-job training.)

            2. Pencil*

              Many states it’s illegal to be paid for your student teaching, so it’s a state mandated unpaid internship. This is a barrier for many would-be teachers.

            3. Starbuck*

              Absolutely, if our society/government really cared about getting people into these jobs, training would be free (at minimum) but ideally you’d be able to get some kind of pay while apprenticing, instead of going thousands and thousands of dollars into debt

        4. Language Lover*

          I’ve been out of teaching for a while but if a place is desperate enough for teachers, you can often get emergency certification.

          But eventually you will need to get the license.

        5. Lizzo*

          Most of those fields you name–pilots in particular–have federal requirements in order to be qualified to do their jobs. So yes, the education is intense.
          Also, I wouldn’t recommend changing careers to become a pilot if you are 40+, as there’s a mandatory retirement age.
          If you want something with a lower barrier to entry, I’d look into a trade.

        6. Lalaith*

          In New Jersey at least, there are alternate certification routes that often place you in classrooms pretty quickly. I don’t know all the details, but my husband (a teacher) keeps trying to convince one of our friends that he doesn’t need a teaching degree to get started.

          1. Mrs whosit*

            This may vary by field as well as location – in my state, it is possible for science & math but not English or social studies, I believe.

          2. anonagaintoday*

            Florida also has alternate routes to certification that are a little more “user friendly.” (In South Carolina, early education teaching would require one to go back to school). In Florida, you are required to pass the FTCE exam in the area that you want to teach to obtain a 3 year temporary certification. I know someone who took the exam, passed, and is now teaching first grade.

          3. Starbuck*

            There are also programs like Teach For America, but I’ve heard pretty bad things about the outcomes for both students and teachers in that case. Still, maybe if you already have some skills/education and are super motivated it could be an option….

          4. VegetarianRaccoon*

            I know I’m late to the party here, but does your husband think teaching in New Jersey is currently a desirable job, not just for the dedicated and self-sacrificing, but for the people who think “that would be nice, for decent pay/benefits under decent conditions?”
            If so, I bet I’m not the only one who’s mildly curious about this fast track. Do you think he would write a little overview for us next Friday?

        7. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

          FYI for pilots. Hampton University has just partnered with Delta to train Black pilots. It is the first HBCU to be included in their pilot recruitment program. Link to follow

        8. Preppy Handbook*

          I can only comment on the teaching part of what you said, but many private schools (which call themselves “independent schools” nowadays) don’t require teaching certification. If you have a degree or professional background in the relevant discipline (e.g. they’re hiring for a chemistry teacher and you majored in chemistry; or they need a computer science teacher and you’re coming from IT), that can often be enough depending on the school. NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) is a great resource and their website has a job board.

        9. RagingADHD*

          You know, it’s interesting. I see you’ve commented in several places here that it’s so surprising there is a need for workers in fields with long-term training requirements, and lamenting that there isn’t more pay/support for people entering those careers.

          I mean, you do understand *why* there are shortages, right? All the nurses, teachers, and pilots didn’t get zapped by aliens. The people with training and experience are still here. Most of them still love the profession. They just aren’t willing to continue working for the low pay and horrible conditions.

          If society / these industries were willing to invest significant amounts of money in those workers and workforce development, they would have done it already. And then there wouldn’t be a shortage in the first place. The vast majority of those existing workers would return immediately if they were paid fairly and had basic protections from an increasingly abusive public. Immediately.

          It would actually be cheaper to just *pay people more* than to give free training to a bunch of starry-eyed career-switchers who possess no useful skills in the industry and can’t do any of the work while they learn. If employers won’t do the cheaper, simpler, faster and more effective solution, why would you think they’d opt for a more expensive, more complicated, and less reliable solution?

          As someone whose kid is grappling with untrained desperation-hire babysitters posing as teachers, who have zero idea what they are doing and zero skills for managing classrooms with a couple dozen kids at a time (much less teaching them anything), I assure you that there are some careers where “learning on the job” and fast-tracking requirements are truly terrible ideas.

          If the people who know what they’re doing are all leaving the profession, bringing in a bunch of neophytes would just make the system *more* broken and more exploitative.

          1. MM*

            This is it. Teachers and nurses have been sounding the alarm for years, and one thing that’s been very clear is that when the breaking point comes–and it seems that it has, it’s just going in slow motion–it will take years if not decades to recover. Because without a constant pipeline of people getting trained and coming through their careers behind the people who are already trained, you end up with a shortage that you cannot fill at all quickly. And when you have experienced people leaving and then others choosing other professions because these are collapsing, it’s compounded.

            It would actually be cheaper to just *pay people more* than to give free training to a bunch of starry-eyed career-switchers who possess no useful skills in the industry and can’t do any of the work while they learn. If employers won’t do the cheaper, simpler, faster and more effective solution, why would you think they’d opt for a more expensive, more complicated, and less reliable solution?

            My friend is a pediatrician who just changed to a new hospital despite that she loved the old one. Why? Because management is abusing and exploiting the nursing staff, especially the pediatric nurses, so badly that she knows they will all leave. She’s watching the cycle: management won’t raise wages in bargaining with the unit, nurses quit, they hire travel nurses to fill in at much higher hourly rates, staff nurses look at that and say, ok then, they quit to become travel nurses, the need becomes greater, the death spiral increases. She wanted to stay and advocate for her colleagues, but it was obvious that admin simply was not interested in saving itself money and everyone trouble by just. raising. wages. So she eventually had to decide whether to go somewhere else or wait for the department to come down around her ears. This is a hospital serving a low-income population without a lot of other facilities around; it broke her heart to leave.

            1. Disco Janet*

              YES to it taking decades to recover. As a high school teacher, I’m used to having some students who tell me they’re going to college to become an educator. Now they tell me “I think I would like teaching, but you guys have to deal with way too much for the amount you get paid. I’m doing something else.” And I certainly don’t try to persuade them to change their mind!

          2. Anonymousse*

            As a second-career teacher who has worked hard for my license and education (yes, in pedagogy and classroom management, imagine that!) and has a pretty damn good idea of what I’m doing…please try to temper your contempt for career-change teachers. I am as frustrated as you are at how the teaching profession is undervalued and at the resulting rising levels of incompetence in our schools. It’s one of the reasons I made the decision to become a teacher. And I’m sorry your child is having to bear the brunt of it — it’s unbearable seeing our kids dealing with something so unfair and potentially damaging and not being able to do anything about it. But every time I hear comments like yours it’s a gut punch. It feels like, wow, I wouldn’t have thought I could hear anything that would make my job feel harder…but here it is, and usually coming from people who say they truly value public education. If you truly do…please understand how much additional stress your contempt places on people who are working their asses off to make the situation better.

          3. Justme*

            I’m sorry you (and by extension us as a society) are dealing with this.

            I graduated in the early 90’s in Education and became a public school teacher for a few years. All of the problems we see now, were problems in my state back then, which is why I regretfully left teaching. I did and still do love teaching, but couldn’t stand the bureaucracy, lack of respect and low wages. Fast forward to today and things have gotten worse and it seems to be a nationwide problem.

            Those of you still in the trenches, fighting the good fight have my respect!

        10. Veruca*

          My husband became a teacher through our states alternate certification program, which was made to deal with a teacher shortage years ago.
          He needed a bachelors degree in anything, then to pass a competency exam in his chosen subject. He could take multiple subject exams. Then he took a summer crash course on classroom management and education. During the summer the program arranged job fairs with school districts. His first year teaching is considered student teaching.

          1. It's Me*

            I did the same program, and now my region’s credentialling partner is set up so you get the master’s for free. There are also university programs through CSU’s that allow you to get certified while teaching, plus signing bonuses for subject shortage (Math, Science, SPED, Bilingual).

          2. Books and Cooks*

            Personally, I think this is a much better system, that overall produces much better teachers, than the current one. My uncle did basically the same thing just post-retirement– he became an algebra teacher after several decades as an aeronautical engineer, first for the USAF and then at Boeing. I think this is a great way to get people who are really passionate about, and experts in, a particular subject, which is much needed. (Now if only they would stop tying teachers’ hands behind their backs when it comes to discipline, we could start giving kids the knowledge they truly need to excel in life again.)

            1. Disco Janet*

              I hear what you’re saying about getting passionate experts in the classroom, but it also gives us teachers who have had zero training in how to be a teacher. And just because you’re an expert at something doesn’t mean you’ll be any good at teaching it. It’s great when people are, but I would say they’re the exception rather than the rule.

              1. Justme*

                I agree, they are truly two different things.

                Looking back, while my college subject matter coursework was valuable it couldn’t prepare me to “be” a teacher. My semester as a student teacher under the guidance of a veteran teacher and honestly my first year or so in my own classroom where I continued to learn on the job (with occasional mentorship) is when I learned to be a teacher. While I was very, very enthusiastic (first to arrive at school and last to leave every day), I still wasn’t as strong of a teacher early on. Becoming a competent teacher who could manage a classroom took time.

        11. Invest in yourself?*

          Where I live you can do a program to be a licensed practical nurse in 18 months and then work as an LPN while you complete a BSN to become an RN for higher pay, more career options, etc. 18 months invested in a combined classroom and hands on learning program doesn’t seem especially excessive to me, but I admit my bias as a graduate of a four year clinical program.

        12. DreddPirate*

          Note that in most of the US, having a Masters degree in a given subject technically qualifies you to teach that subject. Most community colleges will hire an applicant who holds a Masters degree, regardless of whether they have a teaching certificate or background in education.

        13. I Don’t Know It All*

          Most states have transition to teach/alternate certification pathways for teaching as long as you have a bachelors in a subject that fits one of your states content areas. If you go that route you can get hired as if you are any other teacher, but you work on a more restricted license for a few months to a few years (depending on your state) until you finish your coursework.

          I’d say about a quarter of the teachers in my school got certified this year. They are former accountants, journalists, marketing professionals etc.

        14. NotAnotherManager!*

          My children’s school district (in Virginia) recently sent out an email about a path-to-licensure program that they are running that gets people into the classroom and teaching while they are working on licensure. Virginia does provisional licenses, and I don’t know if the program requires that or not. I didn’t look into it further for details, but it looked like they were at least trying to help with the licensing and provide practical training/experience.

          My spouse was considering going into teaching when our kids were small. He took about 2-4 classes of graduate-level education coursework (evening/weekend/online classes at a local public university), passed one of the exams, and was provisionally licensed to teach; however, at that time the schools had to take fully licensed teachers ahead of provisionals, and I believe he had to teach for a year on the provisional before he could be fully licensed – he couldn’t find a job without the full license. This was over a decade ago, though, and he ended up doing IT work for the federal government, which pays better and does not have the added stress of upper-middle class helicopter parents.

    2. Leah*

      Teaching, if you are crazy enough to try it. The system is broken and needs major, ground up, restructuring if there is any hope for the future. I left teaching in January of 2022 and every single thing I hear from my former workmates cements my decision as a good one.

      1. Pants*

        I will never fault anyone for leaving teaching. It’s simply not the profession it once was. Teachers have my utmost respect. I could never. Never mind the government butting in (“don’t say gay” etc.) and constant budget cuts; it’s the parents I couldn’t deal with.

        Teachers should be making CEO salaries. (And all politicians should be paid no more than a 1st year public school teacher in their state. No lobbying or side gigs allowed.)

        1. VegetarianRaccoon*

          I know it’s been a few days, but I love the idea of pegging the politicians’ pay to the teachers’.

      1. Nonny Mouse*

        Absolutely. Although some districts that pay quite well and treat teachers decently are also desperate; I taught in one of them for years.

    3. Nonny Mouse*

      Oh, qualifications to teach: In most US states, a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate to start. In some states, a master’s degree needs to be earned within a few years of starting. Florida is hiring veterans and their spouses without college, and Arizona is hiring college students. I hear anecdotally that Oklahoma is also hiring people with no college education, but this is not official policy (yet) to the best of my knowledge.

      1. Cascadia*

        There are also ways to get a provisional teaching certificate while teaching in the classroom, so definitely something to look into. Also, most private schools do NOT require a teaching certificate and are also desperately hiring. And finally early childhood education (aka infants through preschool) is also desperately hiring and those jobs generally don’t require a teaching certificate and often times not even a degree.

        1. Ali + Nino*

          Agree re: looking into private schools. When I moved to a new city fresh out of college and needed a job, several people suggesting teaching at the local private school, even though my BS was completely unrelated to education. Of course, this will depend on the private school in question – elite prep schools, I think this would be less likely.

          1. S*

            Were any of those people employed at private schools? Because while private schools don’t require teaching credentials, they woo parents with their teachers’ higher ed credentials, ie PhDs and MAs. Science and math is a little different—if you’re able to teach a stem subject you’re in a much better position.

            1. Someone else*

              Probably depends on the school. I went to a religious school as a kid. They didn’t require teachers to have any college degree – I knew people who taught there who didn’t attend college.

              I feel like religious schools are trying to attract parents who want their children to have religious and/or conservative upbringings. It’s not about the academic value for those places.

              1. VegetarianRaccoon*

                In some cases, academic credentials have a negative value in those places! Can’t fill the children’s heads with unthinking doctrine if you’re clogging it up with ‘scientific method’ and ‘critical thinking!’
                I say it like a joke but seriously.

      2. Velociraptor Attack*

        Florida is not hiring veterans or their spouses without college, this has been widely debunked.

        Veterans have to have at least 60 college credits to get the temporary certification, their spouses have to have all of the requirements anyone else has, and they just have the $75 application fee waived.

        Whether lessening the requirements for vets is a good thing or not (I would argue it is not), a lot of the outrage is over spouses being covered (thanks largely to one very viral post that has gone around) and it’s completely inaccurate.

      1. Flower necklace*

        It’s nationwide, from what I hear. But I teach at the high school level and I know my school has had trouble finding certified teachers.

        There are also certain certifications that are more badly needed than others. Speaking from personal experience, ESOL teachers are in short supply in the entire northern Virginia/DC area.

      2. Hmm!*

        In my area (New England), the demand is highest for math teachers (all ages), high school science teachers (with the exception of biology), and special ed (all ages).

    4. Jalee*

      I am a teacher. I have two years left until I have my thirty and can retire at the top of the pension scale. I am ready to go. I am so sad at the thought of no teenagers to teach but the other bullshite (and it is bullshite) that we have to deal with is just too much.

      The assault (verbal and legislative) on teachers just means to me that a lot of people (not the parents I have) just do not value this career and think they know more than I do about teaching math to high school students.

    5. JustAnotherJedi*

      It’s only going to get worse. I got out of teaching years ago, but my youngest son is a teacher in Florida. And some of the stuff they’re trying to pull in his subject area (history) are appalling. Did you know that “forced relocation” is a perfectly acceptable substitutue for the word slavery? I’m not sure how long he’ll last. And I get it. I totally get it.

      1. Boberta*

        I teach history in a private school and I have serious ethical qualms about that, but one huge plus is that I am not expected to sugarcoat history—I would probably be fired for that kind of lying, actually.

        That said, for anyone wondering about private vs public school, none of my peers at a number of other “elite” schools note a significant difference in pay until you get to the admin level which most people hate because at that point you’re not actually teaching anymore. And I actually get paid less than my friends who work in urban public schools. Private schools tend to be better resourced, and depending on where you teach you have more control over your classroom, but teaching is still teaching and it’s still a really hard job that doesn’t pay as much as it should.

    6. Hmm!*

      I would strongly urge caution for anyone looking to get into teaching simply because there’s a current shortage.

      I used to work in corporate HR and changed fields because I realized I hated office work. I needed my job to be challenging and engaging, and I ended up in the classroom. I’m off right now, but during the school year, I work minimum 8 hours a day (often longer), and at least 5 of those hours are spent with students, which means you’re on your feet and talking/socializing/actively working from the second the first student walks through the door until the second the last student walks out. It’s inherently demanding, high-stakes work, which can be made infinitely more difficult by your school, district, or even your grade/subject team.

      Teachers have a lot of the same kinds of demands on them as students do. You can’t use your phone during the day, you can’t use the bathroom whenever you want, you can’t cut stay late Tuesday so you can cut out early on Friday. There are a lot of firm, inflexible deadlines and structures that can’t be argued with. Teachers are under contract for at least 35 hours per week, many work closer to 50 hours. The hours are even longer for newbies who are still figuring out how to get the work done efficiently. It gets easier, but there’s a reason that many teachers change fields in the first 5 years.

      Culturally, we expect teachers to martyr themselves. That’s messed up and needs to change! But even at the most understanding, supportive school on the planet, you have a fraction of the autonomy and flexibility of the typical office job. Career changers who expect to maintain the standards and expectations of their old field tend to burn out fast, and I feel like it’s important to be honest about that!

      1. Emdash*

        This. I used to teach as well. I recall so many late nights grading, answering emails, and weekends doing more of that and lesson planning. Also the step-and-pay scale coupled with cost of living. Hardest job I ever did.

      2. Napster*

        Consider substitute teaching before you dive into full-time teaching. I sub a couple days a week (to supplement my abysmal income, and I realize I’m lucky I have the flexibility to do it), and NO WAY would I take on a full-time teaching position. My hat’s off and my heart goes out to full-time teachers. Bless you.

        1. Humble Schoolmarm*

          Thank you for the kind words! Honestly, If someone was curious about a career change to teaching, I’d start out with a bit of volunteering before wading into the wilds of substitute teaching. With volunteering, you can see how a classroom runs on a routine sort of day. What sort of activities are normal? How to the students behave? How does the teacher handle classroom management? What kind of routines and structures are typical/needed?
          With subbing, your classroom management needs to be on point, as even the sweetest class gets a bit…off… when there’s a new person and you don’t have the benefit of prior relationships to help with that (the best thing about being 7 years at my school is that a raised eyebrow and a cautionary “Jaaane” is usually enough to redirect a situation that’s headed for trouble). On the other hand, you don’t get much experience with the long hours stuff like planning and marking which is exhausting but has it’s bright spots when the lesson goes smoothly or a kid has a lightbulb moment.

    7. tamarack and fireweed*

      And where I am, school bus drivers. Though some of that is politics-inflicted – but close to me they’ll be rotating school buses to one week on, two weeks off for the foreseeable future!

    8. Humble Schoolmarm*

      Just reading the latest post on work-life balance and wanted to throw in another comment. Work-life balance is something you have to actively fight for as a teacher. There is always, always more to do and being the efficient person who finishes first isn’t exactly a thing. Not to say there aren’t ways to be efficient (being really intentional about what to mark and how, making up templates for common emails home, triage everything), but you have to make your own decisions about where to draw the line and understand that the bulk of your work is done when there are no kids around. There are also always people who are going to expect a 100% on-call attitude. I once had a principal who waxed poetic about how the person I was replacing was an expert teacher because she got ideas at 3 am and leapt from her bed to write them down and make activities. It was hard not to wonder if that was why she needed a replacement (ie. me) for the year!

    9. Jennifer in FL*

      Teaching, but ESPECIALLY Early Childhood Education (Infant- Age 5)

      I’m a preschool teacher in FL. My school is absolutely desperate for teachers and assistants.

      Previously I taught at private preschools in GA for almost 20 years. I didn’t need a degree or certification, but I gained experience on the job. Last year I took a job at a private preschool here in FL that has a state-funded VPK program. I was required to do 40 hours of Department of Children and Families training, plus 5 hours of Literacy Training.

      After completing my first year at this school, I was eligible for scholarship that is provided by the state in partnership with my school. It’s for people who are already working in Early Childhood Education and want to further/complete their education. The state pays 90% of my tuition, the school pays 10%. You can use the scholarship to get a CDA all the way up to you Master’s. In addition, my county has a Wage Incentive program. We get CEU in our field (the classes are paid for by the county) and get a bonus upon completing the courses.

      I work hard, but I love my job, and I love that my school is willing to invest time AND money in me.

    10. A Genuine Scientician*

      Very much so.

      Generally:

      – To be a full classroom teacher in a public school, you almost always need to be licensed in that state. Many states require an bachelor’s of education or higher for the licensing, though not all do. Some states with severe enough of shortages are experimenting with not requiring this, for better or for worse.

      – Private schools do not always require this. Sometimes you can be enrolled part time in an Ed. degree program and teach, particularly if you’re teaching something they have trouble staffing (eg: many foreign languages), or (for better or for worse) special education.

      – Having a degree at all, or in some states military service, will often allow you to be a paraprofessional. Some of those will be directly in the classroom, but under the guidance of a classroom teacher. Others may be doing things like marking assignments, inputting things to the learning management system, etc.

      – School librarian positions are notoriously difficult to get, but people trained as librarians may often be able to enter a school district as a school or district media specialist. The specific credentials needed for these positions vary wildly by state, and sometimes even by district within the state.

    11. Retired Teacher*

      There’s a reason for that. It sucks beyond belief. Love the kids, but the workload alongside the politics of education is unbelievably bad. Sincerely, A Retired Teacher

  2. Justin*

    Well. There sure are a lot of DEI jobs, but most of them are thankless CYA roles.

    I work in the CDFI field now (community development financial institutions, though I’m still on the education side of it) and there’s definitely a fair amount of growth there, too, though most folks don’t know about it at all (I sure didn’t before I got the job).

    1. Cringing 24/7*

      This is literally what I’d love to break into – if you don’t mind answering, what sort of qualifications are being looked at for these roles?

      1. Anonym*

        Not sure if you meant DEI or CDFI, but for DEI jobs at my employer (large Fortune 50 financial institution), you need an HR background at minimum, and they prefer someone with either direct DEI experience or graduate degrees related to it. I was interested at one point, but had no HR experience and couldn’t make the jump directly.

        However! In a large DEI team, other non subject matter expert roles are needed as well, such as communications or project management. That may be a way in, either to get exposure/experience in the subject matter or at least to contribute to the efforts as a whole. And I can’t be sure, but you might be able to parlay that experience into a true DEI role at an organization that’s more flexible in what they’re seeking.

        1. Anonym*

          I should add, re Justin’s extremely valid caveat, that my company is quite heavily invested in DEI long term, and the policies and programs run very deep in the organization. We may be an outlier? Or at least on the not-BS end of the spectrum. Not sure how one could gauge this from the outside exactly, but someone better versed in the field might know. I imagine that guidance would be of interest to anyone looking to move into the field!

          1. Justin*

            Yeah my thought is basically, did DEI show up randomly in 2020? Probably it won’t stick. But if there’s true commitment, from the top all the way down, it can work. So I would try and gauge how leadership feels about it to determine how successful DEI work might be.

            1. Justme*

              DEI has been around for years, but exploded after the murder of George Floyd. It’s not going to disappear. In fields where competition for talent is fierce, anywhere where there are federal laws tied to accessibility (ask any software company who’s been sued or any company who’s been sued due to their website not being accessible to persons with disabilities), there are many reasons a company of a certain size will want a DEI team in place.

          2. tamarack and fireweed*

            Yeah, I am not a friend of the “it’s all for CYA anyway” cynicism. Our organization has spent months on developing a DEI role, socializing the idea why we need one and what it would enable us to achieve, including in terms of growth of our programming (this in addition to the effect we need to generate on our culture and workplace equity), figuring out funding, lobbying with leadership… This isn’t a CYA exercise for us.

            1. Justin*

              I wrote a whole dissertation on it. It’s CYA for most, and the ones who are really doing it are exemplary. I’m glad yours seems to be the latter. But it’s rare

        2. JR*

          Another possible path in would be to join the DEI committee at your current workplace (if one exists) and do very good work, see if you can parlay that into some legit PD/certificate, etc. Then you become a known quantity to your current company’s team if a position options, and have something to talk about in your cover letter and interviews for an external role. Not a guaranteed path by any means, but an option to pursue if grad school isn’t the right fit.

      2. ceruleanskies*

        I work for a CDFI. We look for folks with backgrounds in business/economic development, banking, or nonprofit management. Project/program management and client service skills/experience is also a plus, as well as commitment to our mission/understanding of the population we serve. It’s a great field, in my experience, and very rewarding. Can’t speak to other CDFIs but mine also pays well for a non-profit.

        1. Annimal*

          I would love to know more! I’m a lifelong nonprofit worker halfway through an MBA and with a strong commitment to social impact, so CDFI seems like it could be up my alley. Any tips on how to look for the right resources or evaluate good vs bad direction on the field would be so appreciated!

          1. Justin*

            Yes it’s an extremely well paying job for nonprofits because it has… funding!

            As for how to break in, well. Where are you (vaguely)? I’d look up CDFIs in your area and learn what they’re looking for because we do a lot of different things. I run a training program for example and knew nothing about finance.

          2. ceruleanskies*

            A great place to start is the Opportunity Finance Network. They have a job board and you can see the variety of roles available at CDFIs. As far as evaluating the organization, the lending side of CDFIs is pretty heavily regulated (at least if they’re using federal funds), but I’d check to see who they are serving. Are their borrowers/clients members of underserved communities, or are they the kinds of people who would do just fine with a regular bank? Are they offering additional programs (financial literacy, business development classes, networking opportunities, etc.) to ensure their borrowers are successful? Are they being innovative, supporting new markets and taking (reasonable) risks on startups, esp. by women/BIPOC? Is their board/staff representative of the communities they serve?

          3. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

            Hey Allison, this, and probably some other fields that will be listed, seem to be ones folks want to know more about. Would be totally cool to see either an interview with folks in these fields or maybe guest columns or something for each field that commenters seem excited about.

        2. Ella*

          I’d love to be in this field! Can you share (if you know) what employers you’d recommend? I have a program management background in executive education.

        3. Miette*

          Was just coming to recommend the CDFI industry as well! For anyone in financial services that longs to do something for the good of society, this is a great industry to be in. In addition to the skills listed here, there are lots of openings, generally, for loan officers, underwriters, etc. because many CDFIs are lending institutions as well.

    2. Mia*

      This sounds intriguing. How did you find it, and what exactly are they looking for in terms of background/experience?

      1. Justin*

        I was just looking for a professional development/training job and happened upon one. So the answer to how I found it was the same as any other job.

        But! I really think it depends on the CDFI. Mine wanted an interest in communities, a commitment to justice, and then specifics to my role (which is education). For the lending side, same qualifications as a regular bank.

      2. Miette*

        As far as background/experience needed, skills from the financial services industry are transferable, as are skills from the nonprofit world, as there are often programs to be managed, products/services to be marketed, etc. There are CDFIs that are lending institutions, banks, and credit unions. The orgs that fund CDFIs are also a good place to look, think of large foundations, especially those that are place-focused like Kresge, which focuses a lot on Detroit, as an example. Most large banks have CDFI-facing programs (because CRA compliance), so there are management positions in that end of the industry as well.

        CDFIs are certified by a federal agency called the CDFI Fund. You can find a CDFI near you by visiting their website here: https://www.cdfifund.gov/tools-resources

        The industry has a few professional organizations you can check out for jobs as well. Opportunity Finance Network has a job bank here: https://www.ofn.org/job-bank/

      3. Miette*

        As far as background/experience needed, skills from the financial services industry are transferable, as are skills from the nonprofit world, as there are often programs to be managed, products/services to be marketed, etc.. There are CDFIs that are lending institutions, banks, and credit unions. The orgs that fund CDFIs are also a good place to look, think of large foundations, especially those that are place-focused like Kresge, which focuses a lot on Detroit, as an example. Most large banks have CDFI-facing programs (because CRA compliance), so there are management positions in that end of the industry as well.

        CDFIs are certified by a federal agency called the CDFI Fund. You can find a CDFI near you by visiting their website (IDK but the site doesn’t seem to accept my replies with a URL–it’s cdfifund dot gov )

        The industry has a few professional organizations you can check out for jobs as well. Opportunity Finance Network has a job bank on their website at OFN dot org

      4. Parcae*

        I was not expecting to find a bunch of other CDFI folks here in the comments! Very cool.

        I think one of the neatest things about working in the CDFI industry is the wide range of professional backgrounds you see. We’ve got educators and social service types working side-by-side with people from the finance industry. (A guy I met once at the OFN conference described himself as a “recovering banker,” which I absolutely loved.) The whole idea is to pair loans with education and other support our borrowers need to succeed. Done right, a CDFI counteracts both predatory lending and traditional banks that won’t invest in disadvantaged communities.

    1. Melanie Cavill*

      I would love to get into renewable energy. Is that an industry you’re in? Are you willing to provide some more information on what would be needed from a hopeful employee to get in on the ground floor?

      1. clean energy advocate*

        It really depends on what kind of role you’re wanting :) Renewable energy covers a lot – energy efficiency, wind, solar, storage, EVs… and there’s policy, finance, education, project development, construction & utilities all within the industry too.

        I’m in Minnesota and electricians are always in demand! There are some training programs, like NABCEP, that can be helpful if you want to be a solar installer.

        Because the jobs vary so much, I’d recommend learning what you can about the industry in your area & reading job postings, which should help inform what jobs you’re interested in & the skills you’d need.

        1. clean energy advocate*

          The industry is going to need a ton of installers (HVAC, weatherization, solar, wind, etc), plus people who know EVs. We’ll need software engineers & data people, who can help program advanced building controls and connect to an ever-changing electric grid (and manage that grid). People who can develop clean energy projects – working with communities, financiers, and construction companies. Lots of opportunities!

        2. KoiFeeder*

          I like data entry and organizing things- I am happiest in a dark closet with my excel spreadsheets. Would there be work for me, and if so, what qualifications would I need?

          1. Anonym*

            Every field needs project managers, coordinators and data people! Your skills are nearly universal. I’m not sure on quals, apologies, but I used to work on the government side of renewable energy, and there were certainly folks performing that kind of work for us.

          2. JSPA*

            Having had solar installers make mistakes on a) calculations of output and b) permit paperwork and c) paperwork for tax credits and rebates… and also at one point, buy, mislabel and use a slightly wrong gauge of wire… they DO need people with organizational skills, whether or not they know that they do, and whether or not they budget for that position.

          3. Calliope*

            Everyone needs this but I’d look and see if your state public utility commission is hiring for analyst roles. They regulate utilities and need folks to analyze the data utilities and others submit. You can do the same thing working for a utility (in that case getting the data together/analyzed to submit to regulators) or a renewable energy developer or a non profit but I think looking at PUC roles is a good place to start.

    2. stargazer*

      Came here to say this! I work in energy data analysis and we constantly have more to do than we can handle. There are so many emerging technologies, new RPS standards, etc.

