The COVID-19 pandemic taught us many valuable lessons, from how to respond to a major healthcare crisis to understanding the importance of rapidly adapting to new workforce guidelines. Perhaps the toughest lesson of all concerned job security, in that there is not much job security when the entire world experiences the aftermath of the development of a life-altering virus. With more than 40 million workers in the United States filing unemployment claims by the end of April 2020, the question was not had a recession arrived, but instead, would it be the worst economic downturn faced by the country since The Great Depression?
Nearly three years later after the initial business lockdowns, many economists remain convinced that the United States, as well as the rest of the world, never recovered from the initial economic shock administered by the once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. In fact, the economic outlook for growth at the end of 2022 looked tepid at best and downright Great Depression-like at worst. For IT professionals, even a mild recession means companies stop spending money on projects, as well as initiate hiring freezes that stifle economic growth. What does that mean for aspiring professionals looking to make a career in the IT industry?
It means considering working in one of the top four recession-proof information technology jobs.
What Are the Top Recession-Proof IT Jobs?
Although no IT job is 100 percent recession-proof, the following careers are about as recession-proof as it gets for many reasons. The most important reason is the following jobs can make the difference between a company succeeding and failing.
Cybersecurity remains one of the main concerns for IT leaders spanning across all industries, Even with budgets tightening to unprecedented levels as the result of the dramatic decline in the world economy, most organizations have not cut back on investing in cybersecurity infrastructure platforms. With consumers turning to online shopping, IT leaders have discovered they need to fill a huge hole in the number of open cybersecurity positions.
Brad Puckett, who is the Global Portfolio director for cybersecurity at Global Knowledge, says there is another just as important reason for keeping cybersecurity departments fully staffed. “Large-scale disruptions to everyday life are viewed as opportunities to cyber criminals. Changes in position, posture or circumstance mean possible open doors and expose vulnerabilities while workforce and infrastructure is strained and distracted. Cybersecurity careers become increasingly secure and positions valued as uncertainty grows in the enterprise.”
Certifications such as CISM (Certified Information Security Manager) provide TI professionals with the level of training required to assume cybersecurity positions.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of software developer positions should increase by 25 percent a year until 2031. That is an average of nearly 163,000 new software developer jobs a year. A soft-landing recession should not have any impact on the robust job growth, but a full-scale decline in economic activity might slow job growth.
Even before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, IT leaders started to move data processing needs into the cloud for several reasons, including an increase in data processing speeds and much tighter security for protecting sensitive proprietary data. This was an especially noticeable trend for industries such as banking and credit card processing. Although moving sensitive data to the cloud makes sense for a wide variety of reasons, it also requires an IT professional to create and then oversee the performance of a company’s cloud infrastructure.
A cloud administrator must juggle several responsibilities at the same time, such as providing technical assistance when required, as well as managing cloud platform services such as storage and subscriptions. During a period of economic contraction, companies should turn to the cloud even more to implement digital strategies. Investment in cloud technologies that require oversight by a cloud administrator should continue to be strong even during a mild to moderate recession.
Achieving a Microsoft-backed certification called Azure Administrator Associate represents one way to obtain the skills required to perform admirably as a cloud administrator.
Although a recession dampens the demand to fill open positions, including those in the IT industry, an economic downturn boosts the demand for risk managers. Professionals in this IT career evaluate the potential outcomes of technology investments and strategies to predict how to maximize the return on investments. They predict what might go wrong, as well as develop plans to ensure regulatory compliance. Risk managers also conduct assessments to improve the ability to identify and control potential threats to network infrastructures.
Because of the critical importance to maximize the returns on investments in IT strategies, risk managers earn one of the highest average annual salaries of any IT professional. According to the Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report, risk managers earn nearly $114, 000 per year, which is 33 percent more than the average salary for IT professionals.
Advance Your IT Career Today
Looking for some guidance to help advance your IT career or become a CIO? As part of the Career Resources, accessible on the IT Executives Council Career Center, you can connect with expert career coaches and resume writers who can answer your questions and help prepare you for your job search.