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May 23, 2023

Landing One Of 2023’s Hottest Jobs—Whether You Have A Degree Or Not

Today we seem to be in a strange place between the Great Resignation where people were quitting in droves to find a better fit, and a universal hiring slowdown caused by the current economic stagnation. According to research released today by LinkedIn, hiring decreased by 0.1% in April compared to March and is down 29% year-over-year […]

Today we seem to be in a strange place between the Great Resignation where people were quitting in droves to find a better fit, and a universal hiring slowdown caused by the current economic stagnation.

According to research released today by LinkedIn, hiring decreased by 0.1% in April compared to March and is down 29% year-over-year across all industries nationwide. On the entry-level front, hiring for entry-level roles is down 22% year-over-year for jobs that do not require a college degree. For jobs requiring a BA, hiring is down 32%.

This sounds a bit grim, especially for those freshly graduated and ready to embark on their professional journey. But the forecast isn’t all doom and gloom. “The good news is companies are still hiring across all levels, and there are bright spots for those looking for work this year,” says LinkedIn Career Expert Andrew McCaskill, creator of The Black Guy in Marketing newsletter.

According to LinkedIn’s 2023 Guide to Kickstarting Your Career, entry-level hiring is on the rise in cities like Seattle, WA, Houston, TX, Hartford, CT, Knoxville TN, Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, Omaha, NE, Charlotte, NC, Cincinnati, OH, Oklahoma City, OK and Madison, WI.

“As the cost of living continues to rise in all major cities, we’re seeing young professionals increasingly starting their careers in emerging metros like these with more moderate housing costs,” says McCaskill.

The industries hiring the most entry-level workers without college degrees include Hospitals and Health Care, with jobs like Registered Nurse, Medical Assistant, and Radiologic Technologist trending upward. Another growing industry is Professional Services with jobs like Paralegal, Software Engineer, Customer Service Representative and Graphic Designer. Other industries with growing opportunities for entry-level hires without BAs are Manufacturing, Financial Services and Retail.

Trends to watch

Skills-first hiring is emerging as a major force in hiring decisions across all industries. “Businesses aren’t relying as heavily anymore on what school you went to or what degree you got—in fact, 1 in 5 jobs on LinkedIn no longer require degrees, and more than 45% of hirers on LinkedIn now explicitly use skills data to fill their roles,” McCaskill says. “We’re seeing companies focusing more now on what you can do and how you can use your unique abilities to help them grow and thrive, which makes skills more important than ever in today’s market.”

And the best part? “This skills-first hiring trend is expected to continue.”

McCaskill believes that the workforce and supply chain challenges of the pandemic are the reason why some of the fastest-growing roles, like those in HR and Consulting, are on the rise.

“Consulting, which is a fastest-growing job area for those without a college degree, can include a wide range of functions, such as advising companies on transitioning to sustainable practices, particularly in industries such as manufacturing, energy and transportation, to consulting on how to integrate new AI tools into an existing company strategy,” says McCaskill.

Staying skilled

In a skills-first job market, workers need to stay on top of their own upskilling. McCaskill advises highlighting the skills you already have and making a list to build the ones you don't. “Leaning into a skills-first strategy can give job seekers the confidence to navigate the job market, particularly through turbulent times,” he says.

He also urges job seekers to give special attention to some of the most in-demand skills, like management, communication, leadership and teamwork. “And tech skills, like data management and software development, are also in demand, as these are all highly transferable skills that you can take with you from job-to-job, no matter what the industry,” McCaskill adds.

There are a few other things McCaskill believes can help career starters in their job search:

  • Be flexible. “Remote jobs are very popular right now (with more than 2x the applications we see to on-site roles), but remote-friendly job options have been steadily declining over the past year,” he says. “That said, there are actually more remote and hybrid opportunities for entry-level workers than last year, so depending on what you’re looking for, the remote jobs are still there to find. If you can be open to working in a hybrid setup, or to relocating, you’ll widen your job opportunities.”
  • Embrace future possibilities and put yourself out there. “Remember, most jobs are vehicles and not destinations,” says McCaskill. “Instead of focusing on finding the ‘perfect’ dream job, think about what skills you’ll gain from each opportunity and how you can put those skills and experience to your next opportunity.”
  • Signal you’re open to new job opportunities. “Use the Open to Work feature on LinkedIn and set up Job Alerts to notify you as soon as a job that fits your career is posted, as applying within the first ten minutes of an alert makes you 4X more likely to get the job,” says McCaskill.
  • Consider an internal move. “If you already work for a company you’re happy with but want to explore additional options, consider an internal move,” says McCaskill. “Internal mobility allows companies to prioritize upskilling their current employees, and LinkedIn data finds that it increases employee retention, as well.”