    3. Anonym*

      Plug for US Dept of Energy! It’s a super interesting place to work, and the jobs under the renewable energy umbrella vary pretty widely. The link below has DOE jobs across the country, but it looks like they’re hosting a virtual career fair and a bunch of seminars in September about jobs within the industry (not just at DOE). Hope this helps someone!

      https://www.energy.gov/eere/clean-energy-jobs

    4. Primordial Nan*

      On the legal/compliance side of things, there are the regulatory agencies in different regions of the country – they’re obviously more about auditing the existing grid and key players, but, as someone who once worked at one, it’s a good way to break into the energy industry and get a good base of knowledge. Below is the link to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation – it’s the page that talks about the six regulatory agencies in the US.

      https://www.nerc.com/AboutNERC/keyplayers/Pages/default.aspx

      1. Calliope*

        There’s actually far more than that – those specifically work on electric system reliability and are quasi-governmental in function but not public agencies. Then there’s the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (most jobs in DC) and the Department of Energy is going to be doing a ton of hiring post-IRA.

        Then each state has a public utility commission (these go by different names in different states) and there also grid operators in some regions (called things like the California Independent System Operator) that operate the transmission grid and take on planning responsibilities among other things.

        This is actually one area where there is truly huge and growing demand and particular credentials aren’t required for most jobs (obviously some need a law degree or whatnot). It’s a highly technical field but if you’re numbers oriented or engineering oriented and want to make the effort to learn it, you will not be out of work.

    5. Forrest Gumption*

      Agreed – I work on the public relations/public affairs side of renewable energy, and the agency I work for is getting new business every day. More than they can handle sometimes! Lots of hiring going on.

      1. Alexis Rose*

        PR professional here – what kind of qualifications does your agency look for? I’ve worked in higher education for 6 years. I feel like some of those skills could cross over, especially having to explain scientific or unfamiliar topics. I’ll probably want out of higher ed in order to make more money at some point within the next five years and I think renewable energy could be really interesting and rewarding.

        1. Forrest Gumption*

          I worked in PR for travel and education for several years, and I have to say, switching to PR/marketing for renewable energy was a BIG learning curve. This industry employs a lot of different tactics than what I had used for travel or education. I don’t want to say too much (in order to maintain anonymity), but let’s just say that there is a big element of grassroots advocacy and supporter cultivation, similar to what you see in political campaigns. Knowing the science or being able to explain it is not actually an important skill in my agency (the client helps with that). No particular skills were required aside from the usual PR/comms skills such as media pitching & monitoring, social media management, copywriting, etc, because my agency was willing to teach the industry-specific tactics (it’s taken a year to really get up to speed). Some of my colleagues do have industry-specific PR experience and they definitely were able to hit the ground running a lot faster, but I think if you have solid PR or marketing skills and an interest in renewable energy you can likely switch tracks.

    6. El l*

      Yes. Power no longer just takes care of people’s appliances- it’s now the filling station and eventually all our massive energy needs.

      If you have a quantitative background of any type, you can find something. If you have a legal/compliance background, that too – it’s the most complex commodity in the world. Even communication.

      The biggest precondition to success is learning a truly gargantuan amount of institutional knowledge. But gotta start somewhere.

  3. calvin blick*

    I think renewable energy will see a hiring boom now that the “Inflation Reduction Act” is going to be signed. (I am not sure if it will reduce inflation, but it will help the renewable energy industry quite a bit). In the space of like 60 days, Biden has cleared up a potentially devastating module tariff issue and signed a massive renewable energy bill that will cut greenhouse gas emissions and expand the industry I work in dramatically–not a bad run for Joe.

    1. Justin*

      It’s weird when DC actually does a useful set of things, but they are about to have done so.

      And yes, the construction part of my job is really into sustainable building too.

      1. Elizabeth West*

        This is what happens when people push for progressive policies and vote for politicians who GAF about them. Even centrists can see we’re in deep doo-doo if we don’t do something now.

        Sustainable building is great. I applied for a job at a prefab company but didn’t get it. I was kind of excited about that.

    2. Prospect Gone Bad*

      I don’t know, it could. I work in the adjacent industry and I feel like places are always hiring but it’s a lot of the same 40, 50+ year olds with experience shuffling between jobs. It’s not a light switch where all of a sudden a bunch of people get hired, and when there is it’s probably door to door solar sales reps. I feel like this is an example of something being more visible rather than the industry actually changing. But I could be wrong, I just don’t see the flood of new openings.

      And I am happy AAM just added a disclaimer because I hate the insinuation that anyone can suddenly get hired just because there is an opening. As I said, I know loads of middle aged dudes making good money and they are the ones I see job hopping.

      1. Calliope*

        I recommend folks start looking for jobs at regulators. Those aren’t filled with the old boys club in the same way usually.

        1. Prospect Gone Bad*

          Except they usually hire over-educated people. Ad will say Bachelors required but everyone who ever got the job has a Masters.

    3. Sloanicota*

      Ugh I hope it doesn’t all end up in fossil fuel company’s back pockets through these so-called “biogas” projects. Those are not renewable they way the public is imagining, they are just corporate greenwashing.

    4. Ivka*

      This. One of the most important elements is that it establishes a ten-year timeline for government subsidies – companies that may not have wanted to expand for fear that the market and government support would swing the other way will now feel comfortable making bigger hiring moves in light of greater security.

    5. WindEngineer*

      Yes! This plus many countries in the EU trying to move away from Russian oil is priming the renewable energy industry. However I think the employment “boom” will be mostly in construction/technician type roles which many companies will provide the wind specific training. It does often require working in remote places and physical labor so it’s not for everyone.

      As projects get going there are a lot of “back office” roles (engineering, data wizards, quality, PMs) supporting that but I think that’s likely 2-3 years out.

    6. Melting HR Guru*

      Yes Renewable I am HR for a solar company and we need project managers, solar designers, and a sales manager Very hard to get someone who has electrical and solar experience , And Sales amanger well you really need to know solar industry and the worst part very little remote so folks have to be in the city you are in. All very frustrating. As an Aside we are in Albuquerque

      1. DataScientist*

        As someone who would LOVE to get into the solar field, and has a ton of useful, transferable skills, it’s super frustrating how most solar companies won’t even talk to you unless you already have experience in the field. I get why it’s preferred, but at some point you need fresh people to keep the field growing! It’s a weirdly harder industry to break into than most others.

    7. calvin blick*

      Update as Allison clarified that commenters should mention qualifications. (Also, it’s ironic that I posted a nearly identical comment to MansplainerHater’s two minutes after their’s…while that may seem the epitome of mansplaining I start writing my comment before I saw that one).

      Roles I see in renewables a lot:
      -Biggest one is solar installers–very hard to find people who want to work in the field, and most likely also traveling far from home. Personally I wouldn’t find that kind of job attractive, but if you do you can almost certainly get a job tomorrow. Electricians get paid very well.
      -Standard office roles like accountants, HR, etc. Assuming renewable energy companies are looking to expand (which they are), should be lots of roles here.
      -Project managers, especially those with any kind of construction experience.
      -Engineers and designers – lots of roles open here
      -Financial analysts

      Personally, I would stick with companies that do utility scale or commerical/industrial solar as opposed to rooftop solar–most of the big rooftop companies do not offer great deals for homeowners and don’t seem to have the most sustainable business model.

  4. Charlotte Lucas*

    Healthcare adjacent fields – policy, benefits administration, etc. Especially state & local government agencies.

    1. Spooncake*

      Medical devices and pharmaceuticals too- there are a ton of new regulations globally and both industries are looking for regulatory specialists/science writers/lab techs in order to keep up with it all.

      1. br_612*

        Can confirm. I’m a medical writer for a consulting group and our regulatory team is stretched thin (hence why they brought me on, I do the writing they do the strategy).

        I started two months ago (I’m actually a prior LW . . . My previous company had the branded vests in only S/M/L) and I’m already booked solid through December. One project in getting positive feedback from the reg person I was paired with and everyone is eager to have someone take the writing off their plate so they can focus on the bigger picture. I’m their first medical writer and I think my manager’s vision of a whole team of writers will be happening in the medium-ish future.

        Most medical writers have an advanced degree (I have a PhD). But a lot of our consultants don’t! And our BD and resourcing teams definitely mostly don’t have advanced degrees.

        Their qualifications are often a grab bag. Some business majors some STEM majors. I think at least two English majors. But I bet fundraising skills could translate to BD if you focus on the right aspects. That team is all about knowing what skills the various consulting teams have and working with potential clients to really define their needs and the best resources from the consultant pool. So relationship building etc.

        All the stuff that makes me as a hermit writer want to cry. Just point me at a blank word document, give me data, and leave me alone for a few days to work please. I’ll give you your 100+ page briefing document.

        1. Southern health inspector*

          Can you please give more info on regulatory roles . Currently I am a health inspector with a Bs in Biology and BA in psych . Mid career

          1. br_612*

            I’d say for reg it’s about 1/3-1/2 of our consultants that have an advanced degree. So definitely possible without one.

            There are certain certifications you can get. One is called RAC (Regulatory Affairs Certificate). The association that does that is called RAPS. I don’t know anything about cost for that because it’s never been part of my career path.

            In my particular consulting group, a lot of our consultants who come in without previous pharma experience are first put into the Consulting Operations group. They’re kind of free floating resources who help out wherever needed to get a feel for our practice areas. Almost like an apprentice model. And then after awhile as they get some project experience they can move into one of the dedicated practice areas if they want to. No idea if that’s common elsewhere but our people who started in ConOps really like it.

      2. Scaleamander*

        Drug manufacturing, especially radiopharmaceuticals. There has been a lot of investment lately and some big winners, so that’s driving more players into the space. Any sort of technical/scientific background can help someone break in to the field, as many of these companies are willing to train people who have the right attitude, as the number of people with the specific expertise that would be ideal is low.

    2. MPH Researcher*

      And I’m sure this is obvious based on the news cycle, but direct healthcare positions – particularly nursing – are also booming. My company is offering $10-$15k sign-on bonuses for nursing positions, and even $10-15k referral bonuses for certain hard-to-fill nursing specialties. Nursing is interesting in that you are basically guaranteed to start at $60k after the equivalent of a 4-year degree, and once you have experience and specialize you can easily get to $100k (or more if you are willing to travel). And you can basically live anywhere because everywhere needs nurses. But it’s hard work and not for everyone!

      1. Charlotte Lucas*

        Once nurses leave active healthcare, they often can find jobs at insurance or government health agencies.

        1. Richard Hershberger*

          There also is a niche of nurses as supporting consultants to the legal biz. This can be interpreting medical records, for stuff that lawyers don’t see all the time. It also can be wrangling medical providers. There are doctors who won’t give a lawyer the time of day, but who are welcoming to a nurse acting on behalf of a lawyer. I suspect that the nurse leverages the support staff network heavily. We don’t use this sort of service often, as it is expensive and usually not necessary. But when needed, it is a godsend.

        2. Anon Supervisor*

          Insurance companies are always looking for nurses to work in their Prior Authorization/QA departments due to ever changing policies directed toward auditing of provider billing and utilization management. Also, if you have a Medical Coding degree (usually a 2 year program) there are lots of hospitals and insurance companies looking to fill those roles.

        3. Lyudie*

          My company does medical software and we have lots of former healthcare workers in various positions. Former nurses, doctors, public health, rad techs, all kinds. Many come in as “business analysts” and help the programmers design the software to suit clinical workflows, advise on regulatory issues, etc. They’re invaluable in interacting with customers too, as they speak the language. I’m sure we are not unique in this either.

      2. Sloanicota*

        I wanted to look into nursing on similar hands-on medical care, but naturally the licensing requirements are quite difficult to get through (I’m not saying I don’t appreciate why, of course! Obviously administering complicated medicine / performing actual procedures is extremely high skilled work!). I was hoping I could find a program where I started in a lower-skill position in a hospital and worked my way up through more of an apprentice model, but that doesn’t seem to exist. It is a bit surprising to me because recently family members in the hospital complained that there were literally not enough bodies around, just like, checking on them, asking if they needed anything, keeping an eye on the numbers etc – people were stacked in hallways being ignored – so it seems like there’s a need for very basic entry level roles. I assume it’s a cost issue in our terrible system.

        1. Tuckerman*

          The scope of the practice for nurses has grown, and I’m not sure it’s well suited for apprenticeships now. Curious to hear from some nurses. There are 12-16 month accelerated nursing programs now, that you can do if you already have a bachelor’s (though you might need to take some pre-reqs).

          1. Sloanicota*

            Yeah I looked at those, thinking “we desperately need bodies in this field, perhaps there’s something here!” but they were not at all suited to someone with a semi-successful career in middle age who was looking to transfer.

            1. EllyBell*

              I went through a 12 month accelerated nursing program and felt incredibly well prepared for the hospital. But it was very rigorous. It was heavily recommended that you not work during that time period, which is obviously a problem for lots of folks (I was young and newly married and lucky to have a husband who made enough that I was able to do that).

              And yes I think the problem with an apprenticeship situation is a liability one. ONLY nurses can do a good portion of what we do every day, even nursing students cannot do a lot of it, so it would hard to find a job that would give you the actual transferable skills needed for nursing without the licensure.

              1. EllyBell*

                To clarify: you can definitely work as a patient tech (taking patients to the bathroom, refilling water, giving baths, etc.) which is absolutely critical to the hospital and would fill some of the gaps you’re talking about- but it typically doesn’t pay well. Sometimes when you get a foot in the door the hospital will pay for nursing school, but it still takes a longgggg time.

                1. AMT*

                  I knew someone who started as a clerk and got a BSW and then an MSW. A lot of hospitals offer tuition benefits, especially the unionized ones. It’s always a good thing to ask about interviews for healthcare jobs, since it’s such a common benefit.

              2. Sloanicota*

                Yes, sadly, as someone in mid-career it was prohibitive to me; I can’t go into debt for the program while not working for a whole year or more (shudder) when the field is also salary-limited. If there was some crazy salary at the end, mayyybeee, but that was not what I was finding. It would take me the rest of my career just to pay back what I borrowed.

                1. Starbuck*

                  Wow, I’d love to know what you’re currently doing if starting at $60,000 and going up to $100,000 is “salary limited”!

          2. MK*

            I am a Registered Nurse and have been for almost twenty years. You are correct that an apprentice model is inappropriate. Becoming a nurse requires a college degree. There are accelerated programs for people with a prior bachelor’s degree and those graduates do well if they have extensive orientation and support. Compared to a graduate from a traditional program they are behind, but they catch up just fine. (I say this as someone who was the nurse educator of a specialty ICU and trained many a new nurse.) Anyway, there is no easy button to becoming a nurse, nor should there be.

            Yes, there is demand. The pay seems decent on paper when you don’t grasp just what you do to earn it. It’s not worth it. I don’t recommend nursing at all. I am only still in health care until I figure out how to translate my skills and knowledge into a field that values me on any level.

        2. MBAir*

          “It is a bit surprising to me because recently family members in the hospital complained that there were literally not enough bodies around, just like, checking on them, asking if they needed anything, keeping an eye on the numbers etc – people were stacked in hallways being ignored – so it seems like there’s a need for very basic entry level roles. I assume it’s a cost issue in our terrible system.”

          I mean, those are called nurses and certified nurse’s aids. Hospitals have been cutting the latter’s staffing for years because money and they also enjoy cutting the former’s staffing because money. If a hospital could get away with only one actual nurse in the entire building (without being sued into oblivion), they would.

          Also, hospitals aren’t restaurants, it is not the role of a nurse or nurse’s aid to check up on your water glass or see if you need more napkins or whatever. The staffing shortage is bad and a real problem but the scenarios you’re talking about make me think that like, your relatives don’t actually know what a nurse is supposed to do.

          1. Sloanicota*

            I don’t care the name of the role, but if someone has just had surgery and can’t move, and needs water – or someone is in pain and needs someone to hold their hand, it is weird to me to think that’s just their entitlement problem speaking. Also, it’s not like our health care is cheap so we should just be grateful to be seen. These people are paying a fortune to be stacked up it the hallways and ignored? Of course I realize there’s a pandemic crisis but it doesn’t seem like we’re adding staffing to address these things, and I’m speaking as someone who was trying to find a low-barrier entry into the field.

            1. Nancy*

              You can become a certified nursing assistant or patient care assistant by taking classes through a community college and taking a certification exam (if required by the state). These programs do not take a year, but they are lower paying. Medical assistant and clinical assistant are other jobs that often have programs at community colleges. Nursing is not a job suited for an apprenticeship, nor should it be, really.

              Volunteers are often the ones that will visit patients to chat or provide books, water, etc, and at least at the hospitals near me, they were not available in 2020 to cut down on people in the hospital.

        3. Ancg*

          La crosse Wisconsin- Gundersen hospital system launched a program of paid training for medical assistants with guaranteed employment for those who finish the program . ( think the people who weight you, do the initial health screen, take your health history before the primary care provider sees you.)

      3. Anon this time*

        I work in nursing education, and I also want to point out that for people who have been thinking about going to nursing school, this is a REALLY good time to look into it. Every school I’ve talked to has lower than usual application numbers. At smaller schools like regional campuses and community colleges, people who meet basic admission requirements but would have been overlooked before have a much better shot right now. Where it won’t help as much is programs that have like 5000 applicants for 30 spots. A school near us made a big production of expanding the number of students they’ll accept, but their applicant numbers are so huge that only the students who were already on the bubble have a chance. Students are lured away to a more “prestigious” school thinking they have a better chance now when there’s still no way that their 3.4 GPA will be high enough in that pool, but would have been a big yes from us. I’m not saying everyone should give up their Big University dreams, but prospective nursing students should hedge their bets and reach out to their local regional campus or community college too, because a lot of us have high quality programs and more spots than we can fill. And employers can’t hire our graduates fast enough.

        1. Anne of Green Gables*

          Seconding this. I work a large community College with a very well regarded nursing program, and just yesterday the president of my institution specifically mentioned the nursing program as having major prospects after graduating and not enough students. She also highlighted the lack of male students in our nursing program, specifically saying we need more male nursing students.

          1. Nameless*

            I’m still not thrilled with the idea of men getting preferential treatment due to their gender.

            1. Anon this time*

              I actually felt weird about that at first, too. Diversifying our pool has been a big focus for our program, and we’ve had to clearly define what “diverse” meant. We decided to include males in our recruiting efforts, because men are significantly underrepresented in the profession of nursing and in our student pool. However, male nursing students are not fundamentally similar to groups who are both socially AND professionally underrepresented, and lumping them in there without considering that would be a flawed approach. Male students still frequently bring academic and social privilege, and once they graduate, the reality is that male nurses are OVERrepresented in upper level nursing administration and leadership. It’s definitely a complex, intersectional issue.

        2. Mel*

          Please please please do your homework before applying to nursing school, though. There are many predatory programs or ones that have no legit accreditation and will take your money with zero likelihood of you ever being able to be a nurse.

          1. Anon this time*

            BIG YES! In the US, look for ACEN, CCNE, or CNEA accreditation for generalist nursing programs, and regional (NOT national) accreditation for the college/university. You should be able to find both on the school’s website. Also ask if completion of the degree allows you to sit for licensure in your state. If it doesn’t, they’re a sham. Finally, ask about NCLEX pass rates. If they don’t know what you’re talking about, it’s a really bad sign. National average or higher is usually a good sign, but if theirs is lower, ask why. There’s a whole lot of context that tells you whether a pass rate is “good” or not (number of students in the program, when students tested, and several other things can impact pass rate statistics-a lot of programs are starting to see a dip that will likely last for a few years as our “COVID classes” start to graduate). Their explanation, including whether they’re up front with what happened and how they plan to improve it, will help you decide if it’s a dealbreaker.

            (Disclaimer: A lot of this refers to people who work within the nursing program specifically. General admissions staff may not be as aware of nursing specific info, but should be able to tell you who can give you that information.)

      4. ISeeRightThroughYou*

        In addition to nursing, allied health is huge right now! I’m in the imaging field (X-Ray, CT, MRI, Ultrasound, Mammogram, Nuclear Medicine, etc), and they are hiring a LOT of ppl and schools can’t keep up. I started school right before COVID hit, stuck it out, graduated, and was fortunate enough to be able to stay in school one more year to add another credential. I already have a full-time job lined up at the hospital where I did my clinicals, dependent on passing my registry exam. I’ll make more than double the pay of my last job before re-entering school. I’m happy to answer any questions!

        1. Totally Subclinical*

          Are there jobs in the imaging field that a middle-aged person looking for a second career could handle, or do they require more energy and fast thinking and ability to see things without lifting your glasses?

          1. Anon Supervisor*

            You might want to look into mammography as it has a lot less lifting and positioning of patients.

          2. ISeeRightThroughYou*

            The jobs can be very physical! X ray and CT probably the most, with Ultrasound and Mammo being on the lower end. I’ve seen a lot of older students going into the field!

        2. Lepidoptera*

          Yes allied health! I work in the lab as a medical technologist (the person actually performing the tests that are ordered). There is a huge shortage. There was already a shortage pre-pandemic, and now many techs are retiring or leaving healthcare. I have zero actual patient contact, I only ever have to talk with other medical professionals and that is all over the phone or email.

          My hospital offers sign on bonus of 10k+, referral bonus, tuition reimbursement for a degree you already have of $150 a month with no cap, tuition assistance if you are earning a degree, a 1k a month retention bonus, 403b match and pension. Also have paid parental leave, 5 weeks of vacation, 6 holidays, plus 1 week sick time a year in the USA.

          Any time I work outside of my normal schedule, even if it isn’t over 40 hours, I get overtime pay, shift differentials and short staffing premium all stacking on top of each other. I often am making $80-$100 an hour. This is in a rust belt city with a low cost of living. Since I am not in management I never have to take any work home, we aren’t even allowed to have our work email on our phones since we are hourly and also because they want to protect PHI.

          The requirements to work as a medical technologist vary by state. Some require that you have studied it in school and/or take a licensing exam. Other states just require a bachelors in a STEM field with on the job training. I live in a licensed state, but was recently at a training with people from all over the US and even the unlicensed states cannot find people to dothe job.

          There are also technician jobs that are available, they only require an associates degree. Technician jobs pay less than technologist but I am not sure of range.

    3. Bacu1a*

      As someone who works at a state health department, I can confirm that there are a lot of openings. Everything from call center positions, positions in our Finance Department, and more. When the COVID-19 public health emergency ends, a lot of states are going to have a lot of work to do, and they’re trying to get as many people onboarded as soon as possible. I work on the policy side, at least a lot of those jobs require a J.D. or some sort of Masters degree.

      1. Charlotte Lucas*

        Yep. And health equity has gotten on a lot of people’s radar, too.

        Policy positions generally require at least a Master’s, but there’s a lot of variation otherwise depending on the position.

    4. Less Bread More Taxes*

      Ooh can I ask a followup question for my mom? She is a psychotherapist specializing in addiction and eating disorders but really wants to move out of state. Getting licensed in a different state is a huge undertaking that isn’t really feasible for her right now because she only has a bachelor’s degree. What kinds of jobs could she look for that wouldn’t require licensing or further education? She’s been looking at working as a life coach instead because that doesn’t require licensing, but she’d rather have something more stable.

      1. non creative username*

        If she’s open to doing teletherapy and is in the US, there are some good telehealth companies out there, and she can practice in the state she’s licensed in while living anywhere (with a few exceptions.) There are also some bad telehealth companies, but a review on google should tell her which those are pretty quickly.

      2. Bacu1a*

        Most states have stand alone behavioral health agencies, she might be able to find a policy-related position there (or something else). At least where I am, they always appreciate those who have been providers in those state agency jobs.

      3. Cascadia*

        If she’s open to teletherapy I believe she can do private practice for the state she is licensed in even if she doesn’t live there. I have a therapist friend who recently moved and kept seeing clients in his original state while he went through the big hassle of getting licensed in his new state.

        1. bbk*

          That is definitely not true in all states. If you are licensed in CA you can only do telehealth appointments when you are physically in the state. Even if you are just temporarily staying elsewhere you can’t see clients during that time.

      4. Emdash*

        Hi Less Bread, More Tears,

        Depending on what kind of pay or work environment (remote, hybrid, on-site) your mom is looking for, I suggest the following.
        -Higher Ed/colleges—counselors, wellness directors/coordinators
        -Private school K-12
        -Corporate wellness and health jobs
        -Telehealth (though as others have said, these can run the gamut)
        -Insurance companies

        I realize “wellness” and “health” are broad terms and that in particular the former can be vague or Goop-ish. I put “addiction and eating disorders” in LinkedIn and it pulled up some Director of Marketing roles that required only a bachelors.

        Hope this helps!

    5. Spooky*

      +1 to this. I just started a new role at a healthcare-adjacent company this week (my role is not related to healthcare, but the company is). It was the fastest interview process I’ve ever experienced, and the team I joined jumped from 3 people to 12 in the last ten months. They were very eager to get people on quickly.

    6. LimeRoos*

      Yep! Non-profit health insurance here and we’ve been hiring very consistently during the pandemic and expanding our footprint. There are a ton of roles in the company too – fraud, training, HR/ER, DEI, claims processors, analysts (claims, provider, call center, basically anything that needs some number crunching/research), trainers, tech writers, IT (so much IT!), call center (provider or member), marketing, and more that I can’t think of. Any type of healthcare background is useful, but not required for most roles. Currently I’m a trainer, but started my healthcare career as a dental receptionist, went to a claims specialist role in other section of that company, and then moved onto the opposite side w/ insurance. I did nothing healthcare related until the receptionist position (mortgages, recruiting researcher, florist lol) and really, if one day Alison wanted to make a list of companies that are growing/handled the pandemic well, I would gladly add mine to the list since we’re hiring from any state we have a product in.

    7. J*

      I know my own employer struggles to fill compliance roles, payor contracting roles, and roles for people completing Medicaid applications in various states. Among others. Part of it is that they still won’t open those roles to remote employees and our market is competing for the same people, but it’s also because we’re all growing and need more.

    8. Boof*

      We have a real shortage ov varous techs (pharmacy, pathology, etc) and clinical research administrators (afraid i don’t know what qualifications are)

  5. HigherEdAdmin*

    Higher Education in Boston/Cambridge (can’t say anything about the pay beyond it’s not rising fast enough to live here).

    1. Churpairs*

      Higher ed in the Midwest, especially support roles. The LW asked about fundraising – those skills would be easily transferred to a research support position. Look into grant/research administration.

      1. Another_scientist*

        +1. Also sometimes called Program Operations or Program Manager. You need to be organized, problem solve when new challenges arise, and you shouldn’t mind chasing down what you need from busy or distracted people. Most positions requirements are quite flexible (a bachelor’s degree) and a fundraising background could be a fit.

        1. Churpairs*

          Oh yes! So many titles…managing director, program coordinator, project coordinator, program specialist. It’s all code for Professional Cat Herder (and it’s a blast, if I do say so myself!).

    2. HigherEdAdmin*

      Yes, to be super clear, my institution is hiring all kinds of roles from staff assistant to managers. The general requirements are flexibility, attention to detail, and soft skills.

    3. HigherEdWorker*

      Boston higher ed person here too! We have soooooooo many openings in the area it’s insane. I will say that I feel like colleges are starting to get that they need to pay more – I know our VP has authorized us to “do what we need to do” salary wise for candidates to get good people in.

      1. HigherEdAdmin*

        I hope so. My institution (one of the higher paying ones) still pays admin jobs like we’re all doing this for fun while our husbands bring home the bacon. To be fair, this is a problem with all the “pink collar” jobs. *sigh*

      2. Higher Ed Employee Moving to New England*

        As someone coming from a private R1 “top 10” ranked school in the Midwest and looking at jobs in the Boston area, do you know what the salary range is for coordinator level jobs? I’m making mid-$60,000 now as a “program coordinator” but was shocked at an interview with an Ivy League university today where they told me the salary for a coordinator-level position would be $44,000-$46,000.* I’d love to hear anyone tell me if this is typical or odd.

        *I also shared this anecdote in a comment elsewhere in this thread.

        1. M2*

          Many universities are putting the grade and salary scale on the job description/ ad.

          If the salary isn’t available google the grade number and university and sometimes something comes up to give you an idea. Still ask them for clarification, but it should give you an idea.

          I would also take a look at taxes, COL, and benefits at each university/ state. All that matters too. GL!

        2. Nancy*

          I know BU and Harvard post the salary grade on each job posting and has a table that lists all grades and salary ranges. A few others do, maybe BC and Northeastern?

        3. HigherEdAdmin*

          At Harvard, a coordinator role is usually grade 54 or 55 (and union). They tend to start you on the lower end of the scale, but equity reviews have recently been big and the union has terrific resources for reclassification if your duties are beyond your job description.

    4. Skippy*

      Interesting! We live in the Boston area, and both my husband and I have applied to multiple higher Ed jobs over the past couple of years and even though we both have solid resumes and cover letters, applying to colleges and universities has always felt like sending materials into a black hole. Has this changed? Any suggestions for how to get a foot in the door? Thanks!

      1. HigherEdAdmin*

        The boom really only has started over the last few months – for my university, it took almost two years for them to realize we weren’t going to be in a recession and they could hire people. The other thing is that the new fiscal year just started for us so they could ramp up posting jobs.

        I work at one of the universities across the river and I know that our HR departments have times set aside for informational interviews so that might be a good way to get your foot in the door. It sucks, but networking is really vauled at my institution.

        As wild as it is, be willing to submit applications to multiple similar jobs. When I was hired (2013), I applied to something like 75 different staff assistant/admin positions and interviewed with several schools and departments. I became a finalist at one school and even though I didn’t get the job, I was a strong enough candidate that they asked if they could pass my information off to another school who was also hiring for the position. It turned out that I had already applied, but the other school recommendation pushed my application to the top and resulted in me getting the job.

        1. Elizabeth West*

          I’ve been trying this at the two biggies and some smaller ones and have only gotten a short phone screen at the one where you paaahk your caaah in the yaaaahd (lol). They do have tons of openings, but I guess they don’t want you if you’re out of state.

          Should I keep trying or give up?

          1. HigherEdAdmin*

            My university is really leaning into the hybrid (3 days on campus, 2 days remote), but they’ve expanded where you can live (the entire Northeast) to work there for folks who can make that work.

            Without knowing more details, I’d recommend you reach out to do informational interviews at all different schools where you had your phone screen (*wink*). But also, this is the season where everyone is taking vacations so hiring (which can already be slow) can even be slower.

            Man, I wish I could share more because I know my particular department (faculty assistants) is desperate for people. We are infinitely gettting requests from our boss to spread the word. :)

            1. Elizabeth West*

              Oh, I ABSOLUTELY want to move. I do not want to work remotely from here and I make sure to emphasize that in my cover letters and any interviews—not in these words, but get me the f*ck out of here!

