Taking advantage of your spare time to reach your career goals

    We’re living through what many have come to call the ‘new normal’. But while great uncertainty lies ahead, there’s also ample opportunity for those ready to reassess their career goals. With the tech industry currently demonstrating the most job security, now could be the perfect time to consider a move.

    Published on 22 May 2020


    The spread of COVID-19 means the world now feels like a very different place. Businesses have closed or paused operations, people have been ordered to stay at home and activities, like eating out or taking a holiday, are a thing of the past. 

    For many, however, the most concerning aspect of the crisis has been economic. Over the next three months, over 11 million people in the UK alone could end up furloughed or unemployed. And, according to the International Labour Organisation, full and partial lockdown measures are affecting close to 2.7 billion workers worldwide. That’s four in five of the world’s entire workforce. 

    But while uncertain times lie ahead, there’s also ample opportunity for change, particularly when it comes to your career. 

    Learning People | Woman in office

    Finding yourself furloughed or out of work because of the pandemic? Then, one of the best things you can do is to take advantage of the spare time you now have to plan a career move. And with IT and tech jobs still in high demand, there’s never been a better time to design a new course for your career. 

    Here’s how you can start planning your career change.

    How do I plan my career goals?

    With high-paying positions continuing to be created now and in the long-term, especially within the digital and IT sectors, it’s a great time to rethink your career goals.

    With more time on your hands, you’ll want to get clear on what these goals and objectives are. Here are a few tips for getting started and some questions to ask yourself: 

    • Take stock of your current skills -What are my top strengths and abilities? Which of these can I leverage to make my transition or move up easier?
    • Envision where you want to be in 5 or 10 years - Where am I living? What have I achieved with my career trajectory?
    • Think about your lifestyle - What lifestyle do I want? What jobs or type of work could support this lifestyle? What salary-level could support this lifestyle? 
    • Get clear on the impact you’d like to have - What impact would I like to be making with my work? What kind of work do I enjoy doing? What challenges do I enjoy tackling?
    • Understand what skills and experience you’ll need to get there - What new skills do I need to develop? Which skills and competencies will open the doors I want? 

    While these questions can help you reflect on what you’d like to do, it’s also important to do some research into your potential new career path. Speaking to friends or family who are in that sector, attending industry events like free talks and webinars and doing some reading into your chosen subject area can all help you in making a confident decision.

    The IT and tech sectors are showing resilience 

    While the effects of this crisis are being universally felt, some sectors are showing signs of resilience. Chief among these is IT, or Information Technology.

    According to the latest Business Impact of Covid-19 Survey (BICS), sectors like food & hospitality and arts & entertainment are experiencing layoffs of up to 40-50%. Information, communication and technical activities, on the other hand, have made less than 15% of workers redundant. 

    It’s easy to see why. Technology is playing a pivotal role in combating the virus as well as sustaining us throughout the lockdown. And it’s not just for now. The tech industry is currently thriving and a great source of job security, continuing to fuel demand for technical competencies in areas like coding and cyber security. 

    What roles are going to offer me job security?

    If you’re interested in a career in technology, but wondering what roles and industries offer the most job security, then here are 3 career paths to consider:

    Cyber security

    With the majority of businesses and social interactions now happening online, cyber attacks have been on the rise. According to an ISACA study, more than 60% of enterprises surveyed were concerned about cybercriminals targeting their systems, particularly during this pandemic. That makes online security and protecting data a high priority for both companies and individuals. 

    All this makes cyber security a lucrative career path. And, with hackers and phishers becoming more adept and clever by the day, you can be sure that roles in this area won’t be going away for a long time. 

    Coding 

    As more and more of our time is spent online socialising, shopping and conducting business, we’ll need the websites and applications to support this. Software developers design, create and maintain these environments for us. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that demand for software and application developers will increase by 25% over the next decade.

    The demands of these kinds of roles are creative, not just technical, and it’s often the case that no two days are alike. All this makes coding an exciting and varied field to get stuck into, and one a great long-term career path.

    IT Project Management 

    As technical roles and projects continue to fuel strong demand, companies are also recognising the importance of coordinating the people involved. As such, leadership and management skills for highly technical projects will continue to be needed to ensure success and good return on ROI for companies. 

    A role in digital project management is perfect for those who enjoy the challenge of leading and coordinating teams and making sure project targets and delivery are met within time and budget constraints. Those with sharp technological knowledge and capability can command even higher salaries. 

    Learning People | Project manager writing on whiteboard

    Want to learn more? 

    If you’re interested in a future-proofing career, we can help you with our top accredited courses, award-winning support and flexible and accessible online education.

    Our certifications are trusted by industry giants like Bupa, HMRC, Honda BT and Visa. Our students also get exclusive access our dedicated Career Services, a team of recruitment experts to support you through every stage of the job search process. Our outstanding student reviews and success stories attest to the fact that we’re not just here to sell you another course, we’re invested in your success.

    With courses in coding, cyber-security, and IT project management, we can help make your transition to tech a smooth and confident one. 

    Our Online Learning Grant is here if you need it

    We are making a £1 million Online Learning Grant available to help more people, of all skill levels, benefit from a career in the technology sector. This investment will be used as a contribution towards tuition fees.

    While we are prioritising grant funding to those who have been impacted by COVID-19, the Online Learning Grant is broadly available to all new enrolments. Available until the end of June, you can speak to a career consultant for more information.

    Topics: Career Advice, Career Services