If you’re looking for new career ideas to kick off 2022, there’s more choice than ever. The pandemic has catalysed new ‘micro trends’ that may influence in-demand jobs in the short term. But beyond the pandemic, there are also ‘macro trends’ which will stand the test of time – the need for more tech-led roles, for example.

The latter may seem a daunting prospect for job hunters. For years, we have seen statistics telling us that ‘automation could replace jobs’. While this is a valid concern for roles such as hospitality, it overlooks the more important point: the digital age has created more jobs than it has taken away.

What’s driving demand in the job market?

The 2022 job market will be influenced by two things: the evolution of technology and the shift in lifestyle patterns post-pandemic. Twenty years ago, roles such as digital marketing and data science were relatively unheard of, if not non-existent.

In 2000, users of the nascent internet were surfing at eye-wateringly slow speeds of 56kbps. Today, the average download speed is 113mbps – more than 2,000 times faster. A sceptic may fear losing their job to the ‘digital age’ but today’s technology simply presents humans with more opportunities to use it, for example:

• Print journalists are now generating online content
• Retailers are using augmented reality to sell on and offline
• Travel agents are using artificial intelligence to find better deals for customers
• Musicians and filmmakers are distributing their art through online streaming services.

Rather than fearing the change, today’s job hunters should upskill themselves. Thankfully, digital has not overlooked learning platforms – distance learning courses are available 365 days a year, allowing students to develop themselves independently.

The pandemic effect

It has also catalysed digital transformation in supply chain, forcing managers to use forecasting tools to better predict demand. And what does that mean? You guessed it – more jobs.

Undoubtedly, the shift in our working and living patterns has greatly affected the labour market throughout the pandemic. With lockdowns and remote working, millions of consumers turned to buying online, with e-commerce valued at $26.7 trillion (£20.1 trillion) globally in May 2021.

These buying patterns have seen a spike in demand for roles such as delivery drivers and warehouse operatives. They are also causing huge issues for the supply chain. Not only is demand higher but supply is lower – businesses are suffering from shortages in staff, stock and logistical resources. This has opened up new roles for supply chain managers.

It has also catalysed digital transformation in supply chain, forcing managers to use forecasting tools to better predict demand. And what does that mean? You guessed it – more jobs.

The most in-demand jobs for 2022

If you’re looking for a new role in 2022 or perhaps even a career change, you’d be wise to keep your eye on these sectors.

Healthcare

The healthcare sector has suffered more than most in the wake of the pandemic – but healthcare jobs will far surpass the current crisis. According to the National Audit Office, the NHS was short on 43,000 nurses for England alone in 2020.

Nursing is the UK’s most employable degree, with 94 per cent of students getting a job within six months of finishing their course. As a starting point, students need a minimum of five GCSEs of grade C/4 or above, followed by two A-levels or an equivalent Level 3 Diploma in Nursing. They will also need to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Other roles in patient care, such as dental nurses, are forecasted to grow in the coming years. In particular, dentistry has been hit by a ‘perfect storm’ of Brexit labour shortages, COVID-19 and NHS contract reforms. Dental nurse roles are relatively easy to get into, with a minimum of two GCSEs. However, there are plenty of opportunities for career progression, with practice managers earning around £30,000 each year.

Careers in mental health

Of course, there is more than physical healthcare to consider. Demand for mental health jobs has been on the rise since 2016 as budget cuts continue to affect the sector. In particular, more and more of us are making appointments to see private counsellors.

Counselling offers a rewarding career choice with salaries of up to £45,000 per year. It is also flexible and can be done in-house at a registered centre or even out of your home if you choose to go freelance.

You can build up your skills from the basics in mental health awareness to more specific counselling, such as counselling for children. Likewise, demand for adult social workers is on the rise, so you may consider a Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care.

Teaching roles

Like many UK job roles, teaching is facing a crisis of talent at the moment. In particular, secondary school teachers are in short supply. The number of secondary school students is set to rise by 15 per cent between now and 2027 in line with the early noughties ‘baby boom’.

Similar to dentistry, there is a lot of room for career progression in teaching. Qualified teachers earn £24,000 per year, with the most sought-after specialisms in science, modern languages and religious education. We offer a vast selection of online teacher training courses, from NCEF Diplomas to specialisms in learning difficulties.