              I guess I could keep applying to similar jobs at the yaaahd. Their pay is better than BigScienceU and I do have a car and don’t mind a commute if it’s not too far. And if the city can get its shit together and fix the damn trains. Yes, I’ve been reading the paper, and here I thought TfL was bad! At least in London I never had to climb out of a train that was on fire. D:

              Thank you!

              1. M2*

                Also look at BU and BC. I don’t know how the pay is at Northwestern or Tufts (Tufts is not in the city), but I would apply to various universities if your goal is to move. If your dream is to work at Harvard if you can get into another university close-by and work there for a couple years it may be easier to transition.

              2. HigherEdAdmin*

                I’d absolutely keep applying (and while I can’t speak to other schools, take a look at HKS (Kennedy School) as I know there is a crazy amount of hiring happening). And really, the nice thing is that the commute is generally pretty reasonable even at the farther reaches of the the metro area.

              3. Nancy*

                There are tons of colleges in the Boston area aside from Harvard and MIT. BU is a huge school that usually has lots of different jobs posted. Smaller schools all over the metro area. I would not just apply to Harvard.

              4. Hmm!*

                You’ll likely have better luck if you focus on the smaller schools. As people have said upthread, Harvard and MIT can afford to be picky about their applicants and stingy with their wages. Because of the prestige, there are a lot of people (and a lot of alumni!) willing to work for low wages. Are you looking at smaller schools and public/community colleges in greater Boston? You might have better luck if you target Lowell, Amherst, Framingham state and the like. (You’re also likelier to find an affordable 1 bedroom in those communities. Unless you get obscenely lucky, coordinator-level roles don’t usually pay enough to live without roommates!)

                With Boston, you also gotta factor in the cost of living. When I moved from the midwest to the east coast, my car insurance payment shot up significantly even though I have a clean driving record. Parking is also a big expense! It depends on where you’re working and I’ll admit I’m not *as* familiar with Cambridge, but in Boston proper you’re either going to be dependent on street parking (which is very limited and competitive) or you can expect to pay $200-500 per month for parking if your employer doesn’t validate/provide free parking. Having a car in Boston is honestly as much of a liability as an asset. The T, for all its faults, is almost always the most reliable way to get around. There’s a reason 60% of workers in Boston aren’t typically driving to work, lol!

                Sorry for rambling, I’ve been in Boston for almost five years and really love this town :D

                1. Elizabeth West*

                  No, you’re good! This is all stuff I would need to know. I’m not targeting higher ed specifically, but it’s really difficult because companies are all like, “You MUST have a degree in this EXACT THING that we do, even though this job is just doing administrative project stuff! No bio? No construction? DO NOT APPLY! We also prefer a Master’s! You! Must! Be! Perfect!” I have no idea how to compete with people who are right there and also perfect. :'(

                  I wasn’t planning to live in Boston proper. I can’t afford that at ALL. Off topic, but it really annoys me that professional people with degrees and years of experience have to live like broke college students. We should not have roommates at this stage. In fact, I need to find a way to avoid it because I have horrible luck with them and I need my space, damn it. Even here that would not be easy because employers are stingy AF.

                2. Nancy*

                  Agree with all of this. The top places to work in the Boston area will have plenty of applications from locals
                  and new grads, so people really need to cast a wide net.

                  Parking in Cambridge is just as difficult as Boston, from what I can tell. I’ve don’t own a car here and get around just fine, though, so that is always an option. Don’t discount buses either, I use them more than the T.

                  Many people have roommates so they can afford to live close to the city, so it’s not unusual. Those that don’t want to for whatever reason continue to move further and further out. That’s just the reality of any high COL area.

          2. Luna Lovegood*

            I work at Brandeis and we have a ton of openings right now. If you have transferrable experience and make it clear you want to move, you’ll have a good shot. I’ve heard through the grapevine that department admin jobs are particularly hard to fill at the moment, if that’s your cup of tea. The pay for most jobs is comparable to what you’d get at the larger universities and it can be a nice foot in the door if you want to get in at a larger R1 eventually.

      2. M2*

        I second this! A few close friends work in higher ed. Apply to multiple schools/ departments but also apply early. Some HR departments start sending applications to hiring managers within the first 14 days a job posting is up (for admin not professor roles) and leave it up until it is filled. So you may apply on day 25 but they may already have 5 candidates they started interviewing and if one or two look good they may not even interview you even though you may be qualified. It depends on how busy everything is at the time. I don’t know if this applies to state schools.

        Also higher ed can take forever to go through the hiring process. Some departments are more streamlined than others, but some do take awhile because of hiring committees.

        Look into temping. Some universities will first hire temps. as they are not sure if the role is needed full-time or it is for a parental or caregiver cover. A friend of mine was a temp at a university (not in Boston/ Cambridge, but same caliber as Harvard) and got a full-time job within 6-months. She said someone else in another department was a temp for maternity cover, then assistant and now a senior coordinator all within 2-years. They filled the senior coordinator role for a parental leave as well and when that person left for a different role they were hired as they already knew the processes. This is to say this doesn’t always happen, but some ideas from people I know who work in the field.

        1. HigherEdAdmin*

          Just want to add that for Harvard, HUCTW (clerical/technical) union jobs are listed internally for 10 business days before they go live to the public so if you can apply within the first few days of the job posting, you absolutely should.

          1. Higher education staff employee*

            I don’t know where in this thread to reply, but I work at a private, R1 institution just north of Chicago (you can probably figure it out, it’s a Big Ten school) and am interviewing for positions with similar titles at an Ivy League school in a smaller city about 45 minutes away from Boston (again you can probably figure it out). Geez, I was floored by the salary difference! I make mid-$60,000 in my current role. During a phone interview for practically the exact same position at the Ivy League school, I was told their salary range is going to be $44,000-$46,000 but they might be able to get permission to stretch to the low $50,000 for me since I’m such a strong candidate. Holy cow! It made me want to run to another industry.

            1. HigherEdAdmin*

              If it’s the one in the smallest state in the union, it has a lower COL (supposedly). :P But that definitely mirrors the salary at some of the other schools in the metro Boston area which is also terrible salary-wise. (mostly, they’re not unionized which really is unhelpful).

              1. Higher Ed Employee Moving to New England*

                You got it on the location! :-) I guess I am just not seeing the “lower COL” reflected in the rental market or housing market. Sigh.

                1. HigherEdAdmin*

                  Yeah, that’s part of the issue. People are being priced out of Boston and moving further and further out (to other states). It’s actually rare for any of my single colleagues to live alone on their salaries.

    5. Gracely*

      It’s widely variable based on location–a lot of state and smaller universities are actually losing students.

    1. Because 7 Kate 9*

      Seconded! I’m in Business Analytics and see so many open roles that ask for experience in R, SPSS, SQL, Tableau, etc. And they tend to pay $70k-$100k+ for 3-5 years experience with many employers offering remote/hybrid. Things are even better for employees at financial services and tech firms

      1. Spearmint*

        Any advice on how to break into this field without formal technical education? I have some limited experience with data analytics and am fairly tech savvy and comfortable with numbers. But while I have taken courses on Data Camp and played around with Python for small personal projects, but I don’t have formal education and probably have holes in my knowledge.

        1. Spearmint*

          To be clear, I have a BA, but I didn’t take any programming or data analysis courses in college.

            1. irianamistifi*

              While formal classes look great on a resume, most folks hiring in tech seem aware that tech knowledge is transmitted and absorbed in many ways and I’ve never seen anyone turned away for saying they gained their knowledge via self-teaching or W3Schools. You may have to prove your knowledge with a technical test or they may ask you a series of questions to prove you know what you’re talking about. But I don’t think I’ve seen my managers ever express hiring preference for people with formal classes on their resume.

              1. job seeker*

                How would you recommend selling these skills if you haven’t officially done this kind of work in your career? I’ve done some QA and UAT for my job, but was never the one writing the SQL or doing other kinds of programming as those were the responsibility of our technical team. Can I say that I’ve taken a SQL course on Udemy (I have) or is there a better way to get across that I don’t have “official” experience but I do have some self-taught experience?

        2. KayBeeTee*

          Formal education in terms of degrees is becoming less of a requirement (except for senior engineer and architecture roles). You do want to get structured education, and perhaps certification, in data science, data analysis, and at least one programming language (R or Python highly recommended) as well as Excel. Courses through Coursera and training through sites like Pluralsight and Udemy are well worth the investment (and nowhere near the same price as even community college tuition).

        3. Parenthesis Dude*

          The best way to do it is be an expert in the overall field that you’re doing the analysis in. For example, a nurse would have an easy time moving to healthcare data analytics than a different type of data analytics. If you’re a crim major, focus on criminology data analytics. Same sets of tools, but you want to know the topics already.

          You don’t need formal technical education. There are plenty of music majors in the field. As long as you know your stuff, you can get a job. I’d look for junior level positions and try to learn on the job.

          1. irianamistifi*

            Yes! this is great advice. One of the major factors in Data analysis is knowing the data that you’re looking at and the different ways it can be represented or things that can go wrong (so much of analytics is figuring out why your data looks wonky). It’s far easier to peel apart your data when you understand its sources, how the data is entered into the system, and how or why you’ll see data that looks wrong.

        4. Gnome*

          I see resumes all the time for entry level Data science positions with people taking a boot-camp or something. One person did some data science stuff in a volunteer position, which really caught my eye. If you are going more data science (think: more programming, less Excel/Tableau/etc) set up a GIT repository with stuff you’ve done. Knowing version control will put you ahead of folks who don’t for entry level stuff and you can showcase what you have done. Yes, when people include their GIT stuff on their resumes, I check them out.

        5. ElizabethJane*

          I’m an analyst with a BA in Shakespearean literature but almost entirely self taught.

          Start with SQL. If you can query a database you’re ahead of the game. Sam’s Teach Yourself SQL is an excellent resource that can get you started for about $20.

          For visualizations focus on either PowerBI or Tableau. I prefer Tableau but a lot of companies use PowerBI. Once you’re comfortable with one it’s not hard to switch between them.

          There’s a ton of free material out there for those as well. Coursera has some excellent affordable courses.

          For jobs I like BulitIn.com. They have a website for most major cities but you can also go to the national site and search for remote jobs. I’m based on Chicago but currently interviewing with companies in San Francisco, Denver, and Boston.

        6. Julia*

          I’ve been promoted to a data scientist position within my org without a formal education. Some thoughts:

          1. I’ve heard good things about bootcamps, although haven’t tried one

          2. Analogous experience – I went from a product manager to a business analyst to a data analyst to a data scientist. I think it’s a lot easier to say, “I’m already doing some of the job, so promote me to doing all of it” than it would be to, say, go from nursing to data science

          3. Projects that show skills. I developed and Steam greenlit a computer game in Python. I’d also made some Kaggle posts, created some models there, etc.

          As far as holes in your education go, it’s such a new field that practically *everyone* has holes. (I spend a lot of time teamed up with one of our programmers who is very strong in that aspect, but weaker with the math/practical aspects than I am. It works well for both of us!)

          1. Gnome*

            I was tweak Julia’s sentiment – data science is interdisciplinary, so everyone has areas of strength and weakness :)

        7. ElenaSSF*

          Power BI from Microsoft is free, considered comparable with Tableau, easy to learn, and has lots of free Microsoft courses on it, along with a decent dataset you can download to experiment with and use for the classes. My large corporation is gradually replacing tableau with it for their user base, though not for the highest end IT driven reporting. It also has R and Python plugins to take the pure statistical analysis deeper. Running through the courses is 40-60 hours of home study, by which time you’ll have a better sense of where to go from there.

      2. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

        I’ve always been curious about how topic transferable folks would see those skills. For example, I’m in social services, so I crunch a lot of Medicaid, SSI, Census, medical record, etc data using mostly SAS and R (periodically SPSS but not my favorite) and use Tableau all the damned time, but I wasn’t sure if a non-health/social sector company would rate these skills. The type of data and familiarity with data set structures really can shorten a learning curve, but maybe the fact that I am experienced enough to know this would make me a good candidate?

    2. Anon4This*

      Related, database administration. I get calls/emails daily because that’s what my resume says- but it’s not the field I want to stay in. The pay is good, depending on level of experience.

      Personally I was completely self-taught. I had one class in database management in college, knew a little SQL and that was it when I got hired in a junior role. I started at the bottom making around 49K and worked my way up to about $95K in 10 years. That was 15 years ago so pay is probably better now.

      1. I Wish My Job Was Tables*

        Database administration is something I’ve been hoping to go into but am nervous about because I only have self-taught SQL and Python experience, it’s relieving to know that can be okay for entry-level!

      2. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

        All my code skills are self taught. Thank god for Google, because when I first started it was crazy hard to find resources. There was a lot of late nights and caffeinated screaming.

    3. Kiwiii*

      Can you (or someone else) speak more to qualifications that would be useful in Business Analyst roles?

      1. Keeley Jones, The Independent Woman*

        There’s business analysts and business analytics. They aren’t the same thing, analytics is more about data analysis and you’d want SQL, R, Python, Power BI type experience.

        Business analysts, they are a part of project management and their role can vary widely. At the core, is a problem solver. Knowing some tech stuff is helpful, but not all BA roles are tech heavy. I got my first BA role because I had a background in the industry and had a track record of making improvements in my prior roles. Doesn’t have to be anything major either. Most things are small changes, but don’t dismiss the impact they have.

        1. Kiwiii*

          Thank you for this! I do some project management in my current role, and knew there was some overlap but had never quite figured out, like, how.

      2. I Wore Pants Today*

        Oh wow, I didn’t expect this to blow up like it did, but this is my experience: My Fortune 500 company calls me a business analyst. My job is half finance, half DBA for my company’s call center. I’m entirely self-taught. My degree is in journalism, but I minored in chemistry. Who knows if that really helps, but I’m naturally curious — and a lot of job ads ask for that! I knew very little SQL when I was hired, but I’ve been an expert at Excel for 20 years. Every time my boss wants to hire someone on my team, I remind him that I don’t have time to teach someone Excel! The other stuff you kind of pick up on. I don’t use Tableau at all, but Salesforce experience is helpful if you want to break into finance. I’m not sure I’d spend money on classes — on-the-job learning is more important because duties vary widely by employer and even departments. GL everyone!

    4. Other Alice*

      Absolutely. Client tried to poach me just the other day, absolutely brazen. Mid- and senior-level roles are especially tricky to fill, we’ve been looking for a senior data analyst for 3 months now. For junior roles we’re looking at STEM or economics bachelor and some computer skills (think create a pivot in excel and understand if/then/else logic).

    5. Sociology Rocks!*

      What’s the stretch area on skills for this kind of stuff? I took a class that used R so I know that and technically have used SPSS, but covid send us home right when the class would’ve really had us using it so I don’t actually know how much. And I didn’t even know SQL existed till looking for jobs. But I see stuff asking for data and analysis skills and I’m curious how much background those positions actually need in the stuff.

      1. Parenthesis Dude*

        You would need to know the programming language that you’re working with at least at an intermediate level, be it Python or R or SPSS. If you don’t know SQL, I’d eliminate you from consideration for even entry level positions automatically.

        They may ask for three years of experience, but they get people with ten years experience programming.

    6. WonkyStitch*

      This. I am taking the Google Certificate for Data Analysis which is actually not terribly expensive ($39/month) and is being reimbursed by my company. I’m trying to get into it before they start requiring an actual degree in Business or Data Analytics in order to get in entry level (like HR – it used to be you could get into HR entry level with a regular bachelor’s degree but now you need an HR degree).

    7. The Bad Guy*

      I’ll say, the salaries in these positions are moving really fast too. There are 1,000 different titles but for people who have been doing some combo of SQL, PowerBI/Tableau, and maybe some python/R for 5+ years, the average IC salary is somewhere between 115k to 140k. It feels like 5 years ago a sr data analyst was 90-110 and that’s just not the case anymore. Even Glassdoor is completely undershooting data salaries right now. Although, I think that salary is probably going to flatten a little as they first generation of “Data Science” majors start reaching that 5+ year threshold.

    8. Mario*

      There’s also a new field in data work called Analytics Engineering that is essentially applying SQL transformations to create layers on top of those provided by engineers or DBMs. It’s still pretty poorly defined across companies but is loosely a data analyst who services other analysts by creating standard business logic and formal definitions for metrics. More of SQL and python rather than SQL and viz.

    9. WantonSeedStitch*

      This. My office is trying to hire someone in this field and it’s HARD because the corporate world pays better than our higher ed organization.

    10. KayBeeTee*

      Seconded. If you already have a BA or BS in pretty much any area, you can get all the training and certifications you need online. Coursera has an excellent data science/R programming course that is 9 months, and subscriptions to services like Pluralsight and Udemy are great investments to learn programs like R and Python start to finish, as well as anything you want to learn about cloud data storage, artificial intelligence in business and other current tech topics. There’s always been a need for data analysts, but now the pandemic has shown that this is a really good role for a full-time remote worker, as the role is relatively easy to onboard, and so many in this field are already used to doing their learning, collaborations, etc online.

    11. Xaraja*

      Agreed. My employer keeps hiring data analysts to work Power BI who have no experience with Power BI. I think some of them have a business degree, but one of them was a middle school teacher who did some online courses in R and Python (which we don’t even use). That leads me to believe that if you can get even a little Power BI experience you could probably get in the door.

    12. Mewtwo*

      Yep – this is my skillset and it’s very versatile. You can work either in private or nonprofit sectors, for a third party consulting firm or in house. It’s also easy to leverage to do your own independent work if you’re into that and have enough experience to market to clients.

  6. Anastatia Beaverhousen*

    Mental Health, but the salaries typically are not equal the level of education and ongoing education needed due to the field being so poorly funded and insurance reimbursement being so low.

    1. Charlotte Lucas*

      Any supports for people with disabilities (especially kids) are needed but often don’t pay well, unfortunately.

    2. Sloanicota*

      I am so sorry to say that this is the case with a lot of these “in demand” roles. The reason they are so in demand is because nobody is offering the salaries it takes to attract applicants to very challenging positions.

      1. Anastatia Beaverhousen*

        For a clinical role (e.g. therapist or Acute Services) you need a Master of Social Work and a clinical license (pass the ASWB clinical test) or Master of Psychology to be a LPC. For case management you need a bachelors of social work or psychology. Pay for clinical role is between 45-55k depending on where you are. Case management I have seen 36-42k. School in many states have grant funding for mental health right now, case loads are lower and you get summers off but as it’s grant funded it could be pulled at any time. Pay where I am is about 41k with a masters level education with licensure.

        1. ThatGirl*

          Worth noting if you are fresh out of grad school with an MA it shouldn’t be too hard to find work to GET your license – you need work experience and supervision to be eligible.

        2. lil falafel wrap*

          Just got my MSW and I will say most of the jobs me and my friends got post-grad are $60-70,000. Not amazing, but certainly better than $50K.

    3. Anastatia Beaverhousen*

      For a clinical role (e.g. therapist or Acute Services) you need a Master of Social Work and a clinical license (pass the ASWB clinical test) or Master of Psychology to be a LPC. For case management you need a bachelors of social work or psychology. Pay for clinical role is between 45-55k depending on where you are. Case management I have seen 36-42k. School in many states have grant funding for mental health right now, case loads are lower and you get summers off but as it’s grant funded it could be pulled at any time. Pay where I am is about 41k with a masters level education with licensure.

    4. JSPA*

      There are free and low cost online classes where you work through set examples, as well as clubs and competitions. Whatever level you’re at now, you can be less rusty in 2 days, more solid in 2 weeks, significantly more skilled in 2 months.

    5. Almost Academic*

      Agreed, in demand but absolutely would not recommend anyone actually go into it. Hard work, lots of education requirements, very low pay.

      1. AMT*

        I agree when it comes to agency/CMH/hospital roles, but I will say that private practice has been fantastic for me for the last two years. I’m making between double and triple what I earned at my last job (that’s net, not gross) in a four-day workweek.

        I’m honestly surprised there are still mid- and late-career professionals still doing these thankless nonprofit roles. It gratifies me to see people leaving these jobs for self-employment and finally getting paid what they’re worth. I think it’ll be good for the pay and working conditions of the field as a whole.

    6. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

      OMG add social work into this. Desperate need for staff, but woefully under paid for both the education required and the difficulty of the work

    7. Sheldon Cooper*

      It’s tough to find qualified candidates in commercial finance these days. I’m currently looking for an experienced manager and can’t find anyone. Degree, CPA/CTP certifications, experience are my top three things.

      The IRS is going to be hiring a ton of folks soon too.

  7. Lacey*

    This is just based off the experience of people I know who have been job hunting this year.
    There seems to be an uptick in people looking for marketing writers (in house).
    It’s a significant difference in what the market was at this time last year.

    On the other hand – marketing departments don’t seem to be hiring as much for graphic designers or videographers.

    I design ads and I’m seeing an uptick in ads for skilled technicians to work in shops.
    I’ve been seeing more hiring for truck drivers (local, not over the road).
    And it’s not surprising that I’ve seen a lot of recruitment ads for medical positions.

    1. Marirose*

      I would love to start a career as a marketing writer; I’m fresh out of college with a comms degree though and worried that no one wants me because most of the experience I have is in public history and I don’t write the way I used to. Any advice?

      1. Morgan Proctor*

        Hi, I’m a marketing writer and my degrees are in visual art! I got started as a writer by writing essays and having them published. I recommend joining the Study Hall Slack/listserv, lots of opportunities to be found through that community. Learn how to write a good pitch (really easy, honestly) and just start putting yourself out there. Sonia Weiser’s Opportunities of the Week newsletter is also a great resource. Good luck!

      2. Spooky*

        I’ve got advice! I did ten years in MarComm before I switched career paths. I’ll start off with portfolio advice, but let me know if there’s another category you’d like to hear more about.

        1. Show them samples relevant to their work. What kind of work do they do most often? Marketing emails, product web copy, company brochures? Draft up some samples of each of these so they can see how you write the kinds of documents you’ll actually be producing.
        2. Your portfolio doesn’t have to be published work. For example, when I was trying to enter the writing field, I originally wanted to work for magazines. I spent several months mocking up my own fake one–I did all of the writing, layout, etc. Then I picked the three issues I liked best and got them printed and bound at the Staples Copy Print Center. When I presented them in interviews, I added “if I can do all this by myself in my free time, imagine what I can do as part of your team.” I had an offer in only 22 days (it was one of the success stories featured on this blog, actually). Mock ups are a great way to show your skills.
        3. Show them numbers that prove your copy is effective. Marketing is about numbers, so show how your words can improve their numbers. Do your Twitter posts get lots of traction? Did you have a blog with 1000 monthly readers? Did you do a community BuzzFeed post that performed well with your target audience? That is important to show them, as it demonstrates that your skills are effective. If you don’t have this to start, that’s okay, but it definitely will help.

        Is that helpful? Is there something in particular you’re looking to do/get advice on?

        1. Fran Fine*

          Mock ups are a great way to show your skills.

          Agree so much with this. I’m in comms and not marketing, but even I did this, and I’m still doing mock-ups in my day-to-day role for comms initiatives.

          Also 100% agree with your third point. Quantify everything you do if you can.

      3. Spooky*

        I’ve got advice! I worked in MarComm for nearly 10 years before I switched fields. I’ll stick with portfolio experience here, but let me know if there’s another area you’d like to know about.

        1. Show them samples relevant to that company’s work. Most college students graduate with essays, and a lot of them submit those as writing samples (I’ve read many in applications). But what do the MarComm writers at the companies you want to work for actually produce? Usually it’s press releases, marketing emails, product copy, company brochures, etc. Mock up some of those to demonstrate your skills in a way that’s immediately relevant.
        2. Your samples absolutely DO NOT need to be published. Pub creds aren’t super important for MarComm. Mock ups are meant to show your writing skills, not show off publication accolades. Make your own pieces and submit those. For example, I originally wanted to start in magazines. I made my own fake mag (did the writing, layout, etc), got several issues printed and bound at Staples Copy/Print Center, and sent them to hiring managers with a note that said “if I can do this on my own, imagine what I can do as part of your team.” Got an offer in 22 days (it was one of the success stories featured on this blog, actually).
        3. Show them numbers that prove your skills. Comms is about the words, but marketing is about the numbers. How can you show that your words get traction with your target audience? Do your Twitter posts go viral? Did you have a successful blog, or maybe write a BuzzFeed community post that got a high hit count? It’s okay if you don’t have this, but it will definitely be a huge feather in your cap if you do.

        Does that help? Is there something specific you’d like to know?

      4. EggyParm*

        I run a marketing team with three content writers. Here’s my advice:

        As a new grad you’ll want to look for roles with the word specialist, associate, or junior in them. That typically designates an entry level role in the marketing world — think “Content Marketing Specialist” or “Junior Copywriter”.

        You will absolutely need a portfolio of work to show your capabilities. I would pick something you’re passionate about and start writing. I would create some sample blog posts, email copy, and maybe even a product one-pager if you’re looking at SaaS B2B companies.

        The key skills I’m looking for at the specialist level are solid writing (double-check the grammar/spelling of everything in your portfolio), solid tone/ voice, and aptitude for receiving feedback and coaching. Writing can be pretty subjective and it’s important to be able to separate yourself from the writing and your personal feelings about your content.

        And finally, a little tip to set you apart in the interview process. When you’re talking about content writing make sure you understand how writing connects back to your audience. For example, if an interviewer were to ask you about your writing process a good answer might you start with research, draft, edit, and present to review. A great answer would be first you work with your marketing counterparts to understand the audience, their knowledge about the subject, and what stage of the buyer’s journey this content will focus on. From there you do your research centered around your audience, draft, edit, revise, send in for final review and then check to see the performance metrics of your piece to identify any changes needed.

        Good luck! Great writers are worth their weight in gold. Practice, be open to feedback, and get to work on that portfolio!

      5. Scatterling*

        Yes! I transitioned from journalism to marketing content. I’d recommend doing some courses around SEO so that you have a working knowledge of that. I’d also recommend getting Google Ad certified. It’s free. I got my first content writing job by doing a sample article. Knowledge of SEO allowed me to grow website visits by 300%. This lead to a much better job and promotion s. Good luck!

      6. Emily*

        I started in higher ed marcomm fresh out of college with a BA in English. I started as an office manager (i.e. administrative assistant or coordinator) in a college communications office and built up a portfolio by pitching in on any writing assignment that needed doing. Good luck!

    2. Christina*

      On the marketing front, any particular industries? This is my world, and I’m looking hard right now.

      1. ThatGirl*

        Many, many industries/companies have in-house marketing teams (I’m a copywriter for a plumbing company). Basically, look for industries and companies that are doing well. I know that may not be helpful, heh.

      2. Lacey*

        All sorts. Whether they’re waste management or business strategy, if they’re big enough to have in house marketing they probably realize they need a skilled writer.

        1. Fran Fine*

          This. I work for this kind of company, and we’re always hiring for marketing writers (and us comms people are very salty about this because we don’t get nearly as much as their headcount, but are being asked to take on way more work than them, lol).

  8. An Estimator*

    In Florida anything and anyone dealing with construction – from laborers to project managers.

    1. to varying degrees*

      Yep. Just started a job in construction with NO experience. Better hours and +10K raise.

        1. to varying degrees*

          Construction Administrator.

          Not really, outside of general office work and even then most of the office work I’ve done in the past I don’t do now. . I have to look up most of the terms that are used and Google has been a lifesaver as the most familiarity I have with the language was that I know what a foundation is (although it seems there are different types. I think.)

    2. Lynca*

      It’s a similar situation in GA. I’ve seen hires come in from outside the state to manage construction projects. Pay and benefits are super competitive right now.

      Not to say there aren’t downsides to construction work but it’s really hot right now.

      1. Justin*

        I would say one of the downsides is that it is in fact really hot right now.

        Sorry, I will see myself out.

      2. Lynca*

        Since Alison wants some qualifications for people considering switching- I’ve seen people with degrees in business management/engineering/accounting/law/etc. working in construction. You could have a degree in an unrelated field if you have the right skill set. I’ve met a project manager with a just bachelor’s in English. I’ve also worked with people that only had a High School Diploma or GED.

        There’s project accounting, estimation, contracts, project oversight, document writing, drafting, safety/compliance, etc. It’s not all just skilled trade work (which is also important and in HIGH demand).

        1. Jake*

          I’ve been in the industry for over a decade now. The best PMs I’ve been around have bachelor’s in construction management, civil engineering, or business administration. I’ve seen some PMs with architecture degrees, but frankly, they haven’t been rock stars. I’ve yet to see a PM that is good without a bachelor’s, although I don’t think its impossible to be good without one. Also, a lot of subcontractor presidents and vice presidents have high school educations but came up through the trades.

          On the field side, it is super common for a high school education to lead to working a trade and quickly (5+ years) working up to field management as a non-working foreman or superintendent. This requires extremely hard, physical work to get there though.

          On the administration side, I think the only useful qualification would be general office management stuff. If you’ve worked in administration previously, construction administration isn’t too tough to translate those skills to. The best admin I ever hired had no construction exposure whatsoever previous to the hiring.

    3. ScruffyInternHerder*

      I’m in the mid-west and can confirm, any and all roles in construction. Everything, from the person who answers the phone, to project management and support, to engineering, to computer aided designers, to various trades and general labor.

      Locally, I’ve seen apprentice class opening advertisement/applications for pipefitters, electricians, sheetmetal workers, and operating engineers. Those have specific requirements and in general, reach out to your trade of choice’s area union hall to determine that.

      I’m in a non-admin assistant, professional support role. I have a degree in a related field, which is on the “nice but not 100% needed” side of the equation. I’m well compensated in my role, and have challenging and fulfilling work.

        1. ScruffyInternHerder*

          More than once I’ve been put in charge of interns (meaning I’m the adultiest adult in the room and well, mileage varies there as I have a sense of humor best described as “locker room of 11 year old boys who think farts are high comedy”) and Star Wars is my jam ;-)

    4. The Rural Juror*

      Same in Texas. Soooo many jobs right now. Construction Administration is where I see a lot of openings. People with accounting experience or general admin work in offices could easily be trained. CA focuses quite a bit on contracts, documentation, specifications, and submittals. Large scale construction cannot run without that!

  9. Bridget*

    Fundraising and development–many folks have transferrable skills around communication and relationship building from other fields.

    1. Sloanicota*

      Nonprofit hiring is high generally, but salaries are still very low / unchanged from a year or five years ago. Fundraisers are always in demand but not everyone is willing/able to pay what they deserve given the expectations the org places on them (my org, which has never administered more than 50K, announced after I started they were hoping to raise “at least” a million dollars last year – for which I was paid … well let’s not get into that). Also, with markets down, individual donors are harder to get, and a lot of foundations retrenched/focused on current applicants/are focused on covid response.

