Recession Resilient Career Paths


Our reliance on technology has grown over the past decade and in the wake of a global pandemic, it’s important to take a look at what’s going on.

Industries that have been throttled:

Retail: Gap, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, and Kohl’s just announced that they’re furloughing a majority of their employees. That’s roughly over 250K employees between just 4 companies. There are so many that have and will follow suit.

Restaurants: The restaurant industry is currently being wiped out. An article was just published estimating that more than 110,000 restaurants expect to close up forever in the coming weeks, with millions out of work and an estimated $25 billion in sales lost. The server/bartender gig was a de facto job for many recent grads without a job lined up. Many will have to look elsewhere.

Hospitality: Hotels are shutting down or being transformed into hospitals. It’s estimated that the hotel industry could lose 4 million jobs from the coronavirus impact as some of the big companies like Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt have already furloughed tens of thousands of employees.

Entertainment: The entertainment industry has seen billions lost due to movie theaters shuttered, concerts and festivals canceled, clubs closed, and production stalled. It’s going to take a while before things go back to normal, but as we shelter in place and consume streaming content, it will be interesting to see how additional entertainment companies invest in their technology infrastructure and offerings.

Energy: The global demand for oil has dampened as people shelter in place and travel less. With a changing energy landscape, companies are bracing themselves and figuring out low-carbon and resilient infrastructure options.

Manufacturing: Manufacturing has been on decline in the US for years, but in the wake of coronavirus and a recession, manufacturing careers will see a massive loss of jobs. The only major areas that may be immune for the time being are biomedical devices (ventilator) and robotics manufacturing.

Airline: The airline industry has been especially hard hit as most international and national flights are restricted.

Education: As most public and private educational institutions were already struggling, coronavirus has exposed another major issue. America has 1.5 million faculty members at higher education institutions...70% of them had never taught a virtual course before March. Coronavirus has forced the $600+ billion dollar higher ed industry to turn to an approach its long resisted: online education.With students staying home, colleges will have to think through how to bridge the gap between summer tuition revenue lost and housing costs reimbursed. This will take a toll on faculty.

Industries with the Most Hiring Freezes & Layoffs


We could go on and on. Whether you were preparing for a career in the above...or not preparing at all because you had no idea what you wanted to do, you will be affected.

But if we look at the last recession, one thing is clear: Technology-driven businesses bounce back and prosper. As you’re reading this post on your mobile device or laptop, taking classes on Zoom, watching Netflix, listening to Spotify, bouncing between Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, or Tiktok, or getting food delivered via Amazon or PostMates, it’s clear. You’re spending time on technology...so why not build skills to work in the industry?

I’ve worked with hundreds of students who think of the tech industry as the old stodgy software companies. Not one of the companies mentioned above would be put in that category. So, if you’re a Mechanical Engineering major or Liberal Arts major, let’s look at how you could pivot. The PathMatch career assessment is already built to direct students to digitally-enabled career paths...paths that you’ll see grow exponentially over the next decade.

If you haven’t already taken our assessment, I’d suggest that you do so as our algorithm takes many variables into account. But, here are a few path suggestions based on major:

If you’re a Mechanical Engineering major: Mechanical Engineering is heavily tied to manufacturing, which is going to be highly impacted over the next few years. If you’re strong in math and physics, why not pivot to software engineering or data science?

If you’re a Psychology, Sociology, or Anthropology major, a few paths to consider might be Product Design/UX Design or UX Research that weaves the study of humans and how they interact with technology together.

If you’re a Marketing or Economics major, why not check out digital marketing, which is highly analytical and creative.

Majoring in Civil Engineering? With construction projects on hold and stimulus money going towards bailing out other industries, there will likely be fewer civil engineering opportunities to go around. Perhaps a career in Software Engineering or Data Engineering would allow you to find jobs more readily.

So how do you go about switching and pursuing career paths? Sign up for our flexible plans where you will get an insider's look at how companies hire, what employers look for, and how you can best stand out as a competitive applicant.

Want all this help to fit in your pocket for on-the-go resources? Download our PathMatch app today!