Supply chain management roles

While UK supply chain has suffered at the hands of COVID, the industry has always presented challenges. In particular, macroeconomic conditions such as Brexit have put more pressure on supply chain management.

This kind of role guarantees job security as there will always be supply and demand. Indeed, technology will evolve – 72 per cent of supply chain professionals are planning to digitise in the next five years – but with it, so will jobs. Roles in supply chain management including business analysts, demand planning managers, distribution managers, procurement managers and logistics managers.

Even better, careers in supply chain management have a relatively low barrier to entry. You would benefit from skills in business management and leadership, and can expect a starting salary of £24,000, moving up to £48,000 when you become more experienced.

Web development roles

An IT career switch may have been on your mind for many years – but demand is higher than ever before. This is largely thanks to our changing working practices in the wake of COVID. Specifically, with more people working remotely, there is a higher demand for new software and app development. With some salaries marked as high as £52,000 per year, web development is a lucrative choice.

Likewise, there is also a small barrier to entry. You can work your way up by starting with core IT, numeracy and literacy skills – for example, a Digital Skills course. Once you’ve progressed, you may wish to specialise in a certain area of web development, such as PHP.

Again, web development is a relatively ‘futureproof’ skill as the demand for digital increases. Many recruiters talk of the “global web developer shortage”, so if you are looking to train in this area, start now while salaries are high!

Digital content creator roles

The pandemic may have helped, but digital content creation has been gathering pace for years. Naturally, these roles are attractive because of the fun element – giving staff the chance to flex their creative muscles. But they’re also diverse and well-paid, with the average content creator earning £27,500 per year.

There are many different avenues you could take as a digital content creator. Perhaps you’d like more of an editorial role, which may position you for jobs in copywriting, blogging or social media management.

You may prefer video media, which will open doors for podcasting, video production or video editing. You may even prefer audio only, which again, offers studio roles for those wanting to hone their technical skills.

Then there are design-based roles, such as graphic design or photography. As technology continues to change, more and more roles will become available – many software-based. If you’re just starting out, you may wish to start a foundational course and pick a medium that suits you.

What jobs will be in high demand in the next 10 years?

While it’s great to plan for the year ahead, you may also have a longer-term view. Arming yourself with a range of skills can help you to become ‘futureproof’ – building on your personal strengths and applying them to skilled roles.

Some people even decide they want a change later in life, with many considering a “new career at 40”, for example. Wherever you’re at in your career, here are a few roles to watch out for between now and 2030.

Sports therapy

Sports therapy jobs may shock you as the first on our list, but it’s actually reflective of current fitness trends. Twenty-four-hour gyms have cropped up in major cities over the last decade, pushing up the demand for roles such as personal training or physiotherapy.

There’s also the slightly more worrying trend – sedentary lifestyles. In 2019, it was revealed that Americans are sitting more today than ever before due to office jobs. We see a similar pattern in the UK. With potential back and wrist issues, this opens up a new market for those in need of physiotherapy, chiropractic treatment or osteopathy.

You can find out more about our sports therapy courses here.

Engineering

The rise of Industry 4.0 and the ‘Internet of Things’ has made our everyday lives ‘smarter’. With more reliance on personal assistant devices, smart appliances and AI transport, we need engineering skills to continue building the technology.

Engineering roles start with foundational knowledge in maths and science, so if you’re looking to make a change, you might consider an A-Level course.

Veterinary medicine

If you’re passionate about animals and considering a career change, check out our veterinary support assistant course.

While the pandemic sparked a frenzy in pet adoption, its effects won’t go away anytime soon. With more of us taking in a furry friend, there is higher demand for veterinary medicine. This highly rewarding role takes a significant degree of study but it’s worth it, with starting salaries averaging £30,000.

Data analytics

One for the number crunchers, data analyst roles are the ideal futureproof choice. By 2025, there will be more than 200 zettabytes of data around the world, offering myriad opportunities for job seekers.

Like content creation, data analytics is so valuable because it has so many applications. You may be processing business data to make decisions, or looking at critical information such as healthcare statistics. A great place to start is with a foundational computing course, such as an A-Level in computer science.

Ready to make the switch?

Wherever you’re at in your career, we can help you make the right choice with our online career guides and distance learning courses.

See how you could apply yourself and get set for a new role in 2022.