      1. ursula*

        Came here to say this (from Canada). The nonprofit sector has absolutely bled talent during the pandemic – I think part of it is because it is a female-majority space, and between the crunch on mothers as schools and work bounce between remote and in-person, pandemic-related illness and disability, the difficulties of doing front-line work in the Covid era, or other exhaustion, they are getting hit especially hard. Earlier this year (after about 7 years in the sector) I made an upwards jump that I thought would take me 20 years to achieve under other circumstances. So there are both opportunities and upward mobility options, although as others have noted, this is partially because the pay will never approximate the private sector, and the work experience/quality varies drastically from org to org. Someone with transferrable skills might be able to move into the industry at a higher level than they could expect in other years.

        1. CR*

          Also in Canada in the non-profit sector. I was recently job hunting and I could have had my pick of jobs, it was crazy how much of an employee’s market it is. Luckily I found a great role with good pay but that is rare, many many organizations are bleeding talent because they won’t compensate their employees fairly.

  10. MisterForkbeard*

    I would agree that privacy specialists are huge and likely to be for the next few years.

    Renewables will see a bit of a boom. I wouldn’t be surprised if technical positions related to COBOL and large-scale financial systems get a boom if the Inflation Reduction Act goes through, as there’s a lot of money in there to reform and modernize IRS systems.

      1. Hlao-roo*

        The person who wrote the original post about the data privacy specialist field says that the “primary certification costs around $1200 and takes about 10 weeks.” They also commented on the post under the username “Privacy OP” with more details about their background as well as the backgrounds of some of their coworkers.

      2. LZ*

        If you’re interested in the regulatory/compliance aspect of Privacy, most non-tech degrees wouldn’t cover it other than, say, law or risk management.

        On the technical side, which is to say the actual practices that enable data protection, stuff like data engineering, data protection, information security, stuff like that.

        BUT if you’ve been working in a data-management capacity with some general data protection or even IT experience and can get a privacy certification from IAPP (CIPP or CIPM, for example) that could get you in the door as well.

      3. Jules the 3rd*

        Business. Law. Economics. English. Any science degree. Basically, anything where you’re decoding complex text.

        To stand out, experience in or reputable on-line courses for the basics of HIPAA, GPDR, CCPA/CPRA. Coursera’s got some, relatively cheap. But it’s so new and changing so fast that you will do the majority of your learning in the job.

        I am trying so hard to get my husband to look into this, he’s a comp sci BA with security experience who’s very privacy enthused. He knew “just email us the image of your insurance card” violated HIPAA (because the email’s not encrypted) and can assess whether portals are secure. He’s, like, made for this.

  11. another idea*

    The OP already works in fundraising, but in the US, I think one field is grant management for non-profits. Lots of money was flowing due to COVID relief, and I think it has made for a tight job market there. (Though some of these roles might not have long-term stability — especially at smaller organizations — if the money doesn’t keep flowing!) I’m hiring in this field and out of necessity looking at people without experience but with transferrable skills (project management, organization, communication, detail orientation, ability to read and digest complex documents).

    1. Sloanicota*

      Waves – this is what I do! I do think grant management is a bit lower-stress than fundraising (because the money is already there, although many small orgs will try to combine the two roles, which is very challenging) – and is typically a 9-5 type role with clear deadlines that are easier to work back from, versus something like marketing that tends to be 24/7.

    2. Jora Malli*

      What kind of training and experience would be helpful for a grant management professional? I’ve always thought it would be interesting work but I don’t know how to go about it.

      1. Grants Manager*

        I work in grants management, and we are one of the organizations tasked with passing through millions of COVID relief $$$ to our communities.

        I have experience in the field my NPO is in (education) along with some administrative experience, and lots of people-facing experience (teaching/customer service).

        You don’t necessarily have to have grants management experience, but it helps if you’ve written grants, worked for NPOs or in academia on grant-funded work, etc.

        Other people on my team have experience in community organizing, collective impact, corporate social responsibility, accounting, etc.

      2. J*

        My former employer was very focused on accounting but also seeking someone with contract analysis skills. We had to allocate over 100 grants with time entries and needed someone to review those, do reports confirming these were correct (so some tech background to feel comfortable in a time entry reporting system), then also generating the data needed for grant reports by department heads. They typically also had to handle quarterly meetings where they could review grant reports back to the sponsors for accuracy. They’d also need to monitor spending as required and be agile enough to escalate to the right people if spending was too high/too low. They’d run calculations if someone quit for example, to see how fast we needed to replace and what salary we could handle for a 6-month position. We didn’t require grant writing experience but it would have been a plus, as would any background working with a grant sponsor. Ideally we would have loved a big data person to create reports beyond what our software did standard but we definitely didn’t pay enough for that.

    3. WFH with Cat*

      another idea, hi! I’m really interested in the role you’re hiring for and would love it if you could reply here with a link to the job description. Fyi, I have a mixed background in copywriting, customer service, and nonprofit work, plus college coursework in grant writing and other NP topics. I’m job hunting for remote contract or permanent work with an NPO, and would love to move into grant writing or management.

      (If you’d rather email me directly, just let Alison know to give you my name and address. I asked her to reach out to you, but she said you didn’t provide an email on your post so she suggested I respond here.)

      Thanks!

      1. RedinSC*

        Hmmm, I tried posting a link, maybe that’s not allowed. Ok, Go to Candid’s Philanthropy News Digest and look for posted jobs. There’s a ton, from around the country and there are always grant writing/management, etc jobs.

        Also, the Chronicle of Philanthropy has a good job posting section, and you will be able to find a lot of grant writing, etc jobs there, too.

    1. Not A Girl Boss*

      I agree. A few particular areas:

      There have been insane bidding wars over CMM programmers.
      This is something you’d typically go to community college for, but ability matters more than the degree. That’s why the experienced CMM programmers are in such high demand – but we have also hired people straight out of college who clearly spent their free time really learning the depths of their jobs. In New England, the most respected programmers are making $150-200k and work a mix of remote and in-person.

      Quality Engineers is another big one.
      The classic qualification for this job is a Mechanical or Electrical Engineering degree, but slightly less-math-heavy engineering degrees such as Industrial or Manufacturing Engineering will also qualify you. Also a 2 year degree for manufacturing tech will qualify you to be a Quality Inspector or Quality Coordinator (basically somewhere between document control clerk and engineering assistant). Supplier Quality can come from more of a procurement background, and an ASQ Certified Quality Auditor cert will get you in the door most anymore.
      Its not as glory-filled as a design engineer, for example, but it can be a great option for people who like working on big-picture processes and problems, and have good organizational ideas. It can also be a very detail-oriented data-analysis-heavy type role, depending on where you go within the role.
      You can work on new product introduction, production manufacturing sustainment, supplier management, or compliance / contract review. Most jobs are in person, although Supplier Quality is often remote with about 25% travel. In New England during The Great Resignation, most entry level QEs are making 70-90k, and experienced are at 100-120k.

      1. Teach*

        This was helpful – thank you. My son just graduated from a Top 10 engineering university program with an EE degree, and is definitely the “detail-oriented, troubleshooting” personality.

    2. JustaTech*

      Yup, biotech manufacturing is pretty hot right now (and has been for a while because there’s a very limited pool of experienced people and it’s a growing field even when there’s not a pandemic.).
      Qualifications: For most places a BA/BS in some kind of life science (though some companies are happy with an AA), and any experience with aseptic processing or any experience with GMP (Good Manufacturing Processes) is absolutely a bonus. (For folks who haven’t done it, GMP is not about a specific process, it’s about knowing how to follow the regulations about manufacturing, like “follow the SOP and Batch Record exactly” “never back date anything, ever” “date and initial everything”.)

      Oh, and Quality folks. Quality Control tends to be more industry/ product specific (it’s the testing part of quality, so lab work) but Quality Assurance (QA) is pretty transferable from biotech and pharma to aviation.

    3. NotAnotherManager!*

      There was a Planet Money episode recently where they interviewed a few manufacturing facility workers, and the guy who was a licensed electrician, plumber, and knew CMM was a really hot commodity. Basically, if you could maintain, repair, and program the machines, you’re golden and they’re aren’t nearly enough of them.

  12. Beth*

    In IT, cybersecurity.

    Key elements of the skill/knowledge set will include being right on top of every developing threat, and being able to stay there in terms of ongoing self-education.

    Other valuable skills: training people in avoiding threats; translating risks and threats into language a non-IT person can understand, without being obnoxious; writing policies and procedures to back up training; knowing ways to implement the policies and procedures.

    1. Thin Mints didn't make me thin*

      Do NOT bother getting a degree in cybersecurity (I did this, but it was not a good use of time/money). Instead, if you need to study something, study coding, networking, and software engineering, and put your money into certifications. Start with an entry-level one (Security+ or CC) and then pursue higher-level certs that relate to your area of interest.

      Just because companies NEED cybersecurity people does not mean they actually HIRE entry-level people. So you have to work for that first gig. Get involved in local networking groups and national organizations. Market yourself.

    2. Panda (she/her)*

      +10000

      Cybersecurity is a hugely growing area, and doesn’t have any specific post-secondary requirements to enter it. You can look at doing some certifications like CISSP and some cloud (AWS, Azure) certifications if you want to stand out a bit. Do lots of reading and stay up to date on trends and current threats/vulnerabilities.

    3. Chilipepper Attitude*

      My son works in IT, and has some certs, and would like to shift to cybersecurity, pen testing, etc.
      He says he is finding it tough to find job postings – apparently, the job titles in IT can be unclear and that makes it hard to search in Indeed or similar places. Or maybe it is clearer to say he is aiming for above entry level because of his experience (he does work on security for his employer, he just does not have that in his title) and he is having trouble finding the job title he should search for.

      Does anyone else see that, is it just him? Any advice on finding the right types of jobs?

      1. LZ*

        He could try searching for things like Secure Development, Security Architecture, SOC (Secure Operations Center), Network Security, GRC (if he wants to work in governance/risk/compliance). He should be searching for Analyst roles, in my experience that *can* cover entry level all the way up to team lead or Manager, but is generally for folks with up to 7 years experience. Definitely have him emphasize security experience in his resume, I definitely read all resumes that come to me.

      2. ferrina*

        Make sure that he has cybersecurity metrics as part of his accomplishments under his current title. Small/midsized companies dont’ have a big cybersecurity staff budget, so having someone that can do cybersecurity+ can be a draw.

      3. Jules the 3rd*

        A friend of mine is a “Virtual CISO”, and it’s such a new position that he might look for that.

      4. NotAnotherManager!*

        My organization lists some of our security positions under information governance, which I think is kind of dumb. InfoGov is more likely to attract compliance/business people than technical people. I don’t know if we’re an anomaly, but maybe have him wade through some information governance jobs and see if others are misclassifying the positions like we have?

        1. Fran Fine*

          My company does the same thing (and we’re a software company, so you’d think we’d know better, lol), so you all aren’t an anomaly.

      5. Farhanos*

        I would have your son change his title on his resume to include security analyst for his current role, and highlight all the security related tasks he currently performs. Companies won’t bother to verify your current job title and making that change will help him get responses to the positions he’s applying to.

    4. LZ*

      I also work in cybersecurity, on the GRC side. For me, a cybersecurity degree would not be useful unless someone had studied regulatory frameworks (ISO 27001, NIST CSF, SOX Section 404) and understood control testing, nonconformity/corrective actions, risk management, and policy development. I rarely hire brand new grads because GRC stuff really isn’t covered at any depth in university programs. My most successful young hires are people with any kind of IT degree who have had some experience in applying one of the frameworks above either as a tester or as a control performer AND who know how to write.

    5. AsPerElaine*

      Relatedly, we had a ridiculously difficult time finding an IT Security Engineer recently (to us, that means someone with both security experience and server management/system admin/system engineer experience). We got people with security certifications, but almost no one with both the security experience and the hands-on technical experience. We wound up hiring someone three states away to be fully-remote, and their technical experience wasn’t as strong as we really wanted, but they were literally the only person who had anything remotely close to that on the technical side (and were good in other ways).

      I don’t know how universal that is, but the companies that have those roles open have a hard time filling them.

    6. Rich*

      Absolutely correct. There are something like 400,000-500,000 open cybersecurity positions just in the US right now. There’s work, mobility, promotion opportunity, tons of professional development opportunity. It’s amazing.

    7. Ellie*

      I wouldn’t recommend getting a specific degree in cyber security. Just get a generic software engineering, computer science, or electronics degree instead. They are hiring anyone with any of those who isn’t actively toxic. Anyone at all. And its a lot more versatile.

      Its a minimum 3 year degree though, and it requires high school maths, so its not for everyone. But I’d encourage anyone who can tolerate sitting at a computer for 8 hours a day, and who has a mathematics or science bent to them, to consider software engineering. It is versatile, its extremely well paid, easy to get a job in, and barely feels like work.

    8. Blue Teamer*

      I work in cybersecurity at a junior level at a big tech company. In the year before I was hired, I spent a lot of time on websites like tryhackme. I read cyber security news and listened to cyber security podcasts. I had some programming skills but no professional experience. I participated in online programming games like Advent of Code. At the time of my interview, I could answer the questions they asked me by talking about stuff I’d learned playing around online. I was transparent about my level of experience.

      This doesn’t sound like very much, it doesn’t sound like enough — and it isn’t — but they were willing to let me learn the rest on the job and train me and I really love what I do. I don’t get to do anything glamorous at my level, if I tried to explain what I actually do during the day it might sound pretty boring, but I still feel like I get to spend all day doing my favourite thing in the world and it’s so hard to put it down when it’s time to go home.

      You don’t need a degree. You need to be good at asking the question “what could go wrong” and you need to be constantly learning and good at thinking sideways about how things could go wrong and how to make them go right instead.

  13. Keeley Jones, The Independent Woman*

    Insurance. Mostly in tech and tech adjacent (BA/QA/PM) or analyst level roles but there were a lot of entry level positions too. I just started a new job but when I was searching, insurance companies tended to have a lot of openings, and that is where I ended up.

    1. Irish girl*

      I second this. My company had gotten ride of a lot of BAs and now is realizing they need more internal ones to work with the vendors that we use.

      Also, claims always needs people including adjusters.

      1. DJ Abbott*

        I wouldn’t mind working in claims. I have a data, finance and detail background and want to work with people. I’d rather work in an office than in the field.
        When I was looking for a job earlier this year, I applied for a claims assistant position but didn’t get an interview. I have recent customer service and reception/admin experience. Is there anything else that would help me get a good job in claims?

        1. Fran Fine*

          If you have experience doing any kind of investigative work or have good interviewing skills, play those up in your resume. Claims adjusters, even in-house ones (of which I was one many years ago), are responsible for conducting extensive investigations into various different losses and need to have good research skills. You also need to understand how to interpret policy language and write well so that you can draft clear coverage decision letters.

          Strong project management skills are a plus, and you need to be able to defuse tense situations over the phone – claims people are the frontline workers at insurance companies so will receive the brunt of the angry phone calls and emails from claimants and insureds. You have to have thick skin because you will get screamed at a lot. You also need to have great time management and the ability to make quick decisions to close claims timely.

    1. River Otter*

      If I wanted to do bookkeeping for small businesses, what courses/skills/certifications would I need to obtain?

      1. Rain's Small Hands*

        I do small business bookkeeping. I have an accounting degree, but an intro to accounting class and quickbooks is sufficient for most bookkeeping. Especially if you have an accountant you can call on.

      2. Not Today*

        Quickbooks is by the far the most used and useful skill – and its very easy to use. It is targeted at small business owners, not accountants, so even the terminology the software uses makes it super easy to figure out what to do (for example, you would go to Pay Bills to…. pay the bills, rather than an Accounts Payable module like in a more robust accounting software). I did small business bookkeeping uses quickbooks and a very old antiquated DOS software in a CPA firm with only two semesters of accounting courses and what I learned on the job.

    2. Massive Dynamic*

      Yep, especially in public accounting. To be fair, our general industry culture’s been churn & burn for way too long, but firms large and small are finally starting to see the light re: work-life balance and the retention it generates.

    3. Van Wilder*

      I work in tax and we literally cannot find enough people. You need at least a 4-year accounting degree.

      Long-term: I don’t think this is the career of the future. We are working on automating and outsourcing a lot. But there’s so much work, especially if you are good with formulas/coding and can pivot where needed. I think anyone who gets in now can ride it out until retirement.

      1. Pants*

        The hours for tax are insane though. Six months out of the year (busted into two seasons), you’re working anywhere from 60 to 100 hours a week. At least, that’s how it was when I was in tax. There’s not enough money in the world to entice me back to working in tax.

        1. River Otter*

          If there were more people doing it, they could all work fewer hours.

          If I were qualified, or could easily get qualified, to do tax accounting, I would definitely work a few months a year during the hot season.

          1. Pandora*

            As long as you’re not signing tax returns, you just need basic knowledge about tax rules/law, which you can get from a class. I’ve spend the past 14 tax seasons working seasonally PT in an accounting firm making ~$40/hr, working remotely (by choice) and setting my own hours. I am a CPA, but it definitely doesn’t require a CPA license. Much of the work is data entry, as the software knows and applies the rules. You just have to know what looks weird, or if the system is missing something, but that comes with time actually doing the work. My role has always been preparer, and other people review and sign. Accounting firms LOVE seasonal employees, as I’m basically 100% billable and get no benefits, so it’s a great gig for anyone who the schedule works for (Jan-April and maybe Sept/Oct).

    4. Primordial Nan*

      I was coming here to say this! My husband just graduated with his master’s in accounting, and the industry is in such need of accountants that he’s going to move up in seniority much quicker than we anticipated just because there’s so much work and not enough people.

      As said above, though, the hours are insane, even at smaller firms.

    5. I love for the weekend*

      I agree to this. I’m a CPA, and public accounting firms are literally looking for people all over the country for remote work as they can’t find people in their cities to fill positions. Most of the tax firms are realizing that people in their 40s and younger don’t want to work obscene hours during tax season and are trying to adjust to the needs of the market. CPA is about 48 college hours of specific classes (if you already have a college degree in some other field) and the exam to be licensed in most states.

      If you don’t want to go that route, bookkeepers are needed as well. A little training in bookkeeping and payroll and software such as Quickbooks will get you a job in so many companies (and even accounting firms with client services). Once you gain a few years experience you will be really marketable. All companies need bookkeepers and payroll specialists, and many people can’t handle the tediousness and the organization that comes with the job to do it well. Good bookkeepers are gold!

    6. industry CPA*

      In my experience, the real shortage though is for experienced / mid level seniors / early managers. Firms are hiring enough entry level and interns, but they aren’t sticking it out to senior because of the work life balance, which means that in industry, we’re struggling to hire experienced seniors/early managers. Part of this is directly covid related I think. People missed about 2 years of that early development you can only get in the audit room / onsite working with your senior.

      1. industry CPA*

        Also, firms are recognizing the churn of 2nd year seniors / 1st year managers and retaining them better – so we’ve lost the “hey i’m ready to start a family and work 40ish hours a week” crowd due to retention bonuses and better work/life balance in public accounting. it’s very weird!

        1. TaxLady*

          I just got a job as a Senior Tax Accountant with NO resume or even up to date LinkedIn. They are that desperate! I have 8 years experience and a CPA. Basic requirements to get into tax preparation are a college degree and interest. My former firm hired someone who had a biology degree and some business classes last year. Tax firms are desperate for help! Small firms are more likely to accept fewer credentials.

    7. Warrior Princess Xena*

      Specific qualifications:
      Bookkeeping – varies massively, but usually a few small classes + a decent working knowledge of Excel. The caveat is that these positions are usually lower paid and much more vulnerable to automation, as they are closer to specialized data entry. But if you have any financial skills at all it’s a good spot.
      CPA-level: hurting for skilled people right now. It’s 5 years of college to qualify, but many colleges have 1-year professional programs if you already have a bachelors and just need those additional accounting credits, and when I was in school we had several people returning to the workforce that way.

      1. Yay for CPAs*

        I work for a state CPA society, a professional association for CPAs. If you are interested in anything CPA or even accountant related, I recommend checking out your state’s society as well as the AICPA. There is a lot of support for future CPAs and accountants. We have a very nice scholarship program where applicants have great odds of getting a scholarship because so few people apply.

  14. Keymaster of Gozer*

    Digital privacy and security. People with working knowledge of data protection laws and practices as pertaining to an IT infrastructure are really in demand.

    1. Canterlot*

      Absolutely. If you are someone with decent GDPR knowledge combined with decent cloud computing knowledge, you can write your own ticket. And as states start to pass GDPR equivalents, that is going to shoot through the roof.

  15. PRM*

    DEI, but the boom is not about actual diversity and inclusion, but ‘coloring’ the status quo in ways that are comfortable to those in power. Still, the hiring and money is there.

    1. Justin*

      Yep, DEI = CYA (as I said above).

      The places that actually are inclusive may or may not have a department but they’re a lot less boastful about it – they just live it. See: my last job and the useless committees I joined and my current job that’s actually led by POC and supports my neurodivergence.

      1. Sloanicota*

        Yes! A lot of funders are requiring some sort of investment on this, in a very sloppy way, where it’s just a box that must be checked, so people providing these services out of the box are in-demand. I think an entrepreneurial person of color could do great in this field with a background in meeting facilitation and strategic planning and some very light training – like, literally just a few hourly seminars they could point to. I do hate to see non-POC-led programs trying to fill this space.

        1. Temperance*

          So, gently pushing back: there are plenty of white or white-presenting LGBTQ+ folks who do a great job with DEI efforts, too.

          1. Velociraptor Attack*

            I think there are people who can do a great job with DEI efforts but I also feel like, in my experience, the DEI programs I’ve seen that aren’t run by POC haven’t had much of a function aside from “this is a box we’re checking but no one in the organization, especially not senior leadership is invested in this”.

          2. NervousNellie*

            Agreed, there’s more to diversity than race. Even more than race and sexuality. Diversity includes disabilities, socioeconomic status, age, even lifestyle choice. a company staffed by nothing but middle-class asian women is not more diverse than a company staffed entirely by 20-something white tech bros.

    2. Tupac Coachella*

      *Climbs on soapbox*
      I’m so angry to agree. As someone who does a lot of DEI work with very practical outcomes in mind, it’s become clear to me that the CYA and feel-good is enough for most orgs. I’m ok with the feel-good-as a byproduct. As a focus, feel-good means that people doing real DEI work that literally changes people’s lives in practical, meaningful ways are always working uphill. To get anything done, we’re constantly forcing aside the frivolousness perpetuated by the “DEI is about everyone getting along and getting enough trainings that they stop saying stupid stuff out loud” myth. Companies aren’t tapping in to the reality that targeted, well focused DEI efforts have the potential to be very lucrative, because we feel squicky acknowledging the fact that it’s easier to get people to buy/do stuff when we don’t treat them like second class citizens (and we also don’t want to acknowledge that we have, in fact, been treating large swaths of the population like garbage and wondering why they don’t want to do what we want). I suppose the feel-good has to come first to open people up to the idea of dismantling systems, but it’s so frustrating. When I’m trying to make data based, measurable DEI focused improvements in a field where people are literally dying because of lack of diversity in the workforce (healthcare), it feels pretty pointless when all the “real” DEI jobs out there are about organizing trust falls and telling white people that we know they’re not racist but if they could stop touching our hair without asking that would be great. *end rant*

      1. PRM*

        “organizing trust falls and telling white people that we know they’re not racist but if they could stop touching our hair without asking that would be great” — lmao, this is exactly it. But if a person wants that job because there is $$ in it… We live under capitalism and we all need cash; who am I to argue?

  16. DC do-gooder*

    We find it hard to find skilled public interest lobbyists. I always tell people early in their careers to get a job working for a member of Congress, a state legislator, or a lobbying firm/ organization if they can.

    1. Interested in a Change*

      Any advice on lobbying organizations? Working with a member of Congress would probably be lower on my wish list, but I interviewed for a California-based lobbying organization once that I think argued for environmental legislation – would definitely be interested in something like this

      1. automaticdoor*

        My comment to the original thread is in moderation but I have some thoughts that might be useful!

    2. ZSD*

      Serious question: What do you define as “skilled”? I ask because after a two-year fellowship as an analyst/lobbying working to fight poverty at the federal, state, and local level, I applied for over a hundred jobs for advocacy organizations in DC and the surrounding area and didn’t get a single job offer. My impression was that these jobs are incredibly competitive and that people often got a hundred applicants for one analyst or senior analyst position. Is that not your experience?

      1. Sloanicota*

        I wonder if the market is better outside of DC. Federal experience is thick on the ground here and it’s obviously extremely competitive, but probably anywhere else in the country they’d be impressed by DC experience.

        1. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

          I’ve heard from folks that are in this field that the bar is a lot lower for local interests (e.g. Sierra Club local chapter, state medical association, state/city restaurateurs trade group) that lobby the state house. Most do work in DC so you can get to be a familiar face there while living in whatever state you are in which is definitely more affordable

      2. itsmehi*

        I completely agree. I have skills/experience that are definitely transferable, but the job postings for this kind of position have extremely specific qualifications that limit the candidate pool and disqualify lots of people who would be great at it!

    3. automaticdoor*

      Seconding non-profit government affairs! (I’m a director of policy for a non-profit and direct policy/help run a few small specific-issue coalitions.) It’s an easier transition if you’re early career, but many firms/orgs are looking for specialists. Even if you don’t have all the government connections, subject-matter experts with strong writing/comms skills and an advanced degree are definitely a valuable and hot commodity. We get a lot of people who apply for things who might have a political science BA and interned for a member of Congress, but it’s so much more valuable to have someone who knows what they’re talking about in a particular area and who can communicate it to a “lay” audience (aka policymakers). Healthcare non-profits in particular and membership associations in a given subject area also look for/value SMEs.

  17. Defintely Anon*

    Construction. All types including the trades but especially in project management. Every place in my area is hiring and offering bonuses to those who provide leads. Two people in competing ( neither of whom I work for) companies offered me a stupid amount if I find them a candidate.

    1. Defintely Anon*

      And depending on the position you only need a college degree (mines not even in construction) or office experience. Some are ok with a willingness to learn and thats it.

    2. ScruffyInternHerder*

      Same.

      There also aren’t many days where I don’t have multiple emails from recruiters offering me job prospects, in addition to actually having people in my industry slyly make sure I’m “happy where I am and that I’m good with my current compensation”

      1. MysteriousMise*

        Patent Attorneys. There’s a massive world wide shortage of them. Training/qualification is a bit tortuous, but qualified Petent Attorneys can attract large salaries, and the job isn’t restricted to lawyering.

        The route to qualification varies from country to country. In Europe a law degree isn’t necessary, but a technical degree is. A trainee then spends at least three years training under/with qualified patent attorneys at which point they can sit a selection of fairly tough exams.

    3. Sloanicota*

      I actually really regret not considering hands-on building trades more seriously when I was younger. I don’t seem to do very well in an office setting and (although I am female) I think there’s some skillsets I would have been good at. It seems like the apprenticeship/union model is standard for most jobs, and it’s not something that’s easy to switch to in middle age/midcareer.

      1. Not A Girl Boss*

        My husband switched from restaurant management to welding at 30. He went to a welding trade school at night, and companies were lined up waiting to hire the graduates based on their ranking coming out of school (he graduated as #1 ranked so that definitely helped). After a few years working at regular manufacturing houses, he was able to get a fantastic union job and raise the ranks into management from there.

        The average age of welders is something like 62, so there’s a ton of demand that helps you get your foot in the door. This is true of the other trades as well.

        In my experience, a lot of the trades (except electrical) are going away from the straight apprentice model and are relying more heavily on trade schools for the basics. And some community colleges are particularly great at this, because they offer a more ‘general’ manufacturing program where you can try out a variety of trades and see if any click for you.

      2. Defintely Anon*

        I am an older female and I work for a general contractor i ended up here late in the game (all my bosses are younger). I am super happy and love my job its challenging because its constant go go go and nothi g is the same. You can build 25 buildings all exactly the same and each project will be different. Wont say being female in a male dominated industry is easy but its a lot easier now than when it was years ago.

        1. Sloanicota*

          Can I ask what kind of work you do for the contractor? (Like are you doing drywall, electrical, back office, sales etc?). Watching the work I just had done I think I would have been best at tiling, but my friends closer to the field have said that’s considered pretty low-skill and not desirable as a career.

          1. Defintely Anon*

            I am not a tradesperson. I work solely in administration and project management in the office. I do go to the field when necessary. From what I have seen some trades are looking for more people more so than others. Depending on where you live some cities are requiring certain percentages of females and minorities on site so trades are desperately searching for people to comply. Tiling can be complicated especially when you have a round floor and its a good start for the right person. Im not good with shapes and geometry which is why i never went into a trade. However my family members are carpenters and I always recommend that. It can be hard with the heavy lifting but it can also be easier depending.

          2. Defintely Anon*

            I work in administration and project management in the office. Fancy words for I manage the paperwork (and there is a LOT) for each project. I do not have experience with Tiling but it may not be desirable for them. I find a lot of family who are in construction have varied interests including electrical and carpentry. Id find out more about each before deciding.

          3. Books and Cooks*

            A GOOD tiler can do very, very well, especially if you’ve spent some time in plumbing or have plumbing skills. The problem is there are a lot of not-so-good tilers out there, who think all the job requires is a notched trowel and a bucket of ready-made mastic (*shudder*). Tiling is a little geography-dependent, too, I think, in that southern states have more work because there’s simply more tile in homes (in South FL, for example, many homes are tiled throughout to help combat the heat, whereas you’d be unlikely to find “all tiled floors!” at all, much less as a selling point, in Wisconsin or Maine). But if you’re conscientious and committed, easy to work with, and know what you’re doing (or are willing to learn), and especially if you hook up with a master tiler and/or a few good general contractors, or are able to take on commercial jobs, you can do *quite* well.

            If tiling as a career interests you at all–or if tiling as a hobby interests you, even–check out the John Bridge forums. There’s a big emphasis there on DIY bathroom remodels using Kerdi products, but it’s all closely tied to tiling, and a number of pros hang out there, help homeowners/newbies by answering questions and offering advice, and talk about their work. Googling “John Bridge forums Kerdi” or “…tile” should get you there–I don’t want to bother Alison with having to moderate for the link. (Bridge’s books–available on his site–are also very helpful and informative.)

            **I am not John Bridge, or associated in any way with John Bridge or the forums. I’m just an avid DIYer who likes laying tile and learning about construction trades, and learned a lot there.

      3. Someone Online*

        The biggest thing to watch out for, in my experience, is that in some trades your body will wear out before you are ready/eligible to retire, so make sure you have a backup.

