The Great-Recession Job Market and its Recovery

Today’s job market is difficult in almost every industry — Reuters news reports that there are roughly three seekers for each open position — and according to NPR the “overall unemployment rate for Americans under 25 remains more than double the national average of 7.5%.” Department of Labor Statistics indicate that during the worst of this severe economic downturn (2008), the total unemployment rate was 10% (with those numbers being far higher for Latino and African American workers, along with the young.)

While things are improving for the unemployed more than they have in several years, jobs are still thin on the ground. It’s an employer’s market, and there is a chance that any job procured can be precarious. The trick is to find what experts call a “recession proof” position — one that tends to better weather the vagaries of an uncertain economy and job market.

(Mostly) Recession Proof Jobs

Throughout the great recession, there have been fields that are more or less recession proof, with jobs that survive even the deepest cuts. People, especially recent or soon-to-be college graduates, often focus on these fields to find solid ground on which to build a career. These include positions that are central to the continued operation of a company. There is a range of areas in which these positions fall, which sources such as CNBC list as finance, administration, and accounting positions, and there is always a shortage of health care workers.

One field with many options that is always mentioned in lists of “recession proof” jobs is information technology, or IT — working with computers, networks, and their design and maintenance.

What Careers are Available with a Master’s in IT?

A bachelor’s degree the bare minimum needed for a job in the field of IT. However, the best jobs and management positions require a master’s degree. A master’s degree usually requires two years of additional full time study once the bachelor’s is completed, although there are an increasing number of programs that allow the student an advanced program of study that combines the bachelor’s and master’s, and allows a shorter program.

Once the master’s degree is achieved, there are a surprising number of possible positions open to the graduate. The Houston Chronicle lists jobs such as network administrator, server administrator, help desk technician, information security specialist, and IT project manager, to name a few. An IT specialist also generally can’t teach at the college level without a master’s degree. Brian D. Kelly, chief information officer at Portage County Information Services, says, “Many entry level jobs today now require a master’s and virtually all senior management and senior professional positions require a master’s.”

In an unsure job market, the target of any job seeker, from the recent graduate to the unemployed, should be a position that stands on solid ground and is less likely to be cut when times are lean or companies decide to streamline. One of the top fields considered recession proof is information technology. The master’s degree in IT has become a must in the professional computer field in recent years, offering the degree holder the best flexibility and upward mobility in an already lucrative field.