Job Trends 2021 - Predicting Demand In The New Year

What a roller-coaster ride it has been in 2020. From the market lows of March to record bounce back until December, nobody could really predict the pandemic and resultant chaos created by Covid19.

Thankfully, a majority of industries including education, banking, eCommerce, pharmaceuticals etc. orchestrated a swift transition to ‘contactless’ practices. Thus softening the blow caused by never-ending lockdowns. Unfortunately, some industries like aviation, hospitality, tourism etc. turned turtle. As news of a potent vaccine gains traction, we can only hope they spring back to their feet in 2021. The coming year will be a problem of plenty for Human Resources who are not only seeking to fill in vacant positions but also considering strategic recruitment options. Let us look at some job profiles that could be in demand in 2021:

Hybrid profiles

As organizations work to reclaim their pre-Covid standings, they will be on a lookout for professionals with cross-functional experience or hybrid profiles. The call of the hour is to provide something better than the competition. In this case, it could be an initiation within a field relative to one’s core expertise. In fact, during the lockdown period, most students at EDHEC took up professional certifications to bolster their profiles. As discussed in the beginning, learning new technologies that ease oneself into ‘contactless’ business practices will definitely be welcomed by recruitment committees across industries. It is necessary to remain informed and prepare oneself for the upcoming changes fast unfolding.

The ‘Digital’ business

Businesses, having managed huge savings in capital expenditure during lockdown; will look to continue strengthening ‘work from home’ set-ups. As most ‘consumers’ communicate virtually, organizations including the newspaper industry could permanently pivot towards digital marketing. Business survival necessitates them to recruit more for such positions. Digital Marketing and its sub-fields like SEO, Google Adwords etc. have been one of the biggest benefactors of Covid-induced pandemic. Organizations are building applications of Augmented Reality to enhance digital engagement of their customers. Thus, we can foresee a huge increase in recruitment activity in these fields.

‘Data’ all the way

One of the key benefits of moving businesses online is the ease of data collection. However, one needs expertise in cleaning, analyzing, streamlining and visualizing this data. Anyone gaining an in-depth idea of the data ecosystem within one’s industry will gain an upper hand. As seen in the past decade, Data Analytics has continued on an uptrend and evolved into BI & Data Science. With data complexities growing at an exponential pace, there is a growing interest in technologies like blockchain, big data, IoT etc. Technical profiles with knowledge of at least one programming languages have become a pre-requisite for roles related to Data Analytics. Such is the impact of Machine Learning and R-language that data-intensive fields like Investment Banking are also looking to add it as a requirement for quantitative roles.

‘Smart & Green’ businesses

The tech-related IQ of an average human has come a long way since the launch of the first smartphone. As the smartphone industry matures, there are bound to be green-shoots in other domains like a self-driving automobile, smart housing, banking etc. The current emphasis on improving Artificial Intelligence through applications of deep learning may well see an overhaul in certain industries just as we saw it with the photography industry. A ‘green’ conscious generation has upped the challenge of making customer comforts available to all. As has been evident with a race to find the cure, Data Security shall be a key field of interest within businesses. Governments are also looking to enhance their offerings through applications of AI & Robotics within healthcare, banking and public safety to name a few.

Sustainable Finance

Early 2020 is a key milestone for rejecting plastic. Most economies & big businesses pledged to turn ‘green’. Climate change and the current pandemic have been a wake up for everyone. A sustained reduction in carbon footprints has now turned into a competition among businesses. The financial industry is taking decisive steps to lower carbon footprints of their investment portfolios. As Covid19 resets the way we conduct businesses, sustainable finance will surely be the next big things in this domain. In fact, the dependency on inter-disciplinary perspectives may just lead to an increase in recruitment of cross-functional finance professionals within this field.

It is important that current professionals strengthen their profiles in order to be future-ready. As industries become agile, job profiles will follow suit. An obsolete profile will be hard to sell.

About the Author
Author: Nilesh Gaikwad
Nilesh Gaikwad Nilesh is the Country Manager for EDHEC Business School France, ranked 1st WorldWide for its Programmes in Finance 2017. In his current profile, Nilesh handles all India-related activities for EDHEC Business School including but not limited to Corporate Relations, Brand Expansion etc. By qualification Nilesh is a Management Consultant & an IT Engineer. He has diverse work experience in Strategy Building & Execution, IT Product Management & Marketing across firms like 3i-Infotech Ltd, TimesGroup & Giftery. He has a cross-industry experience of working for start-ups as well as conglomerates. Nilesh regularly writes for leading newspapers on topics related to Education & Management.

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