        1. anneshirley*

          This is true in my experience as well. The good news is that, with trades jobs in such high demand, workers can be pickier about the type of company they work for and, if it’s something they’re interested in, work their way up from the field to project management, service management, sales, or estimating. If it’s a good company, they are providing avenues and mentorship to do so. (Off the top of my head, every person in non-admin management at my company started in the field and worked their way up.)

    4. Anonym*

      A relative of mine recently finished her undergrad degree in construction management, and had an accepted job offer several months before graduation. Not sure if the degree is required or just beneficial, but we were all amazed at that timing.

      1. ScruffyInternHerder*

        My experience in the field is that it definitely helps, and some (I’m guessing larger) firms may require it. I’ve never worked anywhere where it is a requirement though.

        I did NOT wind up going back to university for a master’s in CM, because after being in the construction industry locally, I couldn’t justify the costs.

      2. Jake*

        With no previous experience the degree was either required, or it made her eligible for a much higher paying role right out of the gate.

        With previous experience it would be a nice to have category.

    5. Panda (she/her)*

      Absolutely. All trades are majorly understaffed. Masonry, carpentry, plumbing, electricians, drywalling…all are relatively straightforward to get into as an apprentice.

  18. The Cosmic Avenger*

    We can’t hire or keep Drupal developers, Business Analysts (as someone else mentioned), or mobile app developers.

    1. PrincessPixel*

      Despite the layoffs in tech and tech-adjacent fields, I do think there are still a lot of open engineering jobs. That said, most of the roles I see are at the senior or lead level and higher and require at least 4 or 5 years of professional experience.

      It’s tough to transition or “break into” a lot of the higher-paying engineering roles because most companies don’t want to hire/train junior engineers — and especially now that companies are tightening their belts, the open roles are not entry level.

      1. The Cosmic Avenger*

        True, I threw this up there between meetings, but I think for the right “new” developer who can show an ability to adapt and pick up on new things, has at least something on their resume showing reliability and responsibility, and can communicate and collaborate effectively and efficiently, we’d probably waive any experience requirement. I’m not the one doing the hiring right now, but I’ve seen that work out before.

    2. A Girl Named Fred*

      Which language(s) or programs are most important for the mobile app developers you’re seeking? I’m potentially interested in working on my skills in that realm and building a portfolio, but sometimes it’s hard to tell from the outside what’s most useful to start with.

      1. HR Friend*

        JavaScript (pick your framework) is must-know, and Swift (iOS) or Kotlin (Android) are strongly preferred.

      1. The Cosmic Avenger*

        I would say look into a Certified Scrum Master course; you might not need it, but a lot of the concepts are broadly applicable, as you need to be able to define and refine requirements, scope of work, and balance level of effort against ROI. The rest will depend a lot on the developers you’re working with, but it’s good to have a basic understanding of web, app, and software development, and development life cycles. I kind of fell into it by having good web development skills but not being able to work on that full-time and having to assign projects to the more experienced developers, who could make the improvements faster than I could, but they also liked that I was able to present them with a task that was clearly defined and I dealt with the requirements gathering, QA testing, and stakeholder feedback, and just gave them clear instructions about what to do on their end.

        Note, this is just my experience doing BA work for a web development division, companies in other industries may have very different requirements for BAs.

        1. PrincessPixel*

          I’d say that at many companies, the Scrum Master role and the Business Analyst roles are VASTLY different. SM roles are about ensuring engineers have the information they need to do their job (business/product requirements), communicating and trying to remove any blockers (basically, tracking down information, giving status updates, aligning stakeholders and teams), and generally trying to ensure that the work the team promised is done by the deadline. It’s a very in-the-weeds job — you’re not doing the work, but you’re making sure the people on the team have what they need to do the work.

          An analyst evaluates looks at what’s happened in the past and what’s happening in the present and tries to identify trends, make predictions, improve processes and identify best practices. That’s likely it’s own kind of in-the-weeds, but it can feel a bit more distant from the engineers doing the work.

  19. Charlotte Lucas*

    And we all know that service positions (retail, food service, etc.) are hiring. We all know why, too.

    1. Nonny Mouse*

      Yup. Basically the same reasons as teaching. Underappreciated, underpaid, treated rudely, no respect, and expected to put their lives on the line.

      1. Charlotte Lucas*

        Same with farm workers in the US (including actual farmers – whose average age is quite high).

      2. Sloanicota*

        Yeah, my guess is OP, like most of us in a blog that skews white collar, is most interested in remote or partially remote jobs that pay well with benefits. A good number of the most “in demand” fields right now are not going to check those boxes, as seen in many of these comments.

    2. King Friday XIII*

      I’d say it’s worth looking at the “higher” end of service work- I do what is basically customer service and tech support for a local credit union, we pay above minimum wage with a hiring bonus and good benefits, and I think that’s pretty standard across the field. We also promote from within like crazy, which is part of why we’re always hiring at entry level – and entry level just requires customer service experience and a high school degree, nothing specialized.

      1. SirBluebird*

        I can second this! I’m also working in phone-based customer service and tech support at a local credit union in an area that still has a minimum wage of $7.25, and I got skyrocketed up the ranks from baseline teller ($12 an hour) to the phones ($18 an hour) in about 9 months with no college degree just through being a quick learner and good at customer service. I just got a new job at my original credit union’s competitor with about 1.5 years of total experience and now make $22 an hour. All federal holidays off, consistent hours, medical benefits, it’s great.

  20. Sangamo Girl*

    Almost anything in construction and construction-adjacent fields. Architects, engineers, trade professionals (plumber, electrician, roofer, etc), project managers, estimators . . . . If it touches the construction industry, there is an opening.

      1. Sangamo Girl*

        This is a great field because there are lots of options from high school to apprenticeships to trade school to a master’s degree! And some of the trades are so short of workers, they will train you for free. I work with lots of folks in the office with a mix of all of this. One project manager might have a BS in architecture while the other has a high school education and experience.

        Check out O*net online for more outlooks and training requirements. https://www.onetonline.org/

      2. Panda (she/her)*

        Project managers tend to not need much background – being an organized person and able to communicate well and juggle a lot of things at once is very helpful!

    1. Just Another Zebra*

      Yes!

      I’d also add trucking / CDL drivers. You need the endorsement on your license and to pass a physical for the DOT. Some companies will pay for your schooling while you train on the job.

      1. grubsinmy*

        …member who might be interested in this. He’s in his 20s, high school degree, looking for more solid full time work. Being some sort of onsite construction laborer could be up his alley.

        Where is the best place to look for local openings? Feels like this wouldn’t be a LinkedIn kind of thing.

        1. Just Another Zebra*

          Indeed is pretty good for trade jobs. Also try just Googling “construction [zip code]” and see if you can apply directly from a company’s website.

    2. ThatGirl*

      Jobs in companies that are in that general sphere (e.g. plumbing manufacturing/supply) can also run the gamut from supply chain to marketing to web development.

    3. Varthema*

      As the partner of an architect, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it just now… apart from the fact that the barrier to practice is pretty high (a lot of education, and then a TON of stuff for licensure although that’s not strictly necessary for many jobs), the last recession hit architects horribly. For engineers as well, it depends heavily on the field (I think some of those niche engineers are ALWAYS in demand because there are so few of them with the certs and training and you can’t just make more overnight).

      Construction in general tends to really suffer during recessions, which seems to be looming. That said, I imagine skilled tradespeople probably do better, especially if they can work in repair/small jobs and not just construction.

  21. Web Crawler*

    In technology- web development with experience in accessibility (which is frequently abbreviated as A11y). Also, if you’re disabled and looking for training in this area, Deque offers a free pass to their materials for folks with disabilities.

    1. A11y101*

      Yuppp. I’m in the testing and compliance side of the industry and the number of lawsuits right now driving this is exploding. My team has doubled in size in the past 2 years after having very little staff change for 10 years before hand.
      I love the work but there’s so much going on: there are a lot of bad actors right now making the whole field a mess, there’s controversy with the accreditation organization, there’s a lot of people doing this work internally at their organization who have 0 idea what they’re doing but think they know what they’re doing and hate being told otherwise, business executives are on edge with all the lawsuits… I live for the drama honestly. We need more people in all different parts of the business who care about doing this correctly! (Digital) Accessibility is one of those things that almost everyone in a business can, or should be, playing a role in, so no matter if you’re in customer service, procurement, design, web development, content creation, etc. having accessibility knowledge is going to be increasingly important.

      1. Ell*

        I currently work in pharma advertising as a digital strategist– accessibility is definitely one of the things that’s increasingly important for our clients, especially as the population continues to age and communication around healthcare becomes more and more digital.

        I’ve been considering getting some UX certifications to be able to take a more technical role, but haven’t pulled the trigger there yet.

        1. S*

          I did the General Assembly part time UX course, and I loved it (and I got a job in UX!) If that’s too much time or money, also check out Nielsen Norman Group – they have lots of different training options. I actually posted below about UX as a booming field. So much of your digital strategy work would translate – particularly on the research side of UX.

    2. Mimmy*

      I’ve thought about this but worry it may be too technical for my liking. How much experience with web development would you need to get into this area?

    3. KayEss*

      Someone mentioned elsewhere when talking about digital/tech jobs that entry level positions are hard to find–my company hires entry-level web developers and I can absolutely verify that A11y skills/knowledge is a HUGE leg up for any candidate.

    4. Justme*

      Thank you! How do you get the free Deque training pass if you are a person with a disability. I’m not seeing it anywhere on their website. Thanks in advance!

  22. Nikki*

    Tech is still booming and has been for a while. Caveat that it’s only booming for people with at least a couple years experience. Most firms don’t have the bandwidth to get a ton of new grads up to speed so they’ll only hire a small number of new grads and focus most of their hiring on more experienced people. So it’s tough to find that first job out of school, but once you’ve been doing it for a couple years you’ll start getting a deluge of messages from tech recruiters.

    1. Hills to Die on*

      Developers, product owners, project / program managers, solution architects, all of it.
      Agreed on what Nikki said re qualifications. If you need to start somewhere, try certifications / classes and go from there. I see a lot of people get in doing one thing, then help support other roles and get experience that way.

      1. NervousNellie*

        I’m massively struggling to land a job as a Product Owner despite having 2 years experience under my belt specifically in Product Ownership, and 15 years in tech. Devs, however, god devs seem to be flying off the shelf.

    2. Daughter of Ada and Grace*

      That said, there are still tech roles open at lower levels. But it’s highly dependent on the individual company whether they’d rather save money and invest the time in training up someone fresh out of college/bootcamp, or save training time and invest money in someone who’s got the experience to hit the ground with minimal training. (My company is hiring to backfill a junior developer role right now. I’m not the hiring manager, but I’m involved in both interviews and training so my boss is willing to fill me in on how they decide what level to hire at.)

      Looking outside the “big tech” sectors into areas like retail, insurance, finance, or medical might be useful in finding some of these roles. If there’s an app for it, someone wrote that app, and at a bigger company that someone is probably in-house. (If you’re familiar with the Kroger grocery store chain, they employ a lot of developers in the greater Cincinnati area. I’m not one myself, but I know multiple people who are.)

    3. Sss*

      I’m in school currently for this, so I don’t have first hand experience.

      But one of the things that I’ve heard can help new people in Tech get past that experience gap is to make a project. I’ve heard it doesn’t even need to be complicated or innovative. Just something that you’ve completed that has been approved on the app store and includes common features for apps like in-app purchases, ads, cloud storage, etc. The example given to me, is that a friend was on a hiring team and the guy they hired had made a simple dynamic wallpaper app.

      I’m curious what your thoughts on this are. Do you think that would be something that could help?

      1. Nikki*

        If you don’t have prior work experience in the field, a personal project is something that can also really help. If you want to be an app developer, developing an app and getting it into a store can be good. If you’re wanting to do more web development or other types of application development, set up a GitHub account and work on your project there. This will allow potential employers to view your code and your progression in developing the project as you push more code up.

        1. voluptuousfire*

          Agreed. I work in tech recruiting and we get soooooo many resumes from new grads or those who just got out of a coding or UX design bootcamp and have no experience outside of the bootcamp or maybe a month or two long internship. Having projects would make a huge difference plus hustling to get internships/contract work to build up your portfolio is never a bad investment.

          What pains me about the bootcamps is that they churn out so many, there’s really not enough of a need for absolutely green engineers and they’re competing with new grads with bachelors in computer science who may have that co-op or internship(s) under their belt. It takes a lot to get a newbie engineer up and running to where they’ll be capable.

    4. urguncle*

      People with both soft and hard skills in tech, especially customer success roles. I moved out of customer success, but I still regularly get asked to apply to roles that are much higher in salary and title than what I was doing in customer success. Strictly customer success jobs are easy to fill and easy to lay off. CS and Operations people who have both the soft skills of being able to talk to people as well as technical knowledge in their field are immensely valuable.
      In terms of how to get into this field, I have a degree in a foreign language, and not one spoken commonly where I live. I started in entry-level customer success and learned a ton. I read tech documentation and resolved tickets in my downtime. I actively reached out to engineers and people who had technical knowledge to ask them questions and have them explain something to me so I wouldn’t have to ask again. I found a niche where I noticed other people didn’t want to work and I learned as much about that part of the product as I could.

  23. i babysit adults in the sky*

    There’s a massive commercial airline pilot shortage. Obviously requires years upon years of training and experience, you can’t run out and apply tomorrow, but still. They are needed.

    Lots of airlines are hiring flight attendants right now. For my airline (one of the three major US carriers) you must be 21yo, no degree required.

      1. i babysit adults in the sky*

        Not necessarily, but if you are fluent in a language the airline “needs” (i.e. we fly to Italy and need Italian language qualified flight attendants) you can choose to qualify in that language. Sometimes we do prioritize/specifically hire certain language speakers, but right now everyone is welcome to apply!

        1. Mac (I Wish All The Floors Were Lava)*

          I actually looked into applying for a flight attendant job about a month ago and gave up as soon as I saw that the physical requirements mentioned something along the lines of “must have a trim, neat appearance” (I forget the exact wording, but the clear implication was that plus-size folks need not apply). Any thoughts on whether this is common among all airlines?

          1. Ask An Event Manager*

            Yes, it is. I have interviewed with Delta and American Airlines (flown out from my home state to Atlanta and Dallas) both in large panel interviews and in smaller solo interviews (which means you passed the group interview) and both times received “Thanks but no thanks”. It wasn’t until I did some deep diving on the internet that if you aren’t height to weight proportionate, they won’t hire you. They can’t list specifics about weight or physical attributes aside from height min/maxes allegedly from a safety viewpoint, but yeah, if you have a belly, booty, or noticeable flab, they’ll never hire you.

    1. Meep*

      My sister’s boyfriend is training to become a pilot. For a while, he worked at an airport loading and unloading luggage before they started scheduling him when he had flight school due to staffing issues. The entire flying business needs people.

    2. Sloanicota*

      I would guess flight attendants are another job that is low paid for what is expected – dealing with rude customers, screwy scheduling demands, and of course no remote option in the case of future covid surges.

    3. Pants*

      1 – Thank you for putting up with what you do.
      2 – You should be paid for ALL of your time, not just “in the air” time.
      3 – No matter what you’re paid, it’s not enough.

      Is there a height/weight requirement? I know that was a big thing in the way way way back days, but do they still do it? I’m far too old to do the job but as someone who is 5’1 on a good day, I’ve always wondered if I’d be out based on being so short.

      (also, is the coffee thing true? the urns/machines as gross as I’ve read in various listicles?)

      1. i babysit adults in the sky*

        1) Thank you so much.
        2) One of the three major US carriers recently started paying flight attendants for boarding… but it isn’t the full hourly rate.
        3) Thanks again.

        There are no official height or weight requirements, but you must be able to a) close an overhead bin and b) buckle into a jumpseat. A friend of mine is maaybe 5’ and she’s been flying 15 years. Also you’re never too old! I’ve flown with brand new hires in their 50s and 60s.

        As far as the coffee, eh, I drink it. They are not riddled with e.Coli and whatever else those listicles say. The tap water in the lavs, however, are not potable.

        1. Mid*

          Do you mind sharing which airline?

          What is the take home pay like? The job postings I see are listed at ~$25/hr, but doesn’t make it clear if that’s only flight hours on most listings (but I’m guessing it is.)

          Is it common to have a minimum guaranteed number of flight hours/pay for those hours?

    4. HBJ*

      Yes. I have pilot friends who applied with airlines 2+ years ago, never heard from them, and now are suddenly getting called out of the blue for interviews.

      Also, other workers, too. The industry is crying for mechanics. It requires an A&P certificate, which takes a 1- or 2-year education course (the end cert is the same. The only difference is 1 year is doing school more or less the equivalent of a full time job – year round, close to 40 hours a week. 2 years is more spread out with breaks, like a normal college education. 1-year programs are not common but do exist) or 3ish years as an apprenticeship (depends on hours worked), and there’s testing at the end of either the work or education route.

    5. Juneybug*

      Got a friend who wants to be a pilot but he can’t leave his good paying job (construction) to go to flight school for a few years and support his family. Any suggestions?

      1. i babysit adults in the sky*

        Not really, sorry. Traditionally the fastest and most affordable way to become a commercial pilot is to have flown in the military. It’s time consuming and expensive to rack up the number of flight hours needed as a civilian.

      2. HBJ*

        There are potentially scholarships available for at least the flight school part of it, especially if you go through a traditional college/university program.

        Building time is probably the hardest part. Even if you have all your ratings – private pilot, commercial, multi-engine, ATP, IFR, etc., you still need a minimum number of hours to get hired as a commercial pilot for most jobs, especially if you’re flying people. Huge airlines will require thousands of hours. There are a few ways you can build time while getting paid. It’s pretty common to become a CFI (instructor) and teach while building time. Something like crop dusting potentially. Small regional cargo airlines will have fewer time requirements, same with small local charter operations. I have a friend who even went overseas for a couple years to a less developed country to work for a tiny local operation because he couldn’t get hired in the US.

  24. Justin B.*

    Accounting is a big one right now where I am (Canada), especially those with a CPA designation. Both public firms and private companies are struggling to find qualified candidates. When the designations all merged there was an expectation that the market would be flooded with CPAs but so far it has not turned out that way. That, coupled with a number of older CPAs retiring early during COVID has really decreased the candidate pool.

    1. CPA in Canada*

      That’s good to know – I’m not looking but good to know the market is strong. I’m surprised to hear that the expectation was that the market would be flooded – I personally expected the opposite. Being an accountant is a second career and I wouldn’t probably get my designation now that they’ve take the worst of the CMA and the CA process and put it together… I got my CMA within the last year or two before amalgamation and yes, I have opinions on it… it’s not just the CA’s that weren’t thrilled about it.

      Universities are hiring and having a hard time hiring sometimes. In Canada they tend to pay well at the lower, more entry level positions but that flips on its head the higher up the staff hierarchy that you go. We are hiring for all kinds of positions across the board. You will need to really read job descriptions though because our titles make no sense or are often misleading / not what you might expect it to mean. In addition, a position that is entry level can sometimes share a very similar or same title as someone significantly higher in the hierarchy (can be lab vs department vs faculty or support unit). So read carefully. Positions are normally posted with salary ranges.

  25. Elder Millennial*

    Project management, which spans across all types of fields. I took the Project Management Essentials course offered by Purdue University, and am planning to take the PME exam within the next year to get fully certified but I already found a new role that sees that certification as a plus but not a requirement. Depending on your previous work experience, you can probably translate a lot of experiences into the project management world – we never called it that in my previous field, but I managed people and projects all the time and leveraged that experience in interviews.

    1. Hills to Die on*

      Yes, especially in IT. I don’t have IT PM experience, but I have business-side PM experience. I work in the telecom industry and every company is begging for people.
      Qualifications? degree in related field (business, IT, specific project types like Marketing or whatever), and/or a couple of years of experience. They will take less qualified people because they just need the bodies.

      1. Telcom PM*

        Telecom PMs big time. I’m a PM in Telecom too (not in the US) and depending on what department you are in there are various requirements, and experience levels required. I do everything from manage delivery of services to working with sales to develop proposals and set customer expectations before contracts are signed. Other departments work on planning projects to upgrade networks and build Fibre, or develop new product offerings, there are also PMs working on internal IT projects or improvement projects in various departments lots of different options. I needed my PMP for my department but others don’t. We also have lots of more junior project type roles under various titles, Project Coordinator, Delivery Coordinator, Order Coordinator, Business Support rep, it really varies.

    2. I edit everything*

      Project Management is such an expansive field, and it seems like I don’t have a clear idea of it. Could someone offer more specifics? I feel like my experience as a managing editor and production editor for publishing companies might have some transferable skills, but I don’t know how to start transferring them.

      1. Anonym*

        At baseline, it’s about keeping projects and their teams organized so that they deliver the intended results correctly. Program management does the same thing, but typically at a higher level and ongoing (i.e. multiple projects or ongoing initiatives).

        From what I’ve seen, it ranges pretty widely. Sometimes you’re pushing forward a team of people who don’t actually report to you, but have to work together. Other times it may just be you owning the project. Or perhaps you have an actual team reporting to you! You’re setting up meetings, tracking everything, reporting on progress, identifying obstacles, finding solutions, figuring out requirements, helping the project adapt as circumstances change. In my experience, it also included building skills and knowledge in the subject matter and fields in which I was working, taking on a ton of strategic decision making, advocating for the work with leaders, colleagues and industry groups, and generally building the relationships that made the projects possible, all of which made it very interesting.

        Some people find PM to be tedious; I contend that it very much depends on the role, projects and landscape you’re working in! In my experience it provided an absolute TON of variety, both day to day and over time. That helped me stay engaged – I have ADHD, and some of the more meticulous management activities were challenging for me, but I developed systems to cope with those and derived motivation from the variety, learning and the subject matter itself, which I cared about. I’ve worked in government, finance and communications, and got to experience different subjects/subfields in each.

      2. Interrobang*

        Some commenters already gave a great overview of project management so I won’t repeat what they said.

        But I’m also a managing editor, and I’ve been taking on some project management lately, so I can undoubtedly say that yes your skills are transferrable! All of your experience with production schedules, editorial calendars, bugging writers/editors/fact checkers, considering budgets, etc. transfer directly to non-technical project management. It’s just that instead of an editorial calendar, you’re building a project calendar. And maybe you’re bugging analysts for updates instead of writers.

        The juggling and decision-making and relationship building that we deal with as managing editors can set us up for a lot of things, so don’t sell yourself short. Not just project management but even some business analyst roles (which someone upthread correctly pointed out is often just problem solving). I did take the LinkedIn Learning Project Management Foundations class and it was excellent.

        1. I edit everything*

          Thanks! I once resorted to threatening (jokingly) to break a writer’s kneecaps so he’d be stuck in his chair to write when he was the final straggler for a big project. I earned a bit of a reputation as an enforcer on that one. I’ll look for that LinkedIn course.

          1. Interrobang*

            ha! i might have to steal that one with someone who’s straggling right now. i do enjoy that people hide when they see me walking around near deadline time.

    3. Anonym*

      Yep, I suspect it’s the most universal of skill sets. I didn’t take the PMP or certification path, but I jumped industries easily as a Project Coordinator early in my career, then Project Manager, then Program Manager, jumped laterally again and now I have the option to transition fully into the field in which I manage programs (corporate communications – I wear both hats in my current role). I did occasional training, but that early foot in the door as a coordinator + just time and experience was what did the trick. If you’re mid-career, though, getting your PMP or other certification is probably the fastest way to move laterally into PM. I think there’s no need to step down/back to a coordinator level (and salary).

      Please note that none of my experience is in tech. I have the impression (not 100% sure) that certifications may be more important there.

      1. AJ*

        100%. I’m a project manager in medical devices. Be sure to check out pmi.org it’s the international project management organization. Tons of free resources. They are also the source of many of the credentials. I started with the CAPM since
        It requires minimal work experience as a pm to qualify.

      2. Fran Fine*

        now I have the option to transition fully into the field in which I manage programs (corporate communications – I wear both hats in my current role)

        This is me as well, and I agree with your assessment of how to get into non-technical project and/or program management.

    4. Elizabeth West*

      I earned a CompTIA Project+ cert (it’s the same exact concepts as CAPM, just a different org, and no expiration date) and have been applying with that. No luck yet, though.

      One thing I noticed while taking the course: a LOT of it is stuff I already did in a less-organized fashion at various administrative jobs, particularly at Exjob. So project management or project coordination (what that title means varies depending on the organization) would be a good step up for administrative assistants. In my case, the course and exam were free through the state workforce development department—I lucked out and saw a news item about it in time to apply for the program. (Like, Missouri actually did something right? Wow.) It might be worth checking if your state offers a similar program. There could be a discount or a freebie, especially if you’re unemployed.

      Now if I can only find a job actually doing it!!!

      1. Elizabeth West*

        Should have added, CompTIA’s programs are mostly IT-focused certifications. But the Project+ is general and can apply to any field, not just IT.

  26. Lost academic*

    ESG. You need some experience though – you can’t get in knowing nothing. You can come at it from the environmental side or finance, but you need to read up on the reporting requirements, and ideally have some experience doing related calculations on the GHG side or other environmental consulting experience. It’s commanding high rates.

      1. Hlao-roo*

        I’m pretty sure in this context ESG is Environmental, Social, Governance and GHG is GreenHouse Gas.

        Investopedia says:

        Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria are a set of standards for a company’s behavior used by socially conscious investors to screen potential investments. Environmental criteria consider how a company safeguards the environment, including corporate policies addressing climate change, for example. Social criteria examine how it manages relationships with employees, suppliers, customers, and the communities where it operates. Governance deals with a company’s leadership, executive pay, audits, internal controls, and shareholder rights.

      2. Just Here for the Free Lunch*

        Environmental, Social, and Governance. Basically, sustainability science, policy, and programs. It’s huge in manufacturing and consumer goods right now. GHG = Greenhouse Gas

    1. Person from the Resume*

      Per google environmental, social, and governance (ESG) and greenhouse gas (GHG).

      Seems like that might be correct.

    2. Mid*

      What about the legal side? I’m not a lawyer but I work in environmental law and have some familiarly with compliance and reporting, etc.

  27. Susan Calvin*

    There is a saying about people always solving the last crisis; I can confirm that there’s a few fields booming now that people wish they’d invested in *before* the pandemic!

    The ones I know about most are two types of enterprise software:
    1) supply chain, logistics and scheduling software with solid real time visibility and optimization (E2Open, O9, Quintiq, etc)
    2) contact centre/customer service infrastructure and automation (Genesys, Avaya, etc but also conversational AI like Kore, Cognigy, Rasa)

    1. Susan Calvin*

      To clarify which roles/qualifications are especially hirable, I’ve found good project managers are worth their weight in rare earth minerals, and consultants/architects who actually have some level of technical skill and the ability to wrangle both customers and developers into building something that holds up for longer than it takes to do a demo. (Am I bitter about the Accentures and Deloittes of the world hiring all the really promising grads and then make them pull 60h weeks making really nice slide decks? Only slightly.)

  28. Comply!*

    I work in financial services, specifically in discount investing, and we have been on a more or less nonstop hiring binge since I entered this industry almost six years ago.

    Granted, at least part of the reason we’re always hiring the way we are is that there are a fair number of washouts — people who can’t pass the licensing exams, and decide to move on to another industry rather than stay in the lower-level unlicensed roles here. But, for the sake of example — I get to see our licensed advisor onboarding numbers, and nationwide my firm is registering and onboarding over 120 new registered representatives this month. Next month there will be more, and the month after that yet more.

    You do generally need a college degree to get into this job, but you can do just fine with an unrelated degree (mine is in the humanities!) and any past work experience that involves handling money. So for you, OP, with a fundraising background — I think you’d be a shoo-in! The things we generally look for are good people skills, comfort with rules & regulations, and trustworthiness with money.

    1. Mid*

      How do you find positions like this? Is it common to have training and support as you work towards licensing?

      1. Comply!*

        At my firm, definitely. We’ve shifted our licensing model around a few times since I was hired, but generally speaking we hire on large classes at a time and put them through licensing together. At the entry level — the exams are SIE, series 7, and series 66 — our licensing candidates get half the workday to study on the clock, with a company-paid study program and a lot of resources from the firm, plus mentors who can offer one-on-one tutoring for anyone who’s really struggling. The support is IMO really stellar.

  29. Lemming22*

    Sectors relating to the environment, especially ESG (environment, social, governance) reporting. Skills in greenhouse gas footprinting, lifecycle assessment, etc. are valuable. For qualifications you will likely need some education – there are a lot of undergraduate and graduate course/programs that focus on this. There are also a lot of ways you can transfer skills into this area, especially for folks with a background in things like supply chain management, waste management, etc.

  30. Civil Disobedience*

    I’m a Civil Engineer and we have an incredible shortage of young staff right now. The increased federal investment in infrastructure has made a worker shortage even more intense. In general, a four year degree is required, but civil engineering students usually can intern over the summer while in school and make at least $20/hr and starting salaries are $60-70k in consulting. Right now even mediocre candidates we interview have multiple offers and salaries have been growing quickly because there is more work out there than there is workforce to do it all.

    In addition, our field is also hiring a lot of graphics designers, big data analysts, marketing folks, and technicians for GIS, CAD, surveying and more.

    1. Voodoo Priestess*

      I agree. Yes, a 4 year degree is required for engineering, but there are lots of opening for technicians as well. You need a 2 year drafting degree or civil tech degree and that would allow you to be a drafter or do field inspections.

      We required a MS degree but starting salaries are closer to $80k.

      Construction side, too. You’ll make way more money in construction than consulting but you usually work more/longer hours and may have to relocate.

    2. Rona Necessity*

      Yup, every firm I know is desperately trying to hire young engineers. Including my employer.

      [Has this intense staff shortage and paradigm shift changed the way the industry thinks about its projects and its employees? Nope!]

    3. TheBee*

      I work on the CAD side, and get a lot of recruiters contacting me about it. Not sure if it’s just the jobs I’ve had, but for such a skilled profession I don’t ever feel like the salary matches.. especially once you start working in proprietary 3D modeling software, building/maintaining families in BIM software etc.

    4. nozenfordaddy*

      Really anyone with an engineering degree in civil, mechanical or electrical we’ll train you in the specialty area (dams, renewables, hydro, etc). I’m a civil engineer/PM and I could make a couple phone calls and have a half dozen job offers by COB (lucky for my company I like the job/compensation/benefits I have already).

      Entry level makes probably $75-80k depending on location and specialty, which has followed along with inflation since I started and compensation as you progress goes up significantly. Obviously you need a BS in some sort of engineering and having your EIT/FE would also be good but not always required. Lots of room for growth, and opportunities to be in the office or in the field depending on the field/company.

