The COVID-19 pandemic has created the highest American unemployment rate since the 1940s, with a record 3.3 million people filing for unemployment. Since the job market has changed dramatically and jobs deemed essential such as those in healthcare, supply chain and IT are in high demand, some people may be considering a career change.
With fall classes primarily taking place online in many schools across the country, including Joliet Junior College, this may be a great time for you to train for an “essential” job.
Here are five in-demand jobs you can get with a degree or certificate from JJC:
1. Medical Assisting
The need for healthcare workers to help with COVID-19 patients has caused a demand for medical assistants. Rudayna Jebara, JJC’s medical assisting program coordinator, says that medical assistants are being recruited to perform contact tracing, COVID-19 screening for employers, virtual COVID-19 test monitoring and more.
The American Association of Medical Assistants states in part that “Although medical assistants are employed primarily in ambulatory care during normal times, they have more recently been asked to work in the acute care environment because of the enormous need to deploy skilled and dedicated health professionals to where they are most needed.”
Even before COVID-19 there was a nursing shortage due to a large number of industry retirements. Now there is an even bigger need for them, especially in the hardest hit areas of the country.
JJC nursing students have made the most of remote learning during this time as well, with more time dedicated to telemedicine options.
Lab classes at JJC are possible this fall semester if the state maintains its Restore Illinois Phase 4 status.
Paralegals assist attorneys with organizing and managing cases, conducting research, drafting court documents, and other tasks needed by the law firm.
During the pandemic law firms were deemed an essential service in Illinois, allowing them to remain in operation.
“On the horizon, paralegal positions are expected to emerge in a variety of areas, including: bankruptcy, mortgage foreclosure, business failures, contract and medical compliance issues, unemployment claims, family law matters, housing and eviction, debtor-creditor cases, and criminal, civil and social justice issues,” according to the American Bar Association.
JJC’s Cisco program educates students across a broad section of computer and network security subjects.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Cisco professor Joe Sullivan said that there has been a great need for IT professionals. Companies are in need of the technology to run video conferences, mobile phone support and infrastructure for working remotely.
“Contrary to the general labor market decline, the need for IT infrastructure has had a major boost to support a shift to off-site operations,” Sullivan said.
5. Global Supply Chain Management
The supply chain was hit very hard during COVID-19, with some industries struggling to keep up with the demand for paper goods and groceries, while other sectors needed extra space to store the surplus of goods that weren’t selling.
“Companies are responding to the need to safely and quickly move goods around the world. It is not just the need for more workers, but the need to have better trained workers and increased inventory supplies on hand,” said Bill O’Connor, JJC business department chair.
Fall classes at JJC begin on Monday, Aug. 17 with Flex Start classes beginning on Aug. 31, Sept. 14 and Oct. 12. All fall lecture courses will be online only. Courses scheduled with a combination of lecture and lab should be delivered in a hybrid format, with the lecture portion online and the lab portion face-to-face. This is contingent upon the State's Restore Illinois mandate and achievement of the Phase 4 standard. Lab-only courses will be delivered face-to-face contingent upon the State's Restore Illinois mandate and achievement of the Phase 4 standard.