Today’s top jobs, industries and regions

Whether you’re just entering the world of work or have years of experience under your belt, opportunity is still out there. And now, it’s a little easier to find—whether you have a degree or not.

Fastest-growing functions/jobs for those with BAs:

  1. Product Management (25.6% growth) / Top jobs: Product Manager, Product Owner, Product Development Specialist, Technical Product Manager, Product Coordinator
  2. Consulting (16.5% growth) / Top jobs: Business Consultant, Planning Associate, Solutions Consultant, Client Advisor, Management Consultant
  3. Purchasing (13.4% growth) / Top jobs: Buyer, Procurement Specialist, Sourcing Specialist, Purchasing Representative, Procurement Analyst
  4. Human Resources (13.0% growth) / Top jobs: Human Resources Coordinator, Human Resources Specialist
  5. Business Development (11.1% growth) / Top jobs: Business Development Specialist, Founder, President, Strategy Analyst
  6. Fastest-growing functions/jobs for those without BAs:
  7. Consulting (33.6% growth) / Top jobs: Client Advisor, Business Consultant , Solutions Consultant, Consulting Specialist, Client Consultant
  8. Marketing (22.9% growth) / Top jobs: Social Media Manager, Marketing Specialist, Marketing Coordinator, Marketing Director, Marketing Manager
  9. Research (22.7% growth) / Top jobs: Laboratory Technician, Business Analyst, Medical Laboratory Technician, Laboratory Assistant, Manufacturing Associate
  10. Human Resources (17.4% growth) / Top jobs: Human Resources Specialist, Human Resources Assistant
  11. Media and Communications (16.6% growth) / Top jobs: Writer, Production Assistant, Editor, Production Manager, Communications Specialist

Top industries for those with BAs:

  1. Professional Services / Top jobs: Software Engineer, Accountant, Legal Assistant, Account Executive, Paralegal
  2. Hospitals and Health Care / Top jobs: Registered Nurse, Medical Assistant, Behavioral Health Technician, Medical Scribe, Clinical Research Coordinator
  3. Manufacturing / Top jobs: Software Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, System Engineer, Manufacturing Engineer, Salesperson
  4. Financial Services / Top jobs: Software Engineer, Investment Banking Analyst, Financial Analyst, Credit Analyst, Financial Advisor
  5. Technology, Information and Media / Top jobs: Software Engineer, Sales Development Representative, Business Development Representative, Editor, Account Executive

Top industries for non-BAs:

  1. Hospitals and Health Care / Top jobs: Registered Nurse, Medical Assistant, Physical Therapist Assistant, Radiologic Technologist, Occupational Therapy Assistant
  2. Professional Services / Top jobs: Paralegal, Software Engineer, Legal Assistant , Customer Service Representative, Graphic Designer
  3. Manufacturing / Top jobs: Salesperson, Maintenance Technician, Software Engineer, Graphic Designer, Customer Service Representative
  4. Financial Services / Top jobs: Customer Service Representative, Bank Teller, Insurance Agent, Relationship Banker, Banker
  5. Retail / Top jobs: Salesperson, Store Manager, Cashier, Barista, Pharmacy Technician

Fastest growing regions for BAs

  1. Seattle, WA (9.3%) → Top industry: technology, information and media
  2. Houston, TX (9.1%) → Top industry: professional services
  3. Hartford, CT (8.6%) → Top industry: manufacturing
  4. Knoxville, TN (8.4%) → Top industry: professional services
  5. Dallas-Fort Worth, TX (8.3%) → Top industry: professional services
  6. Omaha, NE (7.7%) → Top industry: Financial services
  7. Charlotte, NC (7.7%) → Top industry: Financial services
  8. Cincinnati, OH (6.7%) → Top industry: manufacturing
  9. Oklahoma City, OK (6.7%) → Top industry: technology, information and media
  10. Madison, WI (6.5%) → Top industry: technology, information and media

The view from here

As we survey a changing employment landscape, it’s important to remember that dips and rises in hiring are a normal part of the picture. “Hiring was exceptionally high throughout 2022—and what we’re seeing now is the market going from a boil to a cool,” says McCaskill. “It’s a rebalancing back to what the job market was for entry-level jobs before the pandemic.”

In times of stagnant hiring, the vital thing is to make sure your skills don’t stagnate. When you stay on top of the technical and professional skills most needed in your field, you’ll be ready to jump on the next opportunity that arises—whenever that may be.

Article written by:  Orville Lynch, Jr.
Mr. Lynch, a member of the legendary two-time Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame Award winning Lynch Family. Mr. Lynch is a nationally recognized urban media executive with over 20+ years of diversity recruitment and serial entrepreneur with numerous multi-million dollar exits.
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