    5. Jake*

      Its because us construction folks have poached all the young civil engineers to come run construction work.

  31. Enginerd*

    Industrial Automation. We’ve had 9% COL adjustments since last September just to stay ahead of inflation, not counting performance based increases. Recruitment bonus has been doubled to try and bring more people in and its basically your option to work any overtime you want. Our OT is straight time rather than time and a half but you have the option to take the payout or bank the comp time and take a huge vacation later.

  32. I'm A Little Teapot*

    There simply aren’t enough tax accountants. And auditors are tight as well.

    Education: 4 year accounting degree minimum, but you need to be prepared to take the CPA exam, and I believe mostly people have shifted to a 5 year bachelors + masters program.

      1. Not Today*

        Depends where you do taxes. In a public firm, yes. I work for a family office, and our tax season is later (everything gets extensions), so from August through October it is some later days and weekends, but nothing like in public accounting. And all of our ‘clients’ are internal, we do not have to deal with clients face to face ever (which was the #1 thing that drove me as far from tax work as I could get!)

      2. The Original K.*

        My accountant owns his firm (small, like 15 people) and works basically constantly from January to April. He has a day bed in his office so he can nap.

      3. I'm A Little Teapot*

        There is variation between different firms, but yeah. Tax season you’re going to be working a lot.

        However, you can be understaffed and overworked in just about any industry, so just because you’re not a tax accountant doesn’t mean you won’t be working insane hours.

    1. AthenaC*

      +1 for auditors. Same qualifications – 4 year degree, be ready to sit for the CPA exam.

      We need all the new people we can get. Currently there’s just so much work that has settled at the more senior levels so we have to do all the lower-level work AND our actual jobs. It’s been rough and doesn’t look to be getting better anytime soon.

      1. EAs for taxes*

        Tax preparer is a popular retirement job in the US, and does not require a CPA. You will earn peanuts for the first few years and work only during tax season. But the pay builds with experience, and there can be year round opportunites.

  33. farrisonhord*

    Research Administration/Grants and Contracts Management – before the pandemic I almost never got contacted on linkedin by recruiters for these roles. Now I usually get a least 3-4 messages a month and not spammy ones. I don’t know that many higher ed institutes or non profits fully invest in these positions so I feel like people are super shuffling around right now trying to find a better place. In terms of qualifications – it depends. Some places are hell bent on having the right certs and background and others are open if you’ve worked in accounting/finance or are familiar with federal regulations. There’s also a wiiiide range in pay too. I’m interviewing now and have had to turn down a lot of places because they couldn’t match my current salary.

    1. farrisonhord*

      Also, a lot of places have moved to fully remote in order to attract people and widen their hiring pool. I’ve interviewed with places in Texas, Georgia, and Illinois recently and I’m based out of North Carolina.

    2. Sloanicota*

      Agree that this sector (my sector, but I largely freelance) is aaallll over the board. Sometimes these positions are combined with grant-writing, sometimes they are largely a finance role and want a CPA, sometimes they’re more like a compliance position. Salaries range from like 30K to 100K!

    3. Swingline*

      Agreed with all of this, especially the wide range in pay. I’ve turned down offers that couldn’t come close to my current salary, then a month later had 2 offers that were both 30% raises, all for the same type of job. I think part of the pay disparity is that salaries overall are rising in this industry, and some institutions are slower to adapt than others. A good research administrator can definitely make good money if they’re willing to look, though.

      Research expenditures keep rising and the rules and regulations governing the industry get more complex every year, so demand for good research administrators isn’t going down anytime soon. But it’s also true that a lot of institutions haven’t fully committed to funding these offices appropriately. It’s a great niche/under-the-radar industry, though, and if you have a basic level of experience you can definitely find remote work.

  34. KP*

    I work for a state hospital association. Our number one priority for the next three years is hiring- encouraging college student to go into healthcare, showing opportunities to current professionals searching for a career change, retaining current healthcare workers.
    I’m literally in a call right now exploring campaign ideas to bring more people in.
    In our state, there are loan forgiveness programs (badly advertising/no one seems aware about these resources), learn while you earn programs (likewise), and apprentice/residency programs (in works).
    You might be surprised how little time training for some of these positions require. Something to look into if you want a job with purpose, pay, and stability!

    1. Sloanicota*

      Ooh, are there apprentice programs that lead to decent-paying healthcare jobs? I would totally consider switching to nursing, but the fastest-track college programs I could find said you needed to pick up a lot of pre-rec courses, then a full year of coursework which you could not work even part time for (cost seemed to be around 50K) – which puts this out of my reach. The other route seems to be to enter as the lowest-paid caregiving assistant roles which pay minimum wage with screwy scheduling demands and no real way to advance.

      1. RagingADHD*

        You can usually find them through state programs/directories because they are often offered in conjunction with state-sponsored education and business development initiatives.

        Try googling your state + workforce initiatives, or career readiness, or career retraining. You can also look up your state’s department of labor. They often have resources linked.

    2. Buffy will save us*

      I’ll jump on this to add I also work in a state hospital but our entire state system is now hiring for all sorts of jobs. There was a hiring freeze during the beginning of the pandemic and a lot of people retired. There are a lot of positions that need backfilling. The salary may not be great to start (something that’s determined by the central office, not us), but the benefits are good.

  35. Interpreter*

    Federally certified court interpreters (Spanish). Many are retiring. The federal exam was not offered during the pandemic. It is a two step certification process. The written exam is usually offered every other year. If you pass the written exam, you are invited to take the oral exam a year later. The oral exam is offered every other year, alternating with the written exam.
    The pass rate varies, but I believe it is between 3% and 6%. The work is interesting, satisfying, and challenging.

    Here is the link, for those who are interested.
    I hope this link works: https://www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/federal-court-interpreters/federal-court-interpreter-certification-examination

    The pay for contract interpreters can be anywhere from $50-150/hour, depending on the venue. Full time positions in the federal courts are not very common, but you can find one if you are willing to relocate. The pay with the federal courts is starting at $80,000-104,000, give or take a few thousand.

    Most States (in the USA) offer state level certification. Check with each state for those requirements. If you go that route, look for states that offer reciprocity with other states.

    1. Sloanicota*

      I used to work for a nonprofit with legal interpreters phone system for all languages – and the rarer languages were very in demand! Something to consider for anyone who is fluent. In my region, we badly needed Amharic and several of the less-common Asian languages.

    2. Interpreter*

      American Sign Language interpreting is also in a hiring boom, particularly video relay service, medical, and certified legal/court interpreters. Court and medical interpreters require certification and many years of interpreting experience. VRS is more open to new interpreters without much interpreting experience but it’s very sink-or-swim.

      If you’re someone wanting to switch fields and not a native signer, it’s not easy to get into interpreting. Expect 5+ years of language learning, then 2 years of interpreter training.

      1. Interpreter*

        To be clear, this second “Interpreter” comment is from a different interpreter. But, yes, ASL interpreting is also in high demand.
        It’s worth mentioning that interpreting (spoken language) and translating (written language) does require advanced language skills. However, being bilingual is not enough. It take training and developing specialized skills to be successful.

        1. Interpreter (2nd)*

          So sorry, I didn’t notice your username before I commented!

          And yes, cosign on specialized skills and training. Knowing two languages is only the first qualification, but doesn’t mean you are qualified to interpret or translate.

  36. Ashley*

    Veterinary Medicine- both vets and techs (though techs even more!). Qualifications to be a vet- doctorate of vet med. qualification for being a tech- varies by state, most states require licensing now which is typically achievable with an associates degree.

    1. The OG Sleepless*

      OMG yes! Especially ER. Please send 2-3 ER DVMs and 4-5 RVTs or good unlicensed assistants my way right now, please and thank you!

      1. JustInCase*

        Can confirm! Also in need of receptionists, referral coordinators, and practice/office managers. Shelters are hiring for many positions – adoption specialists and care supervisors. And almost all non-shelter positions are offering hefty sign-on bonuses. The lowest I’ve seen is $300 for an inexperienced non-licensed assistant or receptionist. Licensed techs are around $2000-3000, and DVMs are between $5000 for small or independent practices, up to $10000 for ER/specialty/corporate-owned.

    2. Sloanicota*

      But I think this is another example of a job that’s very in-demand for a reason – the pay is hourly, the risks are high as a frontline worker, including angry/unpleasant customers, and the scheduling is screwy? (I have used that phrase a few times in my comment and what I mean is that the schedule is not consistent day to day, may change unexpectedly, or include non-business hours).

      1. DarthVelma*

        My vet sent out an email just this week about angry and abusive (human) clients and how abusing their staff will lead to them dropping you as a client.

        I sent them an email letting them know I supported this position 100%.

        1. Sloanicota*

          Yeah, and (I’m in no way defending people being rude to front line staff in any context) – certain fields it makes more sense that customers are highly stressed, unlike say the sandwich or coffee making industries, or general retail – anything medical or medical adjacent is naturally stressful to navigate and can be horrendously expensive, so I assume frontline workers at dentists/vets/medical clinics need an extra high degree of social skills to navigate.

      2. Thin Mints didn't make me thin*

        I have a friend who got a job as a social worker in a large veterinary practice specifically to help the staff with their mental health.

        1. Sloanicota*

          Wow. Because of the sad nature of the work (I assume a lot of it is suffering animals/having to tell people they’re going to lose a beloved pet) or because of people’s poor behavior? For some reason I keep seeing info about vet desk workers being particularly ill-treated by the public right now. I’m not sure why it’s them and not like, dental staff. I’ve certainly cried at the dental desk more than I’d like to recall.

          1. The OG Sleepless*

            Because of people’s poor behavior. I mean, the sadness around pet illnesses doesn’t help, but the times that I’ve wanted to just drive away and never come back have been because of the owners.

          2. JustInCase*

            We get a lot of grief for alleged overcharging for care (or charging at all!). Lots of people believe that vets/clinics get kickbacks from drug and food companies. I once lost my temper with a client who berated me over the cost of a medication and when she accused me of getting a bonus, I said “Yep! We sure do. I’ll even share it with you. How many promotional pens would you like? And I can even throw in a mouse pad!” I was lucky that she just gaped like a fish and then left.

          3. Lilikoi*

            Yeah, because of client behavior, sorry to say. Most people are wonderful but the ones who aren’t make the job really, really tough,

        2. JustInCase*

          I love this! Not that there’s a need, obviously, but that such positions exist. More and more I’m seeing openings in vet clinics and hospitals for medical team liaisons and managers that work with the owners to help their team with morale, work-life balance, mental health needs, etc. I think it’s long overdue.

    3. t-vex*

      Related – the animal sheltering hurting for staff at all levels. There are basically no barriers to entry for front-line animal care staff. We really need shelter veterinarians and technicians as well. Fewer than half of the shelters in my state have access to a veterinarian, and I know of at least 4 major organizations – in desirable locations, with great hours and competitive pay – that have had open veterinary positions for months.

    4. Kwsni*

      Assistants are scarce too, and don’t make enough money to stick around long- term. Just when youve got one trained, they go back to school or move on. Pay is usually about $14-18 an hour in my area, and there are no qualifications, but experience with animals and customer service help a lot.

  37. MES*

    As a lawyer, I can say there is a huge need for court reporters. The pay is good, the hours are flexible, and it can be interesting because you get exposure to a variety of legal cases.

    1. kiki*

      What are the qualifications needed? I’m interested in journalism, but don’t have the ability to go to J-school, not at least in the near future.

      1. Thin Mints didn't make me thin*

        I think there are court reporter classes in many places — there’s a special machine you need to learn how to use and use quickly — but also, you do not need a J-school degree to get into journalism. Talk to your local paper and ask for a tryout as a stringer.

      2. WellRed*

        You don’t need to go to J-school. Get a four year degree and write for the school paper plus internships.

        1. kiki*

          I’m a working adult out of college and have a four year degree, but not in anything writing-related. Most internships seem to accept students in school of some sort, not adults working in another field looking to try out something new.

          1. Jora Malli*

            This is part of why changing fields can be so hard. So many of the training you need to have to even be considered for a job is offered almost entirely to college students or recent grads. So for those of us who have been out of college for a decade or more, we don’t have the option of taking those paths. I can’t go back in time and make my degree something different or volunteer for different clubs and internships. That ship has sailed. But I’m facing off against applicants in the job pool who do have those things and I don’t know how to bridge that gap.

        1. Mid*

          And there is the Stenography Project which will give you an loaner machine and a few week intro classes to see if you like it. I did it, found I was decently good at it but didn’t like it enough to switch from being a paralegal.

    2. Lucia*

      I didn’t go the court reporter route a few years ago, because the programs required three years of study, and they didn’t allow for skipping ahead if you turned out to be a really fast learner. Just FYI. Maybe it’s changed though.

    3. NotAnotherManager!*

      This is what I’m looking at as my semi-retirement job. I’ve got substantial experience in the legal field, so I know a lot of the jargon, how cases work, and how to use a lot of the transcript/exhibit tools. I’m hoping that would make it easier to focus on the mechanics of doing the stenography/recording part of the job, which I would need to learn from scratch.

  38. Lisa H*

    Any healthcare related field. Get a job at a hospital and they have tuition reimbursement programs. A 2 year degree gets you a nursing degree, respiratory therapist, physical herapy and occupational therapy assistant degrees. A certificate program will get you a lab job and you can advance in the lab with degrees. Hospitals are also paying you while you train for a nursing assistant job. Lots of room for advancement. Start with a 2 year nursing degree, get your bachelors (paid for partially by the hospital), then get your masters. Depending on your masters you will be qualified for a nurse practioner, anesthesia nurse (big money), or management. The field is wide open and jobs are everywhere and jobs vary. You can get certificates and do botox and lip injections. You can work at home in case management or phone triage for insurance companies. You have limitless opportunities for growth and promotion.

    1. Sloanicota*

      Can you access this through any job at a hospital? Like could you start at the desk or something and follow this track? All the accelerated nurse training programs I looked at said you can’t work while you do the courses.

      1. KayEss*

        The accelerated nursing programs that I’m familiar with that have that requirement are all BSN programs, so you’re getting what is usually a four-year degree in one year and are expected to be doing 40+ hours of coursework per week. If you’re looking for another path to that, probably look at ADN (associates degree in nursing) programs, which are usually a 2-year degree after which you can become an RN. BSNs are in more demand and higher paid than RNs with an associates, but there are a lot of specifically RN-to-BSN programs designed to be done by working nurses (many of them are fully online, with flexible scheduling) to bump up to the higher degree.

    2. Advenella*

      Lab technologist here. Certificate vs degree will vary by site/hospital system. Aside from phlebotomy and central processing (for which a lot of places will do OJT), every lab role requires at minimum a 2 year MLT degree. They won’t hire lab assistants in my department without a 4 year science-related degree, which is wild to me.

  39. DataGirl*

    Supply chain management/manufacturing management. My husband is a consultant in this field, currently working 2 jobs and gets requests for new projects daily that he doesn’t have time to take on. The pay (as a consultant) is very good, although you have to off-set that with insanely high taxes. Pay for direct hire is good too, but the down-side, whether consulting or on a W2, is that the pressure to work crazy hours is very high as everything is so interconnected and deadline driven. Forget ever being able to take a day off, let alone a vacation.

    Skills: a lot of it is project management and people/communication skills. Being able to think creatively to solve weird problems is a huge help. Knowing supply chain processes and/or having experience in manufacturing, transportation, EDI, Excel/data processing is all helpful.

      1. Pants*

        +1

        I always visualise a bunch of people around a table, encased in a giant, glass tank. (Think old-school fish bowl.) Just sitting there. Thinkin’. Pretty sure that’s not accurate but it’s amusing.

      2. Spearmint*

        My understanding is they’re kinda like standalone university departments that focus solely on research (rather than a mix of research and teaching) and have a mission more specific than the search for knowledge for its own sake. So unlike a university department, they’ll often have a collective point of view or ideology, and there will be more focus on developing and spreading practical ideas to the public/policymakers/journalists.

        A common kind of think tank is one that basically identifies and develops policy proposals in a particular issue area, like climate change or immigration, and then tries to communicate those proposals to non-academics.

    1. DataGirl*

      what kind of work do you do and what kind of background are they looking for? That sounds like something I’d enjoy.

    2. Qwerty*

      What are the qualifications needed? What kind of positions are these?

      Think tanks have always sounded kinda mythical to me – I hear them referenced in news articles but don’t see them anywhere else, unless its the ones that are comprised of CEOs.

      1. Thinker*

        Places like Center for American Progress, New America, etc. Typically they bring on field-specific experts or general policy analysts to propose new or innovative solutions to policy issues (education, healthcare, etc.). It really is an “idea factory.”

      2. bookwyrm*

        A lot of the non-subject matter expert positions I’ve seen have included events management, administrative assistants, program management, grants management, and fundraising/donor relations, plus the usual HR/IT/finance/etc. needed for office jobs. They are usually nonprofits and so need to rely on donors/grants for support, and they organize a lot of events both open to the public and smaller with just subject matter experts.

        I worked for a think tank in events/fundraising – galas, smaller events for the donors, tracking payments and thank yous, keeping the constituent relationship management database up to date, that kind of thing. My previous job right out of college was a mixture of admin work, event support, and customer service which were all very useful for that role. It was interesting, but pretty high stress.

        I think think tanks, like a lot of nonprofits, have a fair amount of entry level positions because they tend to be low-paid with few advancement opportunities, so there is frequent turnover. I would say qualifications are mostly bachelor’s degree and some office experience, with experience involving the policy matters the organization focuses on a plus. There are high level positions for the policy experts but often not as many mid-level positions.

        Brookings, Human Rights Watch, Council on Foreign Relations, Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Guttmacher Institute are a few other examples.

        1. FS*

          Seconding this – these “professional services” roles for think tanks and nonprofits – comms, IT, grants and contracts, HR, events – are super in demand right now. And compared to the research and ideas roles, no expectation for a master’s degree. Because the pay isn’t amazing we struggle to retain talented people for these jobs even though they keep the whole place running :/

    3. Cool Tina, Train Conductress*

      OMG Anon7, this such a mysterious thing to say and then disappear without any other info.

    4. Baroness Schraeder*

      I do some contract work for a think tank which has a focus on community consultation and deliberative democracy. Random members of the public are recruited to join a “citizen’s jury” where they learn about an important public issue, discuss it together and have opportunities to question independent experts on the topic before reaching a consensus and putting forward their recommendations for how to proceed (think jury duty but for making policy decisions). Recent topics have been “where will XYZ city’s next major source of water come from?” and “how will future transport infrastructure be funded?”
      I think this kind of work will become more and more important as policymakers start to realise that if they want public backing for their plans, it’s in their best interests for the public to be a. well-informed, and b. listened to. Having said that, in my area at least this is still a pretty new approach to governance so there’s not a lot of funding (yet).

  40. PacketLoss*

    If you’re entry-level IT looking for a career path, Unified Communications is an up-and-coming field. Get certified in Microsoft 365 and/or Google Workspace. Learn how to administer Teams, WebEx, or Zoom. It’s the future of Telecom and collaboration/productivity tools, with everything moving to the cloud and more companies looking to support hybrid and remote work. You can be the engineer that helps make it easier for people to communicate and collaborate from anywhere.

    1. Hills to Die on*

      That’s a great idea and so true. Hard to find anybody in IT in general and that’s such a growing trend.

  41. Kjolis*

    Medical coding is hotly in demand right now. I don’t believe prior experience in healthcare administration, or even a college degree, is necessary. It’s a certification, and many community as well as 4-year colleges have certificate programs for it, many of which can be completed entirely online.

    1. Hester*

      Yes yes yes. I’m a coder for a hospital, and we need people desperately. I have a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) certification, which is very versatile and can be used to get other jobs in the health information management field as well. You do need an associate’s degree from an AHIMA-accredited program to sit for the certification exam. I earned mine entirely online while working at another job in the healthcare field. It took me about two and a half years part-time because they applied all the relevant credits from the bachelor’s I already had in another field, so I didn’t have to do any general ed classes. There are other certifications you can get without getting an entire degree; I can’t speak to those requirements or how widely accepted they are by employers.

      Also, the medical coding field is very heavy on remote work, so if that’s something that’s necessary or desirable for you, it’s definitely an option to consider.

      1. DJ Abbott*

        Good to know they’re doing remote work. Several years ago and I was working in hospital administration and the suits decided to centralize all the coding and move everyone to a remote suburb. We had our own coders in our department who were great and I worked with them to correct billing mistakes, but they were basically told they’d have to commute many miles to the remote suburb and several of them quit. Things kept going downhill after that. I hope they’re sorry now.

    2. Huh*

      Really? Maybe I’m confusing it with something else, but I thought medical coding was at risk of being automated into extinction.

      1. DJ Abbott*

        That doesn’t seem likely because coders have to read medical charts and op reports and determine which codes to use for billing. I don’t think that could be automated very well. Maybe matching codes to ICD diagnosis codes could enable a little bit of automation, but more than half of it would have to be done by people.

  42. The Prettiest Curse*

    A lot of companies in events-related industries are having difficulty finding staff due to people wanting to work in better-paid industries less vulnerable to future lockdowns. Catering companies are having a difficult time staffing – we had a caterer pull out of our conference this year because they couldn’t get enough office or event staff to do a large event.

  43. Ashley*

    Not sure I would recommend it but libraries seem to be hiring again. I was at the Texas Library Association’s yearly conference and people were throwing their cards at the newly graduated. You need your MLS or MLIS for Librarian positions, which typically don’t pay well considering you need an advanced degree.
    Many find the work rewarding.

    1. Cee*

      It does seem like the hiring has picked after an absolute covid layoff cliff but I wouldn’t say GLAM industry is booming. Its long been a competitive field and it seems that we are just going from Very VERY hard to get a decent job to just very hard.

      But yes as an archivist I agree, many find the work rewarding and things are looking up.

    2. bee*

      Yeah my sense is that the whole “everyone in libraries is old and will be retiring soon!” spiel that’s been going around for at least 20 years has maybe… actually happened?

      I’m staff at a small academic library and we’ve had a lot of retirements lately— I was on a hiring committee and we kept having people drop out because they got hired somewhere else. So the market is hot! But you do need an advanced degree (for most positions anyway, I don’t have one but i’m also not A Librarian) and the pay is not amazing.

      1. yala*

        I was running the numbers today, and I think that technically my pay (as a not-librarian but specialist) may actually be low enough to qualify me for section 8 housing.

        which really says something about how well the government pays its employees…

      2. Ex-libris*

        They’ve been telling that old story since at least 2004 when I went to library school. Wasn’t true when I graduated library school, wasn’t true when I quit to find a new career where it was actually possible to get a job.

    3. hmmmmmmm*

      I agree.

      Pros: rewarding work, *mostly* low-stakes (this definitely depends on where you live), for the most part not physically intensive, sometimes unionized, government-affiliated library systems may be able to get you on a government pension plan, qualifies for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

      Cons: 110% of the job is customer service, underpaid for Masters-level education requirements (although there’s many paraprofessional jobs if you’re not in a position to go back to work), dysfunctional workplaces are common, COVID was dealt with badly across the industry, harassment from patrons. “Additional duties” can include but are not limited to: the hell of Summer Reading, administering Narcan to overdosing patrons (not common but it’s a thing!), calling the police for a flasher in the children’s area, being very patient with adult human beings, and just the whole wide world of crazy that is humanity.

      1. Jora Malli*

        That is an amazingly accurate summary, but I’d like to add that a high percentage of those paraprofessional jobs are part time with no benefits or paid leave, and make a lower hourly rate than those low paid librarian jobs.

      2. yala*

        Lol, my friend is a librarian at the public library (where I also used to work), and you’ve summed up pretty well why I am not going back to the public library if I can help it.

        There is library work that doesn’t involve customer service (at least not directly–still the ease of access for patrons is key), and that’s where, by the grace of God, I eventually found myself. Cataloging can be very rewarding and engaging work, and also involves exactly zero time on the public desk ever. Doesn’t really pay well though, but you can’t have everything.

      3. Lizbot*

        Amazingly accurate, but would expand to include a wide and frequent range of bathroom/toilet and refuse disposal issues.

    4. Chilipepper Attitude*

      We are hiring for our academic library and are not getting many great applicants; it might be the cost of living here (high) but the pickings are slim!

    5. Lou*

      Same boat with archivists – there are positions and they’re not bad, but they could be a lot better, and have very little to do with what the degree teaches you (in my experience). Lots of contracts come up, less so continuing positions with properly solid salaries. I’m actually about to try and spin my “archivist for a tiny non-profit doing it all” experience into Project Management after 7 years in the field, so that’s about what I have to say about GLAM work in general.

  44. Pumpkin215*

    Financial Systems

    I have a degree in accounting and moved over to more of an IT related role and I LOVE it. I did the debits/credits thing for years. From there, I moved onto being a Financial Analyst. Income statement/Balance sheet review, etc. I sort of fell into a Systems role and it has be a welcome change.

    They liked my 15+ years of accounting experience, even though I had zero IT background. They signed me up for a crash course in SQL, provided a lot of training and I’m off and running. 25% salary increase out of the gate and I have not looked back. I have recruiters reaching out to me weekly to try and poach for other systems roles, and I have only been doing this for about 2.5 years. Someone last week sent a posting where the salary was 160K. There is demand for this experience with so many companies on the Cloud.

    I think if you have a degree in Accounting or any type of Computer Business and related experience, this could be a welcome change. It was for me!

    1. Hills to Die on*

      So much overlap between data / systems and Finance! We have DOZENS of these types in our IT department and they are screaming for more people.

    2. Lavender Gooms*

      How was the crash course in SQL? Honestly, for years I’ve known that could lift me to the next level but it scares me. Do you know how much it cost?

      1. Flash Packet*

        You can find insanely-affordable classes on SQL, R, Python, Excel, etc. at Udemy dot com.

        I taught myself Power BI and Qlik using a handful of $10 courses on Udemy. If you see something you like, register on the site and put the course in your cart but don’t buy it yet if it’s more than $20. Odds are, you’ll get an email in a few days with an announcement that the course has just dropped in price. :-)

        1. DJ Abbott*

          I took the SQL course on Udemy and it was very pleasant. I didn’t find it too difficult and the instructor Jose Portilla is very nice.
          I have a background in data entry and light analysis and I had never done SQL before although I had seen it.
          I don’t want to get deeper into sitting in front of a computer and I’m looking for something where I can use my technical background and work with people.

      2. Pumpkin215*

        The company paid for it but the price was a few hundred dollars.

        Absolutely worth it! At times I felt like I was drinking from the fire hose. But I took a ton of notes and bought the textbook they recommended. After that, it was ask questions and practice. Once you have the basics down, you will often be using the same scripts. My current job only requires me the update them rather than write them.

        Good luck!

    3. ronda*

      I had the same sort of thing career. I am retired but I still get regular messages asking me to look at a systems jobs.

      I dont really like programming, but I did some. It is mostly copying what someone else did and adjusting it slightly for your needs. But it is so damn specific…. put the commas and the periods in the right place or nothing works :)

      There are lots of different roles in IT. training is one of my favorites.

  45. Thistle Pie*

    Most municipal careers such as Tax Collector, Treasurer, Town Clerk, Town Accountant, Assessor, and so on. There is already a huge wave of baby boomers retiring and no one to fill their seat, particularly in small or rural towns. Each position requires slightly different qualifications, sometimes including residency. Many in small or rural towns are part time, but can still come with really good benefits and schedule flexibility. For most of those positions there is on-the-job training available and conferences/classes available if you do some googling. Usually the barrier to entry is low such as a high school diploma or GED, with an associates degree as a plus. Another added bonus is that you can get experience for these jobs by volunteering with boards or commissions first.

    1. I edit everything*

      You’ve got to know or be related to someone, though, in those small, rural towns. My mom recently sold me her car, and I had to find a notary, go to the DMV twice, with the title office in between, and I joked that all that running around was a result of everyone needing jobs for their cousins.

      1. Thistle Pie*

        In some cases I’m sure that’s true, especially for elected positions where you need to have social clout. But some of these positions literally have no one applying so small towns are merging departments to share with neighboring communities or they’re forced to outsource to private firms.

  46. Bryce with a Y*

    Utility companies in just about every capacity, from line crews to marketing/HR/PR staff.

  47. Ana Gram*

    Law enforcement. I’m in recruiting and hiring for my department and our applications have really dropped and that’s an issue nationwide. In many ways, it’s a great job- we have a pension, take home cruiser, paid training, tons of leave, and we only work about 15 days/month because we have 12 hour shifts. Every dept will vary but many are offering sign on bonuses- DC Police is offering $20K right now.

    The qualifications are fairly basic- usually HS, 21 years old, driver’s license, and US citizenship (but not all states require that). If you have college or military or language skills, you’re a pretty competitive applicant.

    It’s a job that won’t appeal to everyone but I’ve had a wonderful career. Public safety can be really satisfying work.

    1. Fabulous*

      My husband is a LEO for a small village and it’s been great for him too. And working for a small village has kept him away from a lot of the recent BS (though his town isn’t without its fair share, too). But, even in that small department they seem to always be at least one officer short. They were finally back up to full staff for a hot minute and then the other night shift officer quit to work in a nearby (bigger) town that pays more, so he’s back to being the only night officer for the foreseeable future…

      1. Ana Gram*

        It’s tricky because the training is so long. Even if we hired for all of our vacancies today and put them in the next academy, they wouldn’t be released to solo patrol until October 2023.

        It’s especially bad when folks see you as a starter agency! We’ve moved past that but I always have a little twinge when I steal someone from a small agency.

  48. AnonForThis*

    I’m an IP attorney and we’re hiring like crazy. Of course, I can’t guarantee it’ll be the same in 3+ years.

  49. ProducerLady*

    Compositors. We’re in desperate need of VFX compositors, as many as possible.

    Definitely not an entry-level job, but even VFX Generalists right now – I’ve never been so busy as I am right now, since everything during covid went on hold then went into production IMMEDIATELY as soon as there were vaccines available.

    1. Tech writer by day*

      I had to look this up. To save others the effort: “ VFX compositing seamlessly integrates digital assets with live-action footage to bring together the final shot of a film or game.”

  50. Sidonie*

    In the non-profit field, I recently heard from an HR contractor that works with a lot of orgs that the three hardest areas to hire for right now (because they’re so in demand) are HR, accounting, and branding/high-level marketing. Apparently part of this is because there’s been a recent trend toward professionals in those fields, especially the first two, of resigning from full-time positions to work on a contracting basis. The contracting org whose staff said this has itself doubled in size in the last year or two.

