How to Survive in Job Market without a Degree Post Pandemic

Millions of workers without college degrees were left behind as the country started to recover from pandemic-related shutdowns, despite the fact that firms were rushing to fill unfilled positions.

Due to this gap, businesses’ possibilities of expansion are in jeopardy, and job prospects for potential employees are poor. Finding their position in the economy can feel like attempting to squeeze a square peg into a round hole for many of these people.

A 2016 Report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce revealed that during the 2008 recession, workers with a high school diploma or less lost 5.6 million jobs and only 80,000 of those slots were recovered. When the economy improved between January 2010 to January 2016, 99 percent of the jobs created were for those with at least some college education.

According to economists, there will be 171 million jobs in the country in 2031. Yet, just 30% of them will be accessible to those without college degrees.

LinkedIn’s data compilation showcases how the pandemic of COVID-19 has affected the business, cutting down jobs, and slowing hiring globally. The experts from the LinkedIn writing service report that the economic crisis forces the redundancy and great loss of working hours, making the jobs market in coming 2021 three times more competitive and tough compared to 2020. The potential solution for the workforce warranted by the challenging situation of the fallout is to seek out highly-rated positions and to train for a new occupation.

Business network LinkedIn has analyzed the openings, posted on its platform, and pointed out the roles accessible without a degree with steady growth and attractive salary. Information technology, finance, and sales dominate the list of jobs where you need no formal education. Ready to make a career switch but still undecided what line to choose? LinkedIn’s survey of highly employable positions will be much helpful to consider the most in-demand jobs such as those on this website.

1. Software Developers

Projected growth for technical talent is largely driven by the increasing demand for mobile, health care, and computer security software. The remote developers can be hired around the globe and work from anywhere, saving time and costs for owners. Entry-level software developer’s salary starts from $88,492 on average, middle developers earn $100,975 and the experienced ones are paid $112,985 per year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the growth of their earnings by 15% for the last 4 years.

2. Sales Representatives

sales lady pitching for car sale

Wholesalers, manufacturers, or retailers proceed with selling goods and services during a pandemic. The sales representative’s duties include explaining the product’s features, negotiating prices, getting new clients. In pandemic circumstances many products get purchased via the Internet or phone, leaving the position to stay in high demand. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median pay for wholesale electronic markets, agents, and brokers to be near $88,630-$91,650.

3. Project Managers & Coordinators

New organizations appear and the existing one expanse, requiring more coordinators to supervise these operations. Project managers have control over all activities that help a newborn business to run efficiently, developing it, and planning for long-term financial goals. The employment in this field grows faster than the average, resulting in about 505,000 new positions for the next decade. The median annual wage in this field is near $105,660 in 2020, the payment is based on the highest wage of all the major occupational groups.

4. Computer & Network Administrators

You hardly can find organizations without computers and networks, so all of them need administrators to provide smooth day-to-day system operation. The data communication system, the local area, and wide area networks, ethernet, and intranet should get organized, installed, and supported. As computer administrators are employed in many industries, the need for them is projected to grow 4% from 2020 to 2030. The median annual wage for the position is $83,510 in 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

5. Customer Service Specialists

Good communication skills and patience are useful in interacting with customers for processing their orders. Besides, you may have no degree but should be an expert in computer issues, only in that case, the job is right for you. Nearly every industry eagerly employs customer service to handle complaints or issues. The largest employers are wholesale traders, most telework full time, consulting during the pandemic crisis. Though in 2019 there was a small decline for this position, in 2020, demand goes up. The customer service specialist’s median pay is $34,710 per year.

6. Tech Training

Another potential industry for those without college degrees is technology. For instance, Google has trained 7 million individuals since 2017 as part of its Grow with Google program. The open to everyone, free professional certificate program was created to give non-college educated employees access to lucrative positions in expanding industries.

The certificate program also enables employers to access more varied candidate pools, giving opportunities to people who might otherwise be overlooked due to a lack of academic qualifications.

