Amid all of the stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to take a few moments to step back and observe. The Great Depression, where millions of people went unemployed in the 1930s, ushered in the need to think about how best to care for people in times of a massive economic downturn. 9/11 provided a moment for people to come together and reflect on the strengths and vulnerabilities of the U.S. While we can’t yet reflect on COVID-19’s overall impact on society, as businesses and universities moved almost fully online in the wake of the pandemic, we have seen a few interesting trends starting to come to light.
Here are four emerging trends to keep an eye on
Education and technology are becoming intertwined
If it wasn’t already, it has become even clearer that staying on top of emerging technology – whether personally or for education – is a must. The relationship between technology and education has suddenly become a hot topic with schools closed and students required to move to online learning. It has shown that educational institutions offering online learning components are well-suited to quickly adapt to a changing world. And this suggests new ways to envision the future of education as it relates to technology.
Institutions like Davenport University are already incorporating emerging technologies like virtual reality into the classroom. In the Detroit Free Press, Brian Miller, dean of Davenport’s global campus commented on how the university is replicating in-person learning through the virtual reality technology, VirBELA.
“It creates visual clues and a sense of being there,” Miller said. “It’s also good for helping with [soft] skills for students. For example, it’s hard to replicate in online classes the feeling you get when standing up and looking at a bunch of people sitting there looking at you. This does that. It also offers visual feedback from the audience, so you can learn how to read an audience and adapt your message.”
The importance of soft skills continues to rise
Soft skills are the personal attributes you need to succeed in the workplace and are related to how you work with and relate to others — in other words, people skills. These skills are especially important right now – as people are going to work and school from home, those without strong soft skills may find it difficult to succeed.
When you build strengths in these areas, you’ll have great time management skills, the ability to communicate and collaborate effectively – even in difficult circumstances, and you’ll possess a strong work ethic. What employer wouldn’t want to hire someone with those skills?
So, one of the best ways to prepare yourself for when the economy rebounds is by working to build them. Candidates with strong soft skills will always be in high demand for almost all occupations.
Some careers may be more resilient
Crises reveal how certain occupations better fit the needs of society during times of change. The most resilient jobs will be different depending on the type of change going on in society but this pandemic clearly shows which jobs are important now and will likely continue to be in the future. Careers such as those in healthcare, the tech industry, finance, supply chain management and jobs that can be done remotely are proving to be resilient. For students interested in jobs that could be considered more resilient now, here are some two-year and four-year degrees to explore.
Healthcare and other health-related fields
- Health Information Technology
- Health Services Administration
- Medical Assisting
- Medical Case Management
- Occupational Therapy
- Biological Laboratory Sciences (medical research)
Technology and computer sciences
- Computer Information Systems
- Computer Science
- Cyber Defense
- Cyber Forensics
- Technology Project Management
Business and supply chain management
- Business Administration
- Human Resource Management
- Industrial Production Management
Jobs that can be done remotely
Community is more important than ever
The current pandemic has shown the importance of community in many ways. With social distancing as the new norm, people are realizing how important personal contact and communication is – whether it’s with family, friends or coworkers.
People are reaching out to each other to ensure one another’s safety or lend a hand in this time of crisis. Local businesses and organizations depend on their communities to support them. These examples show us how important human relationships are to our survival. And often – without reminders or hard times like these – that’s all too easy to forget.
Community importance is also tied to our fight against coronavirus. Addressing this importance, clinical psychologist Dr. Josh Gressel said in a Psychology Today article, “One person alone can infect hundreds, undoing the work of thousands who struggle to socially isolate themselves…the differences between people or countries drop away when we’re united together against a common threat.”
The importance of communities working together to ensure that this outbreak ends sooner couldn’t be clearer right now.
Have you noticed any emerging trends? Share them with us by commenting below.