    I personally work on the DevOps side, so I’m not 100% on the qualifications needed for those fields, but if any HR, accounting, or marketing professionals want to chime in that would be great!

    1. Zee*

      Not to mention that all 3 of those positions have directly equivalent jobs in the for-profit sector that pay twice as much (as opposed to, say, a case worker).

    2. MJ*

      I’d second non-profits as a field that’s struggling to hire people at the moment. I’m not in the US but am on a lot of international lists and see job ads from all over the world.

      A few people above mentioned fundraising – there also seem to be lots of jobs in campaigning and communications. Digital skills are very sought after, as COVID pushed so many activities online, and many organisations just weren’t ready for that.

      In terms of getting into this work – non-profits tend to be open to people with commercial backgrounds in my experience, charity experience isn’t crucial. It does help if you have been involved in causes through something like volunteering or activism, and definitely express a lot of enthusiasm for the specific cause when you’re interviewing.

  51. Phedre*

    I work in nonprofit child care, and we are DESPERATE for teachers, particularly preschool teachers. Teachers need to have a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, and starting pay is between $28-$32/hr plus we’re offering a $2,500 hiring incentive. We’re also hiring after school teachers, but it’s part-time work and the pay is less than for preschool (but no degree required!) – $20-$22/hr plus a $750 hiring bonus.

    If you live in a rural place, the pay for child care staff hasn’t come up a ton. But if you live near a city, chances are wages and benefits have come up quite a bit.

  52. Fizzyfuzzy*

    Geriantology medical field in general, specifically nursing and social work. If you have or are willing to train as a CNA there are feeder programs to help you get a higher degree to go into these fields.

    1. Lynca*

      What kind of feeder programs? I ask because my sister is a licensed CNA looking to advance her career.

  53. AVP*

    PR/Marketing/Comms, depending on your area of interest – there’s been a lot of upheaval in the Great Resignation and it’s basically a round robin of jobs, with a lot of entry level or career-change openings just sitting unfilled.

    Any sort of background in tech is helpful as those clients can be particular and knowing the industry means you’d know how to deal with them. But the confluence of VC money and recruiting woes means that many, many tech companies need to raise their profile and have money to throw at the situation and agencies are hiring against that.

    But seriously, laid-off journalists and frustrated writers, come on over to the dark side…

    1. Folklorist*

      Hello! Frustrated science/tech journalist here! I’ve been trying to get into marketing/comms, but keep getting turned back for not having dedicated marketing experience or not having much experience with clients. I’m an award-winning writer/researcher/editor who is extremely adaptable, but I keep losing out. I’m not sure if it’s that I’m looking for a slightly higher salary/title (I have 10 years of experience and have worked with some of the highest names in the magazine industry), but I’m not looking for anything crazy–like $75k+ in the DC area.

      Do you have any suggestions for how to get around this? Thank you!

      1. Books and Cooks*

        I’m not OP, but would any of your freelance clients, or any of the places you write for/have written for, would let you talk to their marketing departments, maybe they can throw a few assignments your way or let you work with their team on some in-house stuff? Or other writers who might know someone? We writers tend to have to occasionally use our networks to some degree (I know I’ve helped friends find agents, writing partners, etc. through mine–I write fiction, so maybe it’s a bit different, but still), maybe that’s a tree to shake?

        1. Folklorist*

          Thank you! That’s great advice, and I’ve been trying to do that recently. Problem is, I’m also trying to write a novel AND do my full-time job AND find a new job. I don’t have much of a life left anymore, but I’m still taking on freelance work to expand my network/experiences/clients, etc. I’m freaking exhausted and afraid it’s coming out in my writing and applications.

      2. Churpairs*

        Have you tried comms for a research-based department out of a university? At the position I just left, we had a MarComm position that’s been open for almost a year for a bioscience related research unit. The type of work we needed was typical of the field, but the complexity of the subject matter was a turn-off for most.

        1. Folklorist*

          Hello! Thanks for the idea! Do you mind if I ask what university and what the subject matter is? I’m good at interviewing scientists and ensuring accuracy for many different kinds of science, but I just can’t wrap my head around physics and quantum type stuff.

    2. Beth*

      Do you have any suggestions for what job titles to look for, especially for career-changers looking for an entry into the field? I’m interested in breaking into this (my background is in literary studies academia and in tech before that; I’m a strong writer with a lot of interest and experience in narrative-building, messaging, and communication, and I’d love to apply those skills in a more directly impactful way). I’ve been struggling to identify what job titles and keywords I should be looking for in job postings, as someone who has relevant skills but no direct experience in the field.

      1. Det. Charles Boyle*

        Technical and proposal writing jobs are always in demand and are well paying. I love my job as a proposal writer.

        1. Fran Fine*

          Yup, proposals is a great field to get into (and the OP may even find this is good for her as well). Also, if you’re looking for comms jobs, look for specialist roles and associates. Those are the job titles that are usually open to job changers.

          I switched laterally from proposal management myself not too long ago to content development and then was promoted to a comms manager role, which isn’t very typical (you usually need years of experience to be a manager, especially of corporate comms programs like I am); however, I made the last two leaps within the same company and had very strong project management skills from prior positions, so I guess I got to be the exception for once.

  54. Monday Monday*

    Pharmaceuticals/BioTech — many diverse positions available. A bunch fully remote.
    Within Pharma — QA roles. These tend to require several years of Pharma QA experience and experience with GxP.
    IT — Analytics and all the software/languages associated with it –Spotfire, PowerBI, Excel, Python, R, SQL.

    Mental health field — counselors, school counselors, psychiatrists.

  55. DataGirl*

    I work in medical education and we are hiring like crazy for administrative staff. The starting pay isn’t great, but all it requires is a college degree (in any field). A lot of people who are high up directors/VPs now started at the bottom and worked their way up to that level over 10-20 years.

    The biggest skills needed are basic computer skills like MS Office, and the ability to mutli-task. Experience in healthcare or education is a bonus. The downside, besides starting pay, is working in any administrative role in healthcare can be very unstable. On the one hand, they desperately need people to do these tasks. On the other, hospital execs loathe giving money to anyone other than doctors and their fellow executives, so there is always a risk of downsizing especially with all the mergers happening lately.

  56. SometimesIWonder*

    Legal administration – legal assistants (when I started this job was called legal secretary), paralegals, even office clerks. There are some entry-level jobs but most require a college degree and/or previous experience. This field is hot and there is a lot of job-switching going on but both my last employer and my current one are recruiting for legal assistant and paralegal jobs, some of which have been open for over 6 months.

      1. Green Tea*

        Some do but others don’t, it really depends on the practice.

        I was hired as a paralegal straight out of undergrad in 2012, and my understanding is that it’s a better market for paralegal job candidates now than then. I’d done internships but not in the legal field and my major (international affairs) was sort of relevant, but not exactly pre-law.

      2. SometimesIWonder*

        It helps, but so does just having administrative experience like being a secretary or a file clerk. You need Word, Excel, and a demonstrated ability to learn other software. Where I work they have “trainee” positions and that’s common at larger firms. This is a field where you can really benefit from working someplace at lower pay/less responsibilities for a year, learn the job, put it on your resume, then move to another firm for a lot more money.

        1. Fran Fine*

          +1

          Yeah, when I was a paralegal many moons ago, I was trained on the job because I had amazing administrative and project management skills. I had no prior legal experience at all.

      3. J*

        The bigger the firm, the less likely you need it. My last firm was especially looking for people who can handle more complex Word problem solving, like a client sending you a PDF and it needs to be in word but also all the comments captured by each author and redlining from their version and the attorney corrections, or in a merger or lease, fixing all the numbering and confirming links went to the right place. We needed people who could run conflicts and get the info from attorneys, who could process expense reports. If you were more comfortable, you’d probably get put on a specific support team and might prepare corporate minute books or even email clients directly on behalf of attorneys. We had various legal support roles so many litigation roles required more knowledge but transactional anyone could find a place and 2nd/3rd shift workers just fixed documents and such. Plus you learn on the job. There’s also roles like conflicts analyst that I loved.

        For paralegal, I wouldn’t have felt comfortable without my paralegal certificate but I had a separate non-legal degree. I also got really into legal tech and now my role focuses on that about 40% of the time. If you have a marketing background, law firms have huge business development and marketing teams for non-lawyers. We even had runners who managed mail, court filings, copies and printing or lunch deliveries. Every single one is in stiff competition at my old firm.

    1. CorpParalegal*

      I was going to say this too, especially in Corporate/M&A/Commercial Real Estate areas. I’ve been doing corporate/M&A work for only two years and I get contacted by recruiters at least once a week.

      There are a few states that require certification, but most don’t and there are many online programs that aren’t that expensive you can go through if you want it to put on your resume before you get experience. Otherwise it’s mainly just getting your foot in the door at a law firm and finding someone to teach/mentor you. Strong organizational and critical thinking skills are needed. Especially if you are contemplating law school, this will give you an idea if it’s worth the time and money to do that. Pay sometimes sucks in the beginning but once you have the skills it can go up to six figures and more.

    2. Mid*

      A good way to get a foot in the door without legal experience is working with a legal-focused temp agency. Do a few months at that and you can apply for permanent positions.

    3. NotAnotherManager!*

      I’m going to push back on the legal secretaries part of this. I’m in DC, and firms are just not replacing retiring legal secretaries because attorneys do a lot more of their own word processing, travel, communications, etc. They really good ones have moved into a firm administration role (HR, attorney recruiting, professional development, paralegals), but pairings used to be 2-4 attorneys per secretary and now they are 6+ because of the automation of a lot of services. Some firms have even done away with assigned secretaries and use a pool system.

      When I was a paralegal manager at an AmLaw 200 firm, though, I would have killed for experienced litigation or corporate paralegals. Entry-level is very easy to find, and we had a robust training program for no-experience hires. But most of them only stayed about 2 years, and, especially after the 2008 recession, very good, experienced paralegals became very rare and command six figure salaries in DC. I also hired multiple good people out of temp assignments (oh, how I do not miss the six-week projects that turned into six-year projects).

      In legal, people who are good at e-discovery work are also in very high demand. It’s a tough job – basically like being a highly technical paralegal with a side order of trying to explain technology to people who are almost proud to be Luddites, but few people do it well, which leads to strong salaries for the people with the skills for it, an ability to keep up with modern technology, and stomach for attorneys. Purely technical people are often not successful because they don’t understand the legal process or how to work effectively with attorneys/clients.

  57. Green Tea*

    There is a huge skills gap right now for skilled trades like electricians and plumbers, and it’s predicted to get worse as more and more older people retire without younger people to replace them. These positions usually require a multi-year (paid) apprenticeship often in combination with classes at a local community college or trade school, then an exam to become licensed which is when the pay gets a lot better. You don’t need a lot of qualifications to become an apprentice.

    1. anon24*

      I’m actually considering becoming an electrician. Are you willing to say more about the process?

      1. DJ Abbott*

        I studied this a little bit long ago and you have to have enough of a technical aptitude to understand how electricity works. At the time I had trouble understanding the way it flows and jumps from one conductor to another. It seems like there was also a fair amount of math involved and that’s probably true of most trades.
        If understanding electricity is to technical, of course there are other skilled trades that are more mechanical in nature. :)

    2. anneshirley*

      At my trades company, to become an apprentice, all you need is a high school diploma, clean drug test, and driver’s license. It’s not easy work and not for everyone, but if you are looking for physical work for good compensation it is very easy to get your foot in the door.

    3. NotAnotherManager!*

      This is what we are looking at for our child who doesn’t seem like a good fit with higher education. Trades are very in demand in our area, the waits can be insane, and the costs are high. Electricians, plumbers, HVAC techs – all great jobs with a lot of demand and can work for larger companies, construction firms, building maintenance/property management companies, or go out on their own. (Our electrician went solo about 10 years ago – we were one of his first customers – and he’s built it into a 50-person local business that does exceptional work.)

      We’re looking at the community college trade program (our local one has AAS programs for quite a number of trades across industries) and then apprenticeship.

  58. Dr. Laboratoria*

    Embryologist in an IVF laboratory. With the increase in IVF insurance coverage options, our field is exploding. Compound that with a lot of retirement, and it’s a perfect storm. The sign-on bonuses and re-location funds are insane for some places.

    Education requirement: BSc or BA in Biology or related field.

    Specialized skill set – yes, absolutely. But there are now several schools in the US that will teach you from the ground up. Some even guarantee employment.

    Salary is low 6-figures. Get certifications, and that gets higher.

    Downsides: Weekend and holidays on call

    1. Sloanicota*

      I wonder how new … erm, let’s call them regulations around embryos will affect the future outlook of this field. From what I understand from a friend at works in IVF, they’re concerned they may have to shut down completely if embryos gain new, erm, rights.

      1. Dr. Laboratoria*

        We have the same concerns. However, it will it all depend on the state. NY, California, Minnesota. These are all friendly states. They will see more clinics open and need more staff.

        The next few years are going to be interesting, that’s for sure.

        1. Warrior Princess Xena*

          I’m going to bet that there will be some states that will become IVF specialists just like some countries (I believe Brazil?) have become plastic surgery hotspots.

    2. Starbuck*

      I’m confused; if you already have a biology BS degree, but zero related work experience, what’s the next step? More school?

  59. EngiNerd*

    A lot of semiconductor manufacturing companies (manufacturers themselves and suppliers) are growing and will continue to grow in the US now that the CHIPS Act was passed. Companies are building new factories in multiple states (including New York, Texas, Ohio, and Indiana off the top of my head) so they’ll need people in construction, tool install/maintenance, and engineering design and development, as well as stuff like sales and logistics. Some positions would require an engineering/physics degree, but my company is hiring a ton of hands-on tool maintenance positions that don’t require an engineering background.

    1. EngiNerd*

      I only listed states with new factories being built, but existing factories are growing too, which are in a lot more locations (California, Oregon, Utah, New York, Texas, and others with smaller sites too)

    2. Not A Girl Boss*

      Definitely, I work in manufacturing things that are used to build chips and it is INSANE for us right now. When factoring in these types of support-of-the-main-thing roles, there’s jobs in virtually every state.

  60. litprof*

    Educational Development. Most people haven’t heard of it, and there are so many jobs in my field right now! Educational developers offer professional development in teaching skills to faculty and graduate students in higher education. There are also similar careers at the K-12 level, though I don’t know as much about them or how to get onto those tracks. Colleges and universities are racing to create or staff centers for teaching and learning, as they realize that academics may be experts in their fields, but that doesn’t mean they know how to teach well. Educational developers run workshops, seminars, and learning communities to support instructors at all levels and in all disciplines in higher ed. We do individual consultations for instructors, and also conduct and disseminate research on effective teaching and learning practices.

    Qualifications: Most educational developers have a PhD in another academic field and a lot of teaching experience, but many have masters’ degrees in education or instructional design. Anyone who loves teaching but is finding academia to be a bit of a dead end for them might enjoy transitioning into educational development.

    Skills that would make someone excellent at this work: ability to work collaboratively in groups; ability to design learning experiences that are interactive, accessible, and inclusive; past experience in other areas of education, training, instructional design, or organizational development; ability to synthesize research and apply it to teaching contexts.

    1. Carrots*

      I’d love to learn more about this! I have a background in knowledge management, organizational learning, training, facilitation, and simulation-based learning. What sort of orgs should I look up?

      1. litprof*

        The professional organization for educational developers is called the POD Network. You can learn more about the field at podnetwork.org. Also, if you want an idea of what it is that Centers for Teaching and Learning do, look up the websites of the centers at Vanderbilt University, University of Michigan, Brown, and Yale. I don’t work at any of those institutions so I’m not tooting my own horn – their websites have some really good resources and it will help you get a feel for what the field does.

  61. Corrections*

    Corrections and law enforcement. I work for a state correctional department and because we’re understaffed, we’re offering pretty good hiring bonuses. For correctional officer positions but many other hard to fill positions, too.

  62. Compliance Officer*

    Financial crime compliance — tons of organizations (crypto firms, payment companies, standard tech companies) are providing services that move money around and they need to make sure they’re complying with the law.

    My specific areas, sanctions compliance, is having a mini-boom, especially due to increasingly complex sanctions on Russia. Standards certifications are through ACAMS or ACSS. I’m in a small European country, and we almost always have to recruit internationally at this point.

    1. Chachkis Galore*

      Is there any chance you’d be willing to share what country you live in? Though totally understand if you’re not; feel free to disregard this comment if that’s the case. I work in financial compliance (in the US), but it’s my dream to live/work abroad for awhile and would love to have an idea of which countries might be more open (generally speaking) to international applicants.

      1. DB*

        If you Google “Estonia money laundering scandal,” you’ll find the name of a Nordic bank that is still actively recruiting for compliance and financial crime roles :)

      2. EuropeanAnon*

        Most larger financial services firms in Germany are hiring foreigners too. They especially like people with US knowledge and experience, as most of them have big business there. You don’t usually have to speak German to start, and the process to get a German work visa is very simple (just need a job offer above a certain salary).

        The big German bank with the word “German” in its name has a new position for financial crime compliance posted almost daily. ;)

    2. EuropeanAnon*

      All kinds of financial compliance! I work in banking capital regulation and regulatory reporting and we need new people faster than we can find them. I’m in one of the big 3 European countries and we’re also having to hire from abroad right now, and I hear often from my US colleagues that compliance and audit staff in particular are in really high demand there.

      Usual backgrounds are a degree in economics, law or accounting, but for the junior positions a degree in pretty much anything is fine. We also hire a disproportionate number of literature grads. Having done internship in the field, being somewhat familiar with financial law, and being able to use Excel (eg. Pivot tables) are all helpful. If you want to do reporting, any accounting qualification and SQL knowledge can help you stand out.

      Salaries are decent, not investment banking good but very liveable. Most trainees in my company start on €40,000-€50,000 and this goes up fairly fast after the first couple of years.

  63. HannahS*

    Medicine and nursing.

    For medical school: Obviously, it’s a huge commitment to go into, but a lot of baby boomers have retired throughout the pandemic, and some medical schools have received more funding to increase the number of spots. I do know a number of people who did medicine as a second career–mostly nurses and paramedics, but some social workers, too. Requirements change depending on the school. From what I recall from requiring in the US (I ultimately did my training in Canada) is that most schools require a 4-year degree with certain number of courses in biology and chemistry. So, a generally it’s a four-year degree, four years of medical school, and at least 2-3 years of residency, depending on where you are. It’s a huge commitment of money and time, and not something to do lightly.

    I know less about nursing, but my understanding is that it’s often a second-entry program if you have appropriate prerequisites.

    1. PsychNurse*

      NURSING NURSING NURSING.

      Many people can work while they get an RN license at a community college— it takes a few years to do it that way, but it’s affordable. I took a different path because i had the background to pull it off: I enrolled in a one-year second-degree bachelors degree in nursing.

      With a nursing degree, the world is your oyster. If you want to be a travel nurse, you can make six figures without blinking. For me, I work in an outpatient clinic, so the hours are good, and I started at $35 an hour and it’s been increasing every year since.

      Also— you “give report” and you leave. There are no emails after hours. There are (generally) no long term projects. You take care of your patients, then you leave and somebody else takes care of them. When a nurse is off work, they are off work, period.

  64. Mrs. Badcrumble*

    SAS programmers, especially those with clinical trial experience. I’m getting the sense that with the rise of R, Python, and other sexier coding languages used in data sciences, not as many people learn SAS, and it’s going to remain vital in clinical trials for years. If you have SAS experience, or just classroom experience and a masters in statistics or biostatistics and are willing to learn, you could easily find a job.

    1. Interrobang*

      I agree. I’m a Biostatistician and I was going to mention Data Scientists. However, SAS programming is here to stay for a long while.
      To get into Data Science you should have at least a Bachelors in Computer Science, Data Science, Library or Information Science or an adjacent degree. However, there are ways to get around that. I am currently doing a course in Coursera offered by Google on Data Science.
      For SAS Programming, I believe a Bachelors degree in Biostatistics, Statistics, Mathematics (or adjuacent) would again be the minimum requirement. I have seen people get in on the ground floor as a SAS programmer at a CRO (Clinical Research Organization) with very little experience and learn on the job.

      1. Interrobang*

        Just wanted to add that Data Scientist was identified as the “sexiest job” job of the 21st century by HBR :)

  65. The Starry of my Life*

    I’m in tech, and we’re definitely hiring (always, always).

    I transitioned into this three years ago; my current company fits a specific niche with products designed for Teapot sellers, and I came from 14 years of experience in academics / teapot sales. I don’t know anything about tech, but I know very specifically what is helpful to teapot sellers, and they jumped to hire me because I brought a valuable perspective.

    If you’re in education, for example, but don’t have a coding / tech background, don’t be scared to apply for the less technical roles at these companies, because you’ll bring super useful knowledge that they may not have had!

    1. Daughter of Ada and Grace*

      There’s plenty of tech and tech-adjacent roles that require little to no coding. QA is leaning more and more towards requiring coding for automated tests, but domain knowledge is invaluable in knowing what to test. Systems and network administration may or may not require a lot of coding, or it may be more managing physical hardware and infrastructure. Technical writing and project management are their own sets of skills where domain knowledge is at least as important as technical ability, if not more so.

    2. Varthema*

      I’d love to hear more about your transition. My partner is an architect and he wants/needs out. I work at a tech company in a non-tech-but-tech-adjacent role and I can definitely see the transferable skills are there (project management for sure, and architecture is basically UX/UI for the built environment!), but I also know that lots of people are trying to jump onto this bandwagon and the array of hard skills to develop are dizzying.

  66. historyGal*

    so this is the MOST niche thing, but historical digitization? the pandemic showed a lot of gaps for museums and libraries in their digitization jobs, and since it’s both technical yet requires historical knowledge, it’s hard to get in to. plus, a lot of schools don’t train for it, so it ends up being something that’s trainable by experience and not much else.

    1. kiki*

      Do you have any recommendations for how to get into it? I’m a software dev who loves museums. Would volunteering in digitization projects be a good way to get a job in the field? Or would that be something where I’d pigeonhole myself as a very useful, unpaid volunteer?

      1. Chilipepper Attitude*

        I think you should ask for informational interviews with museum directors or the digitization lead to ask what your next steps could be to make yourself hireable; ask how to shift from tech to tech in museums. I think word will get around if you do that and you will get great advice to market yourself or you won’t even have to, someone will snap you up.
        But the pay will not match software dev pay – unless you work for a top top museum.

        1. kiki*

          Thanks! I guess I’m struggling to feel like asking for informational interviews wouldn’t be annoying, especially coming from somebody completely outside museums

          1. Chilipepper Attitude*

            I think if you are very clear when you ask that you want to shift from your current role into museums and you want to get a sense of how to prepare for that shift (ie, you are not asking them for a job), they can screen themselves out by saying no!

      2. historyGal*

        If there are places looking for volunteers – yes ABSOLUTELY you should volunteer, it’s one of the ways career changers get experience in the field while still working. Specifically, there’s a bunch of places that need people who can do transcription of cursive that machines can’t figure out with OCR.

        I think it also depends on the area of historical digitization – I personally specialize in imaging, so a background in history with knowledge of photography and data helped me. However, a background in data science helps those focusing on metadata, and a coding background helps once you need to work within files that are stored on a computer and no where else.

        Chilipepper is right, though, the pay will *certainly* be a downgrade – for me, as someone with experience in humanities going there, it’s higher rate for museums, but for someone coming from tech, it’ll certainly be lower. With that being said though, I’m actively seeing investment from places that are working to increase and invest in it, and leaders in the field are going full ham into it right now.

        1. J*

          Not the same commenter but this is super helpful. My background has put me as someone digitalizing law firms and helping them go paperless but my real passion is genealogy and I’ve done some projects around photos, imaging, and documents for estate clean ups of genealogists who passed away ahead of sharing it with their beneficiaries. It’s an area I always wanted to go into but didn’t see much demand outside of very specific geographic areas. I’ve often thought about going freelance on the estate side since that was honestly a task that really clicked with me. I like my day job now but I don’t see myself doing it forever. I think volunteering is a great way to see if this is something I might explore further. I have an aptitude for transcription and already do some slave schedules and annual death records for my state so this would just expand my ability to help and gain expertise.

        2. Olivia*

          Echoing the pay will be a downgrade – in my institutions we have always struggled massively to keep anyone doing anything digital, because it’s so hard to compete with comparable for-profit jobs.

          One potential way around this is to look into companies that provide an outsourced version of work specifically for museums and institutions. My personal experience is in exhibition management, and for example there are a handful of companies that do digital and interactive/immersive design for museums. Their salaries aren’t the highest in the tech industry, but they’re higher than working directly for an institution. You’d have to do a little research to find some options, but I’d bet they exist!

          Also, maybe check out resources and conferences at museumnext.com and mcn.org? I’m not super experienced with either but they are the ones I’ve heard about here and there.

  67. A Pound of Obscure*

    I work in state government, and all agencies are having trouble finding qualified candidates. If you understand that the pay might not match what you’d find in the private sector but the benefits can more than make up for that — and if you understand a government job can’t toss bonuses and promotions your way like parade candy — you might look at your state or local government’s website for hiring opportunities. In our state (and I have to assume this is common everywhere) you have to be a resident to be an employee. You also cannot assume that a government job advertised as on-site can simply be made remote if you ask nicely enough (we are constantly amazed by the number of applicants we get from people who live out of state with no intention of relocating… Um, no). Personally, I like the fact that we as government employees are bound by a duty to use taxpayer dollars wisely, and that our salaries and policies are public information. Accountability and transparency are good. People who want special treatment aren’t going to be a good fit, but if you currently work in fundraising, you might have the type of personality and ethos that would fit well!

    1. LamaLand*

      Second this comment! Work in state gov and we are on a hiring spree. We have benefits like a dependent care FSA that can be a huge boon taxwise. Also promotions can happen quickly, but that’s probably very agency-specific! Many entry level positions for those with college degrees, as well as some positions that require very little experience. Often we value experience in other fields, my agency has a lot of career switchers.

    2. bookworm*

      +1 to this, there are huge, huge needs for staff in state government agencies. One thing to be aware of is that for most positions (those that aren’t at the political appointee level) hiring processes can be VERY rigid to address past histories of patronage hiring and the timeline between applying and actually getting hired can be quite long (think in terms of several months). Government agencies are generally good about not being overly focused on specific education qualifications (except for licensed professions like engineering) and much more on demonstrating that you meet the minimum qualifications in the job posting through previous work experience. It’s even more important than normal to pay attention to the qualifications and how you’re addressing them in your resume/application than in other sectors, because often the HR folks are both not experts in the fields they’re hiring for, and are bound by lots of procedures (and in some cases, consent decrees or other legal things)

    3. Jora Malli*

      My state’s job board specifically states that even if you’re applying for a job with remote options, all work must be done in-state.

    4. Jonquil*

      I’m in federal government (non-US) and it’s the same situation for us. Any kind of administrative role is hard to fill (EAs, office managers, committee secretaries, executive officers), and we also struggle to get people in tech and finance roles because the private sector pays more. We do, however, make up for it in benefits – good sick/annual leave, family-friendly, flex time and the other things mentioned above like more transparent cultures around salary/hiring. I believe the pay is better than non-profits.

  68. AJ*

    Clinical research, statistics and database development. I work in a contract Clinical research organization and we can’t hire people fast enough! It depends on what specialty you have but we hire many nurses, former lab researchers and statisticians and data managers and programmers.

  69. darlingpants*

    Biotech biotech biotech. We have so many open positions and many have been open for over 6 months. I’m best versed in lab based needs: analytical development, process development.

    Qualifications are more strenuous though: either some lab experience through internships. A PhD in a bio or chemistry field is also useful for higher level positions. We’re desperate enough have be considering people out of undergrad with no lab experience. And of course you need to be on site almost every day.

    Biotech manufacturing jobs are also hot and you can get one with an associates in biotech (which a lot of CCs are now offering).

    1. Sloanicota*

      I’m surprised more people haven’t mentioned this field, as it seems like we’ll be developing new vaccines and testing methods for the immediate future, and there’s probably increased investment in research and development!!

      1. darlingpants*

        Lots of high profile layoffs maybe? Even with those we haven’t had a drop in open positions, we’re just actually getting resumes instead of nothing for months on end.

        1. JustaTech*

          Ugh, we get lots of resumes, but then folks see our pay structure and nope on out ’cause the folks down the street (literally) are paying 30% more (at least).
          Then management is all “why can’t we hire?” “why are people leaving?” – like, dude, they told you exactly why.

    2. Starbuck*

      This is very regional, yes? My understanding is it’s like a handful of major centers in the US where it’s most concentrated in big cities (like San Diego, Seattle, Boston, NY, LA) and that outside of those areas there’s not much.

  70. AC*

    School bus drivers. Here in NYC, the lisencing and endoresement required to drive a school bus (CDL, P&S certification) are expensive and slow. Plus, drivers have to regularly pass random drug testing, and even though marijuana is now legal in New York, drivers still cannot have a trace of it in their system.

    I work for a community center that, among other things, provides bus service school busses for senior citizens in the morning and children for afterschool programming in the afternoon. We have plenty of clients and program staff, but are looking at potentially reducing our services if we can’t find more drivers.

    1. I edit everything*

      My area in Ohio needs school bus drivers, too, but you have to get your own certification, which is expensive, I think. Makes it hard to get into, since it’s so part-time.

    2. ronda*

      I see a sign at the high school, they are looking for drivers, they will train. Olympia WA

      I did a one day bus tour and that driver was saying they needed drivers for that too.

    3. Paris Geller*

      My area (north Texas) also needs school bus drivers, and now they’re offering to pay for the CDL + sign on bonuses.

  71. Ezri Dax*

    Social work and social services, at least in my area. Traditionally you need at least a bachelors in one of the humanities like psychology, sociology, or social work, a master’s for mid-level roles, and licensure to practice independently. My agency is so desperate for direct-service staff, however, that they’ve relaxed the qualifications for roles like case management. A lot of our new hires do not have a college degree. It is important to remember that this a field that tends to have lower pay, and the job is TOUGH. Pay has gone up, though, with the hiring shortage.

  72. Caroline*

    A perspective from a Marketing/Comms person: 5 months ago, I was hired as an event content creator for the advertising part of a well-known Very Large Company. My team decides who speaks at each event and does all the speechwriting/speaker management. It’s a team less than a year old, and I came in as a marketing generalist. With that context, a couple of things I noticed during my last job search:

    – Large companies seem to be investing in executive/internal comms. Which makes sense – with many people remote because of Covid, internal comms became very important. And with 24/7 news/social media, it’s more important than ever for execs to be on top of their messaging and communications.

