Over the last year, much has changed about the way we work. Many of us have been working remotely for long periods of time and this doesn’t just have an impact on where we’re working but how we’re working too. Certain skills have become more critical, such as digital literacy and the ability to communicate effectively.
Businesses have had to adapt quickly to the demands of remote working. While there are many benefits of remote working for both employees and employers, the rapidity with which businesses have had to adopt this model has been challenging for some. Some have even created new roles, recognising the need for managers to oversee the needs of remote workers.
However, jobs are not just opening up to help facilitate the move to remote work but also to meet the changing needs of customers and businesses. With a huge shift towards e-commerce as high street stores stand empty, those with online sales, digital marketing and user experience skills are in demand. There has also been growth in the number of web engineering and data scientist roles out there as businesses look to improve their online operations overall.
Here are some of the jobs that are expected to be in-demand over the next year.
1. Digital Marketing Professionals
As so much of our shopping has moved online, it’s little surprise that businesses have been investing in their online marketing efforts. In particular, those with digital marketing strategy, search engine optimisation or social media expertise are expected to be in demand over the next year continuing the trend from 2020.
Businesses moving to a more online focus will recognise the need for comprehensive social media strategy and increased visibility on search engines with both search engine optimisation and PPC advertising. Email marketers will be needed to help engage with existing customers and strategists will need to combine all of this into a cohesive plan with consistent branding.
2. Digital Content Creators
This is a very broad category that encompasses a whole range of creative expertise from copywriting to video editing. With so much competition online, it’s becoming more and more difficult for brands to stand out from the crowd. Talented content creators are, therefore, very much in demand. According to Indeed, there was a big jump in hiring for these roles in 2020 and this trend is expected to continue in 2021.
This is good news if you are a writing expert, graphic designer, have experience in video production or are a podcaster or blogger. Those who can think strategically will also be in demand, such as creative directors and content coordinators.
3. Web Engineers
With so many businesses looking to give their online operations an upgrade over the last year, it’s little surprise to see significant growth in demand for specialist engineers. For example, web developers, frontend developers and full stack engineers may have noticed more demand for their expertise over the last year and this trend is set to continue in 2021. Such hires will be crucial to those larger companies shifting some or all of their business online as the high street continues to struggle.
4. User Experience Professionals
The impression that a customer has when visiting or using online products is just as important as when they visit a physical store. With the ever-growing importance of online presence for businesses, user experience (or UX) experts are in high demand. These experts are crucial at every stage of developing a website, app or piece of software. From the ideation, research and design stages right through to testing. UX professionals will continuously test changes to websites, monitoring for changes in user behaviour signals to consistently improve the experience a user has with a product.
5. Data Scientists
We live in an age when we are inundated with data. For businesses who have been operating largely online over the last ten months or so, data from their websites or apps could be invaluable. Learning about the habits of their customers when browsing products or using services can help fine-tune the business’ offerings. Marketing specialists are also using more and more data in their marketing strategies, making sure they get the right information in front of the right people in the right way.
Businesses may be looking for more new recruits who specialise in the jobs highlighted above in 2021, however, this won’t be the only focus on recruiters’ minds. With the shift to remote work, certain soft skills have become more desirable. Here are a few examples of those skills job seekers should be showing off on applications and in interviews.
Our one-to-one meetings with managers have been replaced with video calls and our progress reports pushed to email. You can’t just nip over to someone’s desk to check something, it has to be done via instant message where we risk losing some of the nuance and miscommunicating. It’s therefore essential to have finely honed communication skills in our current working environment.
The five categories above represent some of the jobs that have seen significant growth over the last year and are expected to continue doing so in 2021. They all have a digital focus which is unsurprising, given the shift to e-commerce since the UK’s first lockdown in March 2020. They are all roles that can also be done remotely, at least in part, if employees have access to the right equipment and digital tools. This means that workers in these roles should have been able to adapt to the ‘new normal’ during the Covid-19 pandemic relatively quickly and without too much disruption.
Those going for job interviews this year should also pay attention to desired soft skills, which have become increasingly important. You may be the best graphic designer that applied for a role, however, hiring managers are going to be looking for the whole package where remote work is concerned. The job may well go to the person who is less well qualified but who will contribute most to the team via good communication skills and who demonstrates the ability to adapt quickly in the face of change.