Three recession-proof fields you should train for in 2023

Steve Hassinger, Dean of Career Services and Development, Central Penn College //December 5, 2022

Three recession-proof fields you should train for in 2023

Steve Hassinger, Dean of Career Services and Development, Central Penn College //December 5, 2022

As our energy bills soar and our retirement accounts shrink, a recent report delivers some good news for three growing fields that are predicted to be virtually recession-proof in 2023.   

Is your current job among these resilient trio, or should you be training for a new career in one of these expanding fields in the new year? 

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, (NACE) in their just-released “2023 Job Outlook” survey — which forecasts the intentions of employers seeking college students—job-creators in the information technology, management and finance fields seem unfazed by the risk of a possible recession. In fact, they indicated that they are not planning to put the brakes on hiring; nor are they planning to lay workers off. 

The fields with a less rosy outlook in 2023 include retail jobs, food service, and manufacturing, according to the report. 

Many employers have been lamenting the “skills gap” for decades, noting that current job-seekers are not well-prepared for the jobs of today and tomorrow.  Employers often call Central Penn’s Career Services Office, seeking applicants, and are disheartened that the supply is falling short of demand –or is mismatched to their needs. Several major employers in the Mechanicsburg area, in particular, have come knocking on our doors, looking for accounting majors who will soon graduate.  We wish we could produce enough accounting graduates to meet the demand. 

In my 30 years in vocational work, I have never seen a labor market like this one. I hear from employers on a daily basis seeking to hire capable people. They have come to the right place, because area colleges, such as Central Penn, are significantly retooling their offerings to match the current job market.  

Many institutions of higher education have restructured to give motivated students the opportunity to earn a degree, leading to greater employability in a solid career, in as little as a year and a half.  It is a race to graduate students quickly enough to fill these openings.  

The new NACE survey shows a focus on associate degrees, with the hiring of workers with associate degrees now up 56% in 2022-23. It also underscores colleges’ focus on bachelor’s degrees, with 55.2% of companies planning to increase bachelor’s degree salaries in 2023. 

To learn more about how to train for a resilient career that is likely to withstand a recession, in this turbulent economy and disrupted marketplace, and to see the entire report, visit www.naceweb.org 

As anxiety escalates along with our monthly bills, and prices swirl upwards by the fastest rate in 40 years, I am reminded of R.F. Harrods’ 1948 book, which still holds true in 2022: “The most basic law of economics, (is) namely that one cannot get something for nothing.” 

It is time for not only workers, but corporations, to invest in education, to reap long-term rewards in terms of salary, stability and satisfaction.  At Central Penn, for example, we are working with area employers to offer targeted skills training for certificates that take only nine months to complete, leading to job-readiness for work in private security, physician’s offices, banks, grocery stores, long-term care facilities, the insurance industry and more.  

By partnering with educators, employers can brighten the Jobs Outlook for 2023, turning red flags and yellow caution tape into green.