What is the real score?

Only 2% of workers with a high school diploma will have a good job in 2031, compared to 70% of those with a college degree, 40% of those with some post-high school education, and 70% of those without.

That’s not to argue that those without a college degree won’t have any opportunities. Several businesses in the computer, building, manufacturing, and other industries are optimistic about the prospects and potential of people without college degrees.

High school graduates used to work in many high-paying manufacturing positions, but globalization has relocated many jobs elsewhere. The pandemic made matters worse because while many white-collar employees could work from home, blue-collar employees were forced to report to work in the midst of a public health emergency, assuming they were lucky enough to have jobs at all during the closure.

According to the Congressional Research Service, persons with no more than a high school diploma had a 4.3 percent decrease in labor force participation throughout the epidemic. Among education levels, this number shows the greatest decline.

Some of the reasons people are jobless after the epidemic include that they are worried about their health if they return to work, the pandemic changed their priorities, or they lack the qualifications for in-demand positions like long-haul truck driver or phlebotomist.

Navigating Jobs Market Post Pandemic

There are a lot of unknowns about what the world post-coronavirus, but one thing is certain – life won’t return to how we once knew it. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Soft skills will make up two-thirds of all jobs by 2030, thus fostering and improving the following skills is essential:

Critical Thinking. According to data from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), problem-solving and critical thinking were among the top soft skills candidates lacked in the eyes of 37% of employers.

It’s crucial to be able to think clearly and rationally as you impartially examine information in order to make judgments in an age where sifting through fake news and conflicting data is a daily effort. You probably already engage in this without even realizing it. Asking questions that can lead to more investigation is a sign of a good critical thinker.

Tech Savvy. The widening digital skills gap was evident in businesses all around the world even before the coronavirus. In fact, 82 percent of open positions now call for some form of digital expertise.

But the pandemic has increased the urgent need for specialized digital skill sets to assist organizations in better integrating with the wide range of technologies and platforms available today.

With the Fourth Industrial Revolution rapidly approaching, it is crucial to invest in both technologies and tech-savvy employees.

A thorough working knowledge of data literacy, computer programming, big data, the Cloud, blockchain, and other topics will help elevate your profile above the competition, even though it’s doubtful that you’ll need to be familiar with every system or platform.

Communication Skills and Social Intelligence. Every job role still requires sincere human connection and comprehension, and communication and social intelligence go hand in hand.

Being conscious of and exhibiting empathy for the feelings and behaviors of others is essential, especially when people are feeling unsettled. This is what it means to have strong emotional intelligence. Also, since many of us continue to work from home, effective communication is essential to maintain high productivity levels. This includes being clear in emails and during virtual meetings.

Innovation and creativity

Even though we’ve seen machines and digital technology take on roles in analytics and business operations, humans still stand out for their ability to think creatively outside the box.

Moreover, creativity is not just related to traditionally creative occupations; it is also crucial to every industry and sector. The business environment will need to change and adapt quickly in the next years; for instance, anyone aspiring to work in business will need to be able to access their creative brain in order to guide a business through possibilities and problems it faces.


While more firms are now accepting applications from candidates without degrees due to the pandemic labor shortage, workforce advocates have been fighting back against the so-called degree inflation brought on by the Great Recession for years with some degree of success.

The issues facing traditional higher education coincide with the rise in the number of good opportunities available to persons without degrees. A million seats at two-year and four-year institutions went empty as enrollment, which had been declining for a decade, plummeted sharply during the pandemic.

Even if the door is opened wide for workers without degrees, they still won’t be able to pass through without the right abilities. Finding an affordable method to acquiring those talents and employers’ willingness to continue giving preference to skills over degrees, especially in the event of a recession, are two requirements for their success in the job market.

About the Author

Karen Hampton – Professional Resume Writer Career Coach on LPWS, who knows everything about career exposure on LinkedIn. Excellent at building your skills into a seductive LinkedIn profile and school you in self-marketing.