    – I work for the advertising business of my company and we are basically doubling our marketing/comms team in the next year. Ads like anything will be hit by the economic downturn, but companies are still investing in ads to safeguard themselves so might be a good industry to look into.

    In terms of skills, I am a marketing generalist with a bit of experience in PR, digital, events, branding, etc. And I had experience writing for senior-level business/government people. I would say strong writing, editing, and research are important, ideally with some marketing or PR experience.

  73. DameB*

    Travel. The pandemic hit us HARD and most of the companies that survived did so by laying off all but a skeleton crew, so everyone in the industry is scrambling to fill roles as people start to travel more. This is true in the hospitality areas (hotels, etc.) but also in the desk jobs — I work for a high end travel business and we’re planning to double the number of sales folks we have in the next few years.

    Qualifications: it’s best if you love travel. We don’t pay a lot compared to other industries, but you do get free trips quite often. If you want to be a sales person you need either A. sales experience or B. a deep knowledge of the country you’re going to sell. That said, we’re hiring anyone who is willing to learn. If you don’t like sales, almost everyone is also hiring in IT, marketing, etc. etc., where you need the usual qualifications. (Again, less money; free trips.)

    1. Folklorist*

      Hello! Do you have any recommendations for getting into the marketing side of this? I’m an experienced writer/editor/journalist and have worked for huge names (like NatGeo Traveler), but I’m having trouble getting interviews. Do you have any advice? I’m especially interested in ecotourism, ethical travel, and adventure travel.

  74. Meep*

    Optical Engineering is always growing. Especially with the boom of Virtual/Augmented reality. You need at minimum a Bachelor’s degree in OSE or Physics, but most companies want a Master’s or are even looking for Ph.D.s. I know one (rather elitist) person on here gets annoyed by programmers calling themselves “engineers” but there are also tons of optical engineering softwares being built as it is such a technical field with lots of avenues so sometimes having extensive programming knowledge can actually get you in the door as well.

    Funny enough, a lot of engineering disciplines find they need Optical Engineers in their projects. You can get an electrical, mechanical, or chemical/materials engineering job if you have a bachelor’s in optics as well.

    1. Meep*

      And biotech! I forgot to mention that!

      I may be biased, but I definitely think if you are considering engineering, get your OSE degree. It will open up a lot of doors in any engineering discipline you want to go into.

      1. EngiNerd*

        How commonly offer is Optical Engineering as a degree? I graduated with an engineering degree 5 years ago (Materials) and I never encountered Optical as an option. I guess I was applying to schools more like 10 years ago, but is it a newer specialization?

        1. Meep*

          I mean in the scheme of things it is “newer” but it optics as a specialized field has been around for 100+ years. You can get graduate degrees in optics starting 70 years ago. Bachelor degree programs have been a bit newer and usually wrapped into Physics with optics specialities, but to my knowledge, you could get a BSe in Optical Science and Engineering in the late 80’s. I myself applied for Universities 9+ years ago.

          Mind you, there are only four real undergrad optics programs to speak of in the United States – UA, Rochester, CREOL, and a university in Huston I am spacing on. But CalTech, Harvard, Stanton, MIT, and Berkley all have undergraduate programs specializing in optics.

          The problem is most fields tend to undervalue optics in their projects despite it being in nearly every damn engineering project these days so people are often pushed towards electrical, mechanical, and material when they should be pushed towards optics.

          1. Meep*

            It leads to learning about optical engineering on the job rather than going to school for it, because they are hiring electrical engineers to design their semi-conductors, for example.

        2. darlingpants*

          I feel like “optics” is usually researched in either the MatSci or Physics departments and it’s hard to find more than 1-2 classes targeted for undergrads.

          But I also was in college 10 years ago so maybe it’s changed.

          1. Meep*

            Yes and no. You can see my reply above, but there are actually 10+ dedicated degree programs specializing in Optical Engineering for Undergrads that have been around 30+ years. I was also in college 10 years ago as well. :)

  75. ProducerNYC*

    Accounting! I left the grind of daily broadcast producing to be an accountant. I started as a clerk and got promoted within 9 months to Second Assistant. This season I’m basically working on one specific area, show-related spending, but there are all kinds of roles/areas. One year after leaving behind the producing gig, I’m making a little bit more than I was a year ago but with SO MUCH MORE flexibility, appreciation, and work/life balance. I was so unbelievably burned out, overworked, and underpaid. They literally can’t find enough people to fill the roles right now. I had NO previous experience, so I started as an entry level clerk. I still have SO much to learn, but I found a great group of people who are showing me all they know. If I were younger, I’d be jumping on all these travel accounting gigs where you work for 6-8 weeks or a few months at a time on projects all around the world. Maybe next summer I’ll try one or two, but if I were in my 20s I’d be ALL OVER IT. I imagine a background in accounting is helpful, but absolutely not necessary if you don’t mind learning on the go.

    1. ProducerNYC*

      ETA My degree was in Radio/TV production. I find a lot of the skills that made me an excellent producer (organization, attention to detail, ability to multitask, see broader picture as well as smaller pieces, etc) are easily extrapolated to the accounting world.

    2. Rear Admin*

      Where would I find more information about travel accounting / project-based gigs? I’m entry level accounting and super interested in this!

      1. ProducerNYC*

        Subscribe to “Emily’s List,” weekly email about the incredible amount of roles available US & worldwide. Should be able to find by googling “Emily Rice.” My current boss worked travel jobs in New Orleans, Atlanta, and the island of Monserrat, to name a few spots. Good luck!

  76. Beatrix*

    Another vote for research administration, especially in higher ed. I think the field lost a bunch of employees (being a predominantly female workforce) at the same time that grants and research funding started booming. Some institutions are posting 5-10 new jobs a week.

    It’s a finance-adjacent field, in that you need to know how to use Excel and understand basic accounting (budget vs actuals, financial reports, encumbrances, etc.), but an accounting or finance degree isn’t really necessary. (the last math class I took was in high school!) Customer service and working well with faculty/researchers is almost a larger part of the job than the financial management. For an entry-level research administrator, being familiar with the culture of higher ed, having experience in a financial or research support field, or having experience working with faculty or researchers is enough to get your foot in the door.

    Necessary skills are: reasonably good Excel skills, being highly organized, strong attention to detail, excellent customer service, self-motivation (most of the job is maintaining tracking spreadsheets and regular check-ins; deadlines are generally only for proposal submissions and grant start/end dates), and being good at problem-solving. I would think that someone in fundraising would be a good fit, as they’re familiar with financial gifts and the culture.

  77. Bread Addict*

    Not a new boom but content editors for tv/streaming are always in demand. Especially as we are licensing more and more content globally. So need to edit for different legal rules. You will need experience in video editing software a bachelors doesnt hurt but isnt a necessity.

    Also Video on Demand (VOD) specialists. Thats basically streaming. Its a booming industry (still) and always needs people to work on it. Main skill needed is attention to detail. Communication skils help. Its a lot of adding content onto streaming services so lots of metadata, making sure the subtitle files are available, etc. Doesn’t require a degree.

    1. River Otter*

      Since you seem to be in the field–what do you know about getting into editing subtitle translations for foreign TV shows and movies in the US? Not the translation itself, but the editing of the translated subtitles. I notice that the English subtitles in the foreign TV shows I watch on Netflix have either typos or minor grammatical errors or just aren’t the right idiomatic expression. I used to edit translated journal articles for all those things, and I just have a feeling that there must be the same kind of role for subtitle editors. I wouldn’t know where to begin searching for such a niche role.

      1. ProducerNYC*

        I notice this too and would LOVE a side gig with this– I feel like I catch translations that are a bit too literal or off all the time, as well as typos

  78. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

    Medical coding. (Source: Coding manager for the largest hospital system in my state.)

    Certification required, almost universally. The credentialing orgs are AAPC and AHIMA — AAPC doesn’t require specific education (though a lot of hiring bodies won’t look at an applicant who doesn’t have at least some education in medical terminology and A&P) but will start you out as an apprentice credential if you don’t have it, AHIMA requires specific classwork through accredited programs for many of their certs. (I had to get a whole dang second bachelor degree in Health Information Management to qualify to sit the RHIA exam, despite already having a bachelor degree in public health and two masters degrees and fifteen years’ experience. They are not joking.)

    A lot of community college programs will set you up to take either org’s credentialing exams. In Indiana, medical administration (including coding) is also one of the fields that the state’s workforce development programs will cover education costs for qualified students free of charge.

    And as a bonus (if you find it one, I sure do) a lot of medical coding is done remotely with very flexible schedules. (My team has literal 24-7 flexibility, except that they can’t work more than ten hours in a day.)

    1. MMB*

      There are several coding certifications. Is there one in particular that you feel is really in demand or more versatile than the others? For example: CPC + CPB vs. COC or does it really depend more on your interests and the type of setting you want to be in. Medical coding is an idea I’ve toyed with for years, but just never took the leap. I have a B.S and once my husband retires in a few years I’d like to move to a lower COL area and work remotely at least part-time.

      1. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

        With the caveat that I have almost 20 years experience specifically in large hospital systems, so this may not be applicable to Dr Jones Family Practice on Main Street — from AAPC, a COC is a good place to start, which is specific to facility/outpatient coding. If education is an option, a two year HIM degree from an AHIMA certified program (a lot of community colleges have these) qualifies for the RHIT, which at my system qualifies for any coding role, facility, physician, inpatient, outpatient, you name it. Without getting into a full degree, CCA is qualified for our lower tier teams but not the upper, our higher tier outpatient teams require a CCS or better or CPC/COC or better. (Technically a CPC is focused toward physician coding, but not exclusively.)

  79. CasualLibrarian*

    I recently moved from the humanities (education) into the natural sciences because my field was so saturated. I’m using my writing and research background to write policy and future-planning documents for a government entity.

    Especially in government, but maybe more broadly as well–I’ve found that many task-oriented professions (like engineers, accountants, etc.) are really good at their jobs, but not necessarily managing and running a department (or even paying attention to the broader picture). Many government agencies are open to hiring people outside of their field that have decent management and people skills that can remove hurdles for the execution of their main duties

  80. Canterlot*

    Vendor compliance is exploding. Across industries, companies are increasing the requirements on their own vendors in areas like information security, legal compliance, ethics, GDPR/PII, environmental sustainability. That in turn is being pushed down the chain onto vendors’ vendors. I am thinking about making a leap into this field. There is an opportunity there – especially if you want to consult for small and midsize companies that contract with large companies and struggle to handle the reporting and compliance burdens that result. A lot of firms are popping up to let companies outsource vendor compliance as well.

    Familiarity with a regulatory system or an audit standard would be helpful. If you know ISO, NIST, SOC, for example. Formal training in risk management would also be an asset.

  81. Riding through the pandemic on a stat with no name*

    Epidemiology/Public health.

    In general, people need an MPH (Masters of Public Health), but a MS in a related topic (e.g. microbiology, statistics) plus some experience in a health setting/working with health data or a clinical degree (RN, NP, PA, PharmD, MD, DVM). The pay is not great but they tend to have good benefits since most are government or university/research institute jobs, although you can go into pharma. Very heavily straight, cis, middle-class or higher, white woman dominated but slowly getting more diverse. Some areas (e.g. HIV/STD, Health Equity, Refugee Health, Tribal Health) are more diverse.

    Pros:
    Really awesome topics
    When done right lives are saved
    Good combo of data work and public facing and you can find jobs at either end of the spectrum
    Benefits tend to be decent

    Cons:
    Attitude of your the federal, state, local governments drive focus and success. In some places your work will be constricted and the public will suffer
    When things go wrong people die and get very sick
    Low pay for the credentials
    If you can’t handle red tape and regulations this is a bad match.

    1. JustaTech*

      I wonder if my county public health department has changed their education requirements since the pandemic? They used to have such specific education requirements I wondered why they didn’t just say “only an MPH from StateU will do, no other StateU need apply”. It was really annoying.

  82. Hillary*

    Manufacturing/supply chain/logistics. Factories and warehouses aren’t automatically hot, dirty places with heavy manual labor. A lot of manufacturing jobs have opportunity to move up if you’re motivated – my employer will pay for welding school, CAD classes, tech school, undergrad/grad school, really almost anything that can benefit the company.

    Everyone’s hiring operators/material handlers. Look at the businesses in industrial parks or on the edge of town.
    Qualification at my employer is basic literacy/numeracy, ability to show up on time, and not get in fist fights at work. Generally speaking you can start same or next day. Pay is better than fast food/retail. Industrial companies (not consumer-facing) generally offer better and much more consistent hours. Demand is high enough that anyone should be able to get the shift they want with predictable hours and benefits. If you like nights there are often shift differentials.

    Like being alone and driving? Commercial drivers are in huge demand. You need a drivers license, clean driving record, and to be at least 21 to take the test. Driving for that big .com isn’t the only option. If you think you might want a CDL, look for a material handling job at a trucking company (not a driver school). They’ll teach you how to drive forklift and six months in most of them will pay for your CDL. Stay away from programs involving debt.

    Others have already mentioned that the software and analytics around every aspect of supply chain are in huge demand. We hire for analytical thinking, curiosity, and people skills – we can and will teach all the technical aspects of those roles. We’re usually looking for an undergrad degree or experience, both is beneficial.

    1. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

      Yes! My husband works in IT/analytics for a warehouse chain, started out as a handler and moved up.

    2. SkyePilot*

      I work for a company that implements ERP software and the demand for technical resources that have supply chain/manufacturing experience is INSANE. We can’t hire fast enough and our consultant utilization has been consistently over 90% for months.

      And really, we need experienced people. There is a lot of hiring of kids right out of supply chain programs, but trying to find experienced supply chain pros is a challenge.

  83. PinkyLady*

    Higher education, especially admission! My office is hiring for multiple positions as are many other colleges, and schools are starting to understand that they have to up their compensation to get qualified and excited candidates. I know we’ve done a lot to be more competitive in this arena. People who have management experience of any kind, customer service, and other office work usually are good fits.

    1. Canterlot*

      I’d be cautious long term. Public confidence in the value of higher ed is tanking. The demographics are bad – there are not a lot of future 18-year-olds in the pipeline. I would not hitch my wagon to that star.

      1. KayEss*

        There are also admissions/student support roles at outside companies that contract to manage online professional degrees recruitment for universities (OPMs). Those may or may not take the hit that’s coming for post-high school bachelor’s programs.

        It can be basically either a sales/recruitment-oriented position or customer service/coaching—you’re following up with prospective students on enrolling if you’re in admissions and coaching enrolled students on their progress to help them make it to graduation if you’re in student support/success. But there’s nothing specialized required to do it, just a good customer service personally and communication soft skills.

      2. Gracely*

        Seconding this. It depends a lot on the university. Some places are already downsizing because of the demographics, and it’s not going to get better.

      3. Det. Charles Boyle*

        This seems really off base, given this whole topic is mainly a list of jobs that require higher education.

  84. Free Meerkats*

    Industrial Pretreatment regulation. This is a field where most people start out as field technicians, inspecting and sampling businesses that are subject to the federal, state and local regulations. We’re in a crunch right now because the program really started up in the mid-80s and all of us who got in at the beginning are retiring. Including me in 7 months. :)

    Entry level, you need a high school diploma and the willingness to work with sewage. Some places require a degree, though the only thing that comes close to what we do is an environmental science degree. For the management levels, we look for someone with some sort of regulation background. People skills are good to have; you’ll work with people from the folks who run the plant treatment systems to CEOs.

    I’ve found the field really rewarding in the last 40 years. I’ve gotten in to see haw many things are made, from baby food to airliners. I go places in factories that you’ll never see on the tours. Since it’s mostly local government work, the job security is golden and there are usually pretty good benefits. There are also state and federal jobs, though those are much fewer. It’s also a fairly small field, I estimate that there are probably only 12-15 thousand people, nationwide.

  85. teensyslews*

    Warehousing – especially if you are forklift certified, but basically anyone who can lift around 30 lbs could walk into a warehouse and be employed for at least $5 over minimum wage tomorrow. Forklift certified is $10-$15 over minimum wage and if you’re willing you’ll be able to pull a lot of OT. This is in western Canada but I think it’s the same in most places in Canada/US right now.

    Also, truck drivers – the shortage is IMO largely due to the extremely shady practices of many shipping companies, so do your research beforehand, but there is a shortage of drivers everywhere, this is part of the “supply chain issues” we all hear so much about. If you have the correct class of license there are jobs available everywhere, with substantial signing bonuses, but again, really do your research – lots of companies with bad pay-per-delivery contracts or asking you to flout safety laws, and keep in mind many warehouses are also short-staffed so deliveries and pickups take much longer than usual, you will be spending a lot of time waiting.

      1. Just Another Zebra*

        And the cool thing about getting your CDL endorsement is that you don’t HAVE to go into trucking with it. I work in plumbing and we’re ALWAYS hiring for Class A and B drivers to operate our larger trucks. Our largest truck has a GVW of 88,000lb. We do excavations, jetting and lining. If someone is considering work outside of 9-5 office work, I’d encourage them to look at getting a CDL.

        1. Books and Cooks*

          Ohhh, that is an excellent point/option–I didn’t even think of that! Great suggestion, thanks!

  86. Thin Mints didn't make me thin*

    Bus drivers (need a license, varies by state) and ferry boat deckhands (no special qualifications but you need to be physically able and pass a drug test).

  87. Flash Packet*

    Internal and external audit.

    4-year degree in accounting, finance, or computer science to get an entry-level position with a consulting firm or in industry. Entry-level pay is about $45,000 – $60,000, depending on location.

    That degree plus almost any professional, white-collar working experience will get you hired at varying levels above entry. Pay for levels above entry but not yet management are $60,000 – $100,000, depending on location and experience. Management is $110,00 – $200,000.

    We’re having trouble completing our non-SOX audits on time because it’s so hard to find auditors. We’re delaying one European project for a couple of months because there just aren’t any consultants available during our preferred timeframe.

    1. Spice for this*

      Are you aware of any large companies that are hiring for entry-level positions now (and you would be willing to share the name of the company)? Thanks.

  88. Books and Cooks*

    No one has mentioned this yet, and it’s not a corporate or office job, but truck driving! Especially refrigerated trucking. Everyone is DESPERATE for drivers & trucks at the moment, and it started before Covid–new federal laws limited the amount of hours a driver could do in a day (good thing, but meant drivers couldn’t do as many runs). My husband’s previous job was in freight management (finding/booking truckers and creating/consolidating loads from different clients–he took the job specifically to learn the industry, and it paid off); now he works in an adjacent field (running a distribution center), so he still deals with drivers, their issues, and the truck/driver shortages on a daily basis.

    All you need is a CDL license, and if you can buy your own rig, you can be your own boss, set your own schedule, and write your own ticket–I mean, we’re talking the potential for $4 – $6k PROFIT, not gross, for one run from California to Missouri or something, or some people do one regular run, say Texas to Oklahoma, once a week, pocket their $1500, and do something else the rest of the week. (Long-haul truckers average close to $70k a year, which isn’t bad considering you can live anywhere, like in a LCL area–and that’s just the average.) And if you don’t want to drive big-rig, places like UPS, FedEx, Amazon are always looking for drivers, too. My husband sees retirees who picked it up for a bit to see our beautiful country and earn some extra cash, or there are a few teachers who do it in the summer, or couples who drive together, as well as your career drivers. It’s not like it used to be, either–again, the law change means drivers can only drive for ten hours a day (ten or eleven, I don’t recall offhand), so the, ah, market for stuff to help you stay awake to drive really crashed, and a lot of companies are really working to clean up the industry’s reputation.

    It’s not for everyone, no, and it’s not like most of the job listed here, but it really is something to consider if you like road trips and are really looking for a change. Anything in the supply chain is a place to look, but truckers are the people who truly keep that chain running–without them we’d be in big trouble. And there is advancement opportunity, too, if you’re interested; not just in buying your own trucks and hiring drivers yourself, but in moving into managing drivers or working for companies that do a lot of shipping, or for cold-storage or regular storage facilities along the chain. Lots of former drivers “get off the road” to go to places like that.

    1. Books and Cooks*

      (Note: several people posted about truck driving while I was typing this. Sorry, guys, didn’t mean to repeat anything!)

  89. DrSalty*

    Medical communications. I am a medical writer, and I get contacted by recruiters nonstop and my agency is constantly hiring. A life science background is typically required. A great field for PhDs, MDs, PharmDs, RNs, DMVs etc who want to switch careers.

    1. TheMonkey*

      Am a DVM and would be interested in exploring this further. Any suggestions on how to get more info from a reliable source?

  90. Just Another Zebra*

    The trades are absolutely desperate for new people. I know several companies in my area (NJ) who are willing to take on people with little or no experience and train them. Plumbers, electricians, mechanics… most really only need a high school diploma to get started.

    There’s also a need for CDL drivers – trucks and buses, shipping companies, even some of the trades can use people with a CLD endorsement.

    1. Regina Philange*

      I’m hopeful there will be an upswing in people realizing the college is not the be all/end all and that trades are a great way to go. No college loans and many pay very, very well.

      1. Just Another Zebra*

        There’s such a stigma around trade jobs, which is a shame. Because like you said, college is expensive and guarantees nothing anymore.

        1. Books and Cooks*

          I’ve been telling my daughters for years that trades are the place to be. Great money, generally decent working conditions, lots of potential, and especially good for women (because a lot of companies eager to hire us, not just for EEOC/diversity-type reasons but because the more women they have, the more attractive they become to female clients who might be more comfortable having a woman in their house than a man).

          1. Green Tea*

            And a lot of these jobs are also recession-proof because if your toilet/furnace/electricity’s not working, you’re going to find a way to get money to fix it no matter where else you have to cut back.

  91. Unrestricted Clause*

    Telecommunications. Our area has EXPLODED since the pandemic due to the need for working/learning from home, telehealth (doctor calls), etc. I’m in marketing and those skills are pretty easily transferrable (blogging, social media). Desperate needs across the board, though, such as for field technicians – don’t need a college degree and many companies will train you. Women are encouraged! Fabulous women in the field; wish were more.

    1. Jora Malli*

      What are some telecommunications job titles people could search for in job posting sites?

    1. EF*

      I’m really interested in a transition to UX – can you share any insight into ways to gain experience/qualifications? Are there recommended courses to take?

      1. S*

        Take a look at the article I linked to. That group, and General Assembly, are two solid options for training.

    2. Need to code?*

      If you have no tech experience, could you do one of those training courses for UX and be fine? Or do you need to be able to code? Thank you! I’m so interested in UX and have researched it a LOT but still unsure if not being able to code would be a proper disadvantage.

      1. S*

        From my experience, there’s no “coding” per se in UX. If you’re more on the design side, you’ll need to know the design program you’ll be using (figma is a popular tool.) If you’re on the research side, you’ll be setting up tests (check out Maze or UserTesting to get an idea), and using tools like Excel to collect and analyze data. Neither of these are pure coding. Check out the article I linked to, which has good info (and a link to a research report with even more info!)

  92. Logan Noonan*

    I work in international non-profits and the business development specialty within our field is definitely suffering a shortage at the moment. Qualifications for an entry level job would include strong writing skills, ability to do desk/internet research, and experience ability to coordinating and influencing across teams. For mid-level jobs they’d be looking for specific experience in business development or grant writing in any field. You may also have luck if you have non-BD experience in a technical field that’s relevant to international development such as public health, environmental conservation, etc. Knowledge of the international development landscape will often, but not always, be required for mid-level jobs and would be preferred for entry level (for entry level think BA degrees in international relations, economics, environmental science, foreign language, global health, or even just having lived outside of the US, Canada, and Europe).

  93. S*

    UX, aka User Experience. It’s a sub-field of tech that uses design and communication to build tools that actually work for the actual human beings who use them. I tried to include a link, but my post got eaten, so I’ll just advise you to google the “Nielsen Norman Group” and look for an article called “What a UX Career Looks Like Today.” It gives a great overview of the field, the work, and the qualifications you need to get a job. I just transferred within my company into a UX Research role, and I’m really happy with my move.

    1. Person from the Resume*

      Any post with a URL will go into moderation for Alison to review it before releasing it. If you post a comment with a link, it will not appear right away. One solution is to post the comment and reply to it with the link so at least your first post will appear right away and you know it’s not lost.

      :)

    2. AnonPi*

      I’m interested in user design (and potentially the research side, since I have a science background and have read user research is a good transition field for former scientists). However I worry with all the bootcamps/certs out there, that the market is flooded with people looking for work at entry/early career levels. That’s what’s happened to me while working toward project management career – now there’s so many people switching to it, while jobs are plentiful the pay has dropped a lot, such that I pretty much can’t afford to switch to it now.

      1. S*

        Yep, I’m on the research side and I have some colleagues who came out of academic research backgrounds. You’re right about the flood of bootcamp grads – so the thing there is to focus on your previous experience and transferable skills. And maybe look at some of the NNG workshops instead of committing to a full bootcamp.

        Here’s an article that gives a great overview of the field: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/ux-career-advice/

      2. Cookie*

        I took an intro to UX writing course (I have degrees in English but have not done a lot of professional writing). I found the learning curve to be steeper than I’d anticipated, and the informational interviews made it clear that UX writers are designers who are pretty good with words, not the other way around. Also learned that UX writers spend a lot of time trying to justify their decisions and often their worth. The lone UX guy at my current employer quit, because MarComm rejected about 90% of his user-centered work in favor of pretty design. I’d rather be in UX research, but don’t have the work experience to make that transition without earning yet another degree.

        Hope it works out better for you, though!

        1. S*

          The structure of the department can make all the difference. If your the lone *anything* guy at an employer, you’re going to spend a lot of your time justifying your worth, at least until you convince someone in authority. My background is in technical writing, and in a very typical company re-org, we went from a centralized group of techwriters who all supported each other (and enjoyed management support, training, etc), to “ok, go now and be embedded with your client teams.” So all of a sudden, you’re the lone writer in a team of developers – way to feel like an odd duck! Over time, my boss realized that I was the person who could put things in a way that was clear to the people who had authority over *her* – so now I was the one with valuable skills. But in the meantime, I was passed over for promotion for a couple of years because the promo committee was entirely made up of developers, who were like “words? we don’t need no stinking words!”

          If you’re still interested in UX writing, I’ve been told one way to get a foot in the door is to take this challenge: https://dailyuxwriting.com/ and make a “portfolio” out of the results. And yes, in any UX job, you’re working within a design framework, which simply means that you’re trying to solve a problem, and you need to be able to articulate how your proposed solution solves the problem. And ultimately, you need to test your solution and iterate your solution based on the results.

          I’d also challenge your assumption that the way into UX is a degree. Very few people I work with have a degree in UX. They have degrees in anthropology, marketing, fine arts, humanities, comp sci… The rest is work experience and a willingness to learn.

  94. RMNPgirl*

    Medical laboratory science.
    Most people don’t realize but 70-80% of medical decisions are made based off of the lab work. Laboratory science has a huge shortage and it’s only getting worse with retirements. The main areas of the lab are hematology, chemistry, blood bank, and microbiology but there are also more specialty areas like molecular.
    There are two main ways to becoming one –
    1. Bachelor’s degree and 1 year program that qualifies you for the national board exam through ASCP (American Society of Clinical Pathologists) and a MLS certification
    2. Associate’s degree program that qualifies you for the national board exam through ASCP and a MLT certification.
    MLS allows for greater career growth than MLT, but MLTs are also quite common and paid pretty well.
    Salaries really differ based on location but are at least over $20.00/hr and some places are hiring at over $30.00/hr.

    1. Med tech*

      ASCP also allows you to become a tech with a related bachelor’s and one year of work experience. You then are eligible to take the ASCP exam. Our hospital in the last year started hiring some candidates who aren’t ASCP certified and have a regular bio degree or some other science degree. The downside is you have to study on your own time (or you can study at work if it’s slow) and I believe they can only sit for a specific department exam so they wouldn’t be generalists. We were all wary of it in the beginning but now we’ve seen that this could be a way forward for our profession that is so very understaffed.

  95. Anon cloud person*

    Cloud computing as an industry. We can’t hire qualified candidates fast enough. Role-wise, obviously software engineering is up there, but there are also non-engineering roles.

    Solutions Architect is still a technical role, but I’ve seen people come to it from non-technical backgrounds. There are trainings and certification exams available online to help enter this field.

    There are also plenty of non-technical roles, like in sales – Account Managers, Inside Sales Reps, Demand Generation Reps, etc. The cloud companies (Amazon/AWS, Microsoft/Azure, Google/GCP) need tons of people in roles like these.

    Beyond sales, there are also lots of other jobs involved in the cloud – project managers, product managers, UX researchers, administrative assistants, etc. You’d have to explore qualifications for each individual role separately, but there are tons of training programs and certifications available online to get started in the cloud. One website I would recommend is A Cloud Guru (I used Linux Academy to study for my tests, and ACG bought them out).

    You do NOT have to be a cloud expert to join a cloud company in a non-technical role. My interview prep for my cloud company literally involved me Googling, “What is the cloud?”

    1. Spearmint*

      My brother’s girlfriend works in cloud sales, and yeah, it sounds *really* nice. She’s making 6-figures at age 24 while working completely remote. When she was unhappy with her compensation at her previous employer, she got a new job lined up with better pay in a matter of weeks.

    2. Anon for this one*

      > Solutions Architect is still a technical role, but I’ve seen people come to it from non-technical backgrounds.

      What could go wrong? Architecting something for people to build that you have no experience of yourself.

      1. Mill Miker*

        I’ve been going through a lot of architect postings myself lately, and I’m definitely getting the vibe that at many companies the “Solutions architect” roles are often less about being able to architect a bespoke system, and more about helping clients choose which combination of off-the-shelf products from the company’s existing catalog will best meet their needs, knowing which configurations are possible, and identifying the gaps that will need custom work done (which is then passed from the solutions architect to the software architect). Definitely the kind of work where experience with using the products in the catalogue will help you more than knowing how any of them work under the hood.

    3. Nathan*

      I can +1 this for sure. I work for a cloud security company, and we’re booming. Judging by the state of my LinkedIn and email inboxes, the big companies are very interested in those with cloud software skills.

      I agree that it doesn’t require wearing a hardcore software engineering hat. It takes very little experience to qualify for a business development / demand generation role, and it’s a great way to get a foot in the door on the sales side. Support is also an option; you’d need a bit more experience and technical know-how, but if you’re the type of person who just enjoys messing around with software to figure out how it works, you’d probably be right at home in a support role.

  96. MW desperately seeking more MWs*

    Medical writing (clinical and regulatory). Any STEM-related degree usually gets your foot in the door, though often see job postings for “Ph.D., M.S., or B.A./B.S. with 3-5 yrs experience” type stipula