Change Careers Post Covid-19 Without Returning to School

  | 5 min read
Change careers

The Covid-19 pandemic has greatly impacted economies across the world leaving in its wake numerous layoffs and salary cuts. If you are among the affected of you can see the signs, it might be time to quickly re-strategise your career path and re-align your plans to take advantage of the available opportunities.  

Take advantage of the numerous free or premium courses online to become a expert in another role and excel in it. Who knows, you might like it after all. Here are some available career paths that would take a shorter time to master. 

  1. Digital Marketing and Social Media Management

Digital marketing

Digital marketing and traditional marketing are becoming heavily merged as social and online platforms start taking a more dominant role in organisations.

Education Needed

Most organisations don’t necessarily look for a particular degree to fill this position, as it is relatively new and constantly evolving. Your key advantage would be to keep yourself on top of the industry. With the great lack of skill in this field, a post-university programme will see you jump to the front of the interview line.

The DIY route is also achievable. Look for YouTube tutorials, articles, papers and even networking meetings to go to for guidance.

What Can You Expect?

As much as marketing is glamorized as the creative brain behind the organisation, digital marketing can be a whole other arena. Data, metrics, analysis and even coding will become a second language to you.

Possible Positions
  • Digital marketer
  • Social media marketer
  • SEO manager
  • Email marketer
  • Brand manager
  • Content manager
  1.   Tourism and the Culinary Arts

Tourism and culinary arts

When everything opens up and the hospitality industry opens up, you will find more culinary opportunities coming up. While culinary skills require experience, passion and a keen industry in the art can give you added advantage in mastering the skill. A curious and experimental nature will set you apart. With the growth of various platforms to showcase your skill, growth in the skill and attracting potential employers and customers is now easier.

Education Needed

This is varying, depending on the role you are looking for. You simply cannot walk in apply as sous-chef with your engineering degree and get the job. A qualification and some kitchen experience could certainly get you there though!

Should the travel agency life be calling your name, your advantage will be some kind of travel-tourism qualification.

What Can You Expect?

Your nine-to-five will be forfeited in this industry. Kitchen staff work some of the longest hours in the world, apart from medical staff. 

That said, these positions can be immensely rewarding, and if you are a people’s person, you could thrive in these environments.

Possible Positions
  • Head/sous chef
  • Cruise staff
  • Travel agent
  • Event manager
  • Flight attendant
  • Hotel manager
  1. Computer Science and Software Engineering

Computer science

There are currently over two billion websites on the internet at the moment, with the number climbing by 300 to 500 per minute. Many companies are now waking up to the idea of having a digital print and hiring in this industry is expected to go up. 

Education Needed

Although it is advantageous to have a Degree IT studies, most organisations, are more interested in your experience and skill set. Post- university programmes and pieces of training are hugely advantageous here.

What Can You Expect?

Essentially, you will be learning a different language. The role is dynamic and exciting and your reward comes in when the site finally goes live and you start seeing some traffic to it, or when someone other than your mom downloads your new app.

Possible Positions
  • Systems programmer
  • Software engineer
  • Software developer
  • Mobile specialist/ technologist
  • Application developer
  • Programmer/analyst
  1. Media (Video and Sound) or Design

Media studies

If creativity is your thing and you loved playing around with colours and sounds in art class, this could definitely be your next venture!