Five recession-proof careers for 2021

Whether you’ve been made redundant, stuck in a boring job for too long, or you’re looking to enter the workforce for the first time, finding a new career in 2020 is tricky. Lots of industries have suffered as a result of the pandemic and subsequent recession, and won't return to normal for some time. This leaves job-seekers with a problem; are there any recession-proof careers in 2020 that can offer longevity and security? Here, we’ll try to answer this tricky question.

A career in counselling

Because of the effect that the pandemic has had on people’s mental health, the demand for counselling is up 26% in 2020. Many people have struggled spending so long at home, unable to see family or friends. This has led to problems such as anxiety, depression, or substance abuse. Many sufferers have sought help, but haven't been able to receive it, as the demand for counselling services has skyrocketed. It's this high demand that makes counselling a great recession-proof career! If you're keen to begin a career as a counsellor but you've no idea where to start, you might choose to study our NCFE CACHE accredited Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills. This will give you an idea of what the profession involves, and what the life of a counsellor is like. Once you’re sure that counselling is the right career for you, then studying our NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Counselling Skills will allow you to register with a counselling association and start to gain the practical experience you need to qualify. Salaries for this profession vary quite a lot, but you can probably expect to earn £20-£26,000. If you run your own business or reach a supervisory position, you could earn significantly more.

Childcare careers

What makes childcare a recession-proof career? Well, children will always need kind, patient people to look after and guide them. A career in childcare can be challenging, but job satisfaction is often high, days are varied, and career progression is clearly structured. To enter this profession, there are many routes you could take. You might jump in at the deep end and start your own childcare business. Alternatively, if you like the idea of supporting children as they learn and grow, you might decide to become a teaching assistant. If so, you'd need to complete an accredited training course such as our NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning. This course gives you all the practical skills and knowledge you require, as well as the support you need as you complete your placement. Similarly, our Additional Support for Children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) is the ideal qualification if you see yourself working with children with special needs, a challenging yet uniquely rewarding career. Starting salaries for TAs are around £17,500, but those with experience or additional training in areas such as SEN can expect to earn upwards of £25,000.

Personal training

During lockdown, exercise became the nation’s new hobby. Unprecedented numbers of people downloaded the ‘Couch to 5k app’ and worked on their physical fitness. Enter our next recession-proof career: the personal trainer. If you’re fit and sporty, there’s never been a better time to cash in on this opportunity, and gain the qualifications you need either to work freelance as a trainer or fitness instructor, or work at a gym, providing training and advice to clients. To begin your career, you’ll need to complete a nationally recognised qualification such as our NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing, which will teach you all of the basics, as well as allow you to become a REPs registered gym instructor. After this, you might move on to the NCFE Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training, in which you'll study nutrition and the anatomy of the human body, as well as how to work effectively with clients. Afterwards, you'll be a fully qualified personal trainer, ready to start accepting clients. How much you earn as a personal trainer or fitness instructor will largely depend on you and the hours you’re willing to put in, as well as which area of the country you live in. As an average, most personal trainers earn between £20-£30,000 per year.

Beauty therapy career routes

No matter what’s happening, people always want to look good. For this reason, the beauty industry is often considered to be a recession-proof career; even when people can’t afford large purchases such as a new car, they can still afford nail extensions. After a national lockdown, people are desperate to get their nail extensions fixed, or simply to enjoy a stress-relieving massage, meaning beauty salons are busier than ever. If you love the idea of helping people look and feel great, then this career may well be for you. Most aspiring beauty therapists opt for a course which will give them a well-rounded introduction to the industry, such as our Complete Beauty Course, in which you’ll study anatomy and physiology, skincare, makeup, spray tans, and much more. After this, you might choose to specialise in an area you particularly enjoy, such as eyelash extensions or Indian head massage. Once you’re working at a beauty salon, you can expect to earn between £15-£20,000 per year. However, there’s always the option of opening your own salon, or even working freelance, in which case you’ll likely be able to earn much more.

Life coaching

What do Oprah Winfrey and Leonardo DiCaprio have in common? Both rely on the services of a life coach. Life coaching is a term for people who work with clients to improve their lives, and help them meet personal and professional goals. 2020 has seen many people find their lives in disarray. Many have lost their job, others have lost their business, and many more have been forced to deal with weeks on end at home. This has caused a great deal of self-reflection, and lots of people have decided that they’re unhappy with the direction in which their life is heading. This is where life coaches come in.

Although life coaching is an unregulated industry in the UK, clients much prefer to use a coach with a qualification, such as our  Life Coaching Level 3 certificate. This will allow you to apply for registration with the ACCPH (Accredited Counsellors, Coaches, Psychotherapists and Hypnotherapists). The salary for life coaches varies massively and depends only on your skill and work ethic. Some of the most popular life coaches in the UK earn around £500k per year, though when you first start working, you would likely be charging between £30-50 per session. This means that if you manage to gain two clients per day for your first year, you’ll be earning up to £25,000.


Oxbridge are committed to helping anyone unemployed to gain the skills and knowledge needed to find a job. We’ve created a £100,000 fund to subsidise 20% of your course fees for any of our 250+ professional and accredited distance learning courses, ranging from teaching and childcare to counselling and bookkeeping. On top of this, you can enrol on our Job Ready Pack for free, which is a short course covering how to deal with redundancy, create a brilliant CV, and prepare for job interviews.