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10 recession-proof jobs for people of all skills

By Ben Madden

If you’ve read the news lately, then you’ve likely seen predictions suggesting that global economies may experience a recession in 2023. While it’s hard to predict how dire things will get and how long it will last, preparing for a recession is nevertheless a smart move. There are some careers and industries that will survive a recession better than others, so read on to learn more about jobs and skills that can be considered recession-proof!

What are some recession-proof jobs in different industries?

While there is no universal definition of what constitutes a recession, journalists and economists typically say that a recession has hit when a country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth is weak and volatile for an extended period of time.

While the Global Financial Crisis in the late 2000s hit the world hard, Australia did not experience a recession during this period – and fared much better than many other countries. You can learn more about the definitions of a recession here

Given that the world may experience a recession in 2023, it’s important to look to the future and consider what jobs employers will still look to fill when a recession hits. During economic downturns, people may look to cut the amount they spend on luxury goods and services – which, in many cases, can hit the retail industry hard (however, discount retailers have thrived in previous recessions). Not every industry experiences the same pain, however.

Some recession-proof jobs that are likely to still be in high demand during a recession include:
1. Doctors and Nurses
2. Social Workers 
3. Childcare Workers 
4. Funeral Directors 
5. Counsellor 
6. Accountant
7. Teacher 
8. Auditors
9. IT Professionals 
10. Actuaries 

While these jobs are in a range of industries, they all play a necessary role in our world today. Think about what would happen if any of these jobs ceased to exist – it would negatively affect large parts of society. If any of these roles appeal to you, and you feel like your current role might not be in high demand come a recession, then it’s never too late to upskill/reskill.

Which industries are known to be recession-proof?

Now you know what jobs are commonly considered recession-proof, it’s also worth considering what industries might weather any recession the best. Along with the recession-proof jobs, this can give you a sense of whether your professional future is 100% secured, or if you might want to consider having a back-up plan to pivot careers/industries if the recession goes on for a long time/hits Australia particularly hard.

Some industries that can be expected to stay strong, even if a recession hits, include: 
  • The technology industry
  • The education industry
  • The healthcare industry 
  • Government
  • Law
  • The food industry

Of course, while pivoting to these industries may be desirable, you will typically require a range of job-specific and transferable skills to succeed in roles within these sectors. It’s always worth reviewing your skillset/knowledge and outlining where your strengths and weaknesses are, especially as the job market can get more competitive during a recession. If you’ve ever wondered whether you have recession-proof skills (or if this article has got you thinking), then read on.

What are some recession-proof skills that people should learn?

While knowing what jobs and industries are likely to be recession-proof is important, it’s also worth considering what skills might help you stand out amongst the crowd in a recession. Employment tends to decline during a recession, which will make the job market more competitive. During the GFC, for example, America saw 8.7 million jobs lost from the start of the recession in December 2007 and early 2010.

Some recession-proof skills that can help you stand out in a competitive job marketing include: As an employee, surviving a recession can be difficult – especially if your employer is looking to cut back the workforce. However, being able to demonstrate that you’re a team player, know how to manage your time and can communicate with both internal and external stakeholders will make you an invaluable part of any team. It’s also worth considering how you can demonstrate your adaptability/flexibility in the workforce, as businesses will often need to shift their strategy because of changed economic conditions. 

If you’re looking to upskill/reskill in anticipation of a recession, then it’s worth considering completing further study. Upskilled provides online courses that are self-paced and often take months, not years, to complete, so you can still work while studying.

You’ll learn a range of job-specific and transferable skills that can help you round out your current skillset, or alternatively you can start reskilling in anticipation of shifting jobs/careers. 

Ready to recession-proof your skillset? Upskilled provides a range of nationally recognised qualifications in a range of industries that may help you get through any tough economic periods unscathed. Upskilled offers courses, short courses and bootcamps depending on what you’re looking to study, and you can get in touch with Upskilled’s education consultants to learn more! 
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