Finding new careers during the pandemic

Finding New Career Paths during the Pandemic

By Karen Stinneford

In this monthly series of blog posts, called Server to Server, CompTIA Tech Career Academy explains why service-industry workers make ideal candidates for entry-level positions in information technology.

As the recession resulting from the pandemic extends into winter, American consumers remain understandably worried about the future, according to analysts at Deloitte. They found:

  • 59 percent of respondents are concerned about their own health, or the health of their loved one. One-third of people reported feeling more anxious than the week before, with 63 percent attributing the increase to worry about the virus.

People fear contracting the virus while accessing public transportation, recreational services or other accommodations like restaurants, planes, or hotels. 

  • While sales at grocers, liquor stores, sporting good and hobby shops, book sellers and music retailers have increased, retailers in food service and clothing still are struggling.

And despite improving since April, unemployment still is relatively high at 7.9% with more than 28% of respondents concerned about their jobs.


Service industry employees bear brunt of pandemic recession

None of this comes as news to folks working in service industries. Baristas, cashiers, clerks, cooks, drivers, housekeepers, sales associates, servers — just about all have felt the pinch of smaller pandemic paychecks.

Preston Wood used to drive for Lyft in the south Chicago suburbs; before the pandemic, the job was enough to help support his wife and two children. But when COVID-19 hit, people quit commuting and traveling, and his gig money dried up. He found the opportunity to train for a new career in information technology at CompTIA Tech Career Academy. 

“I didn't know what to expect, but I was like, ‘You know what, this is a field I want to get into so I'm going to make the most of this opportunity and do what needs to be done,’” Wood said. “This really has been an amazing opportunity thus far. I'm so happy.”

During the program, Wood learned the technical skills necessary to prepare for the  CompTIA A+ certification exam, one of the leading industry certifications for landing an entry-level job on an IT help desk.

He also received help building professional development skills — such as how to communicate effectively, make your resume appeal to IT recruiters, work collaboratively on a team, manage conflict, problem solve, and think critically.

Now that he has successfully landed a full-time, entry-level tech position, Wood said he is grateful for the pandemic that forced him to think about his future.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to get my foot in the door,” Wood said. “It was an opportunity that couldn't have come at a better time.”


Seizing Career Opportunities at CompTIA Tech Career Academy

While the tech industry hasn’t been unscathed by the pandemic recession, it has endured better than most, Deloitte analysts said.

“No one can say with certainty when the crisis will end or the precise effect it will have on tech companies. But… there are bright spots for the technology sector,” Deloitte analysts wrote. “Cloud services are in higher demand than ever. Videoconferencing and remote collaboration use are at all-time highs as companies scramble to keep employees productive. And companies have a fresh appreciation for the scalability and resilience of the public cloud and have been rapidly shifting to cloud services.”  

The pandemic also will nudge companies to finally make long-overdue improvements in their technology.

“Tech companies have the opportunity to emerge stronger, more resilient, and more innovative,” Deloitte analysts said. “And because technology has changed the way every industry operates, the decisions tech companies make today can help companies from every industry recover and thrive as well.”

In our next blog post in our Server to Server series, we’ll examine what the employment landscape for the tech industry looks like — and what opportunities await newcomers. And throughout publication of this series, we want to hear from you. If you have a question or concern, you can email us at [email protected].

In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about switching careers, check out  CompTIA's microsite on careers in IT. If you’d like to learn more about CompTIA Tech Career Academy and how our program differs from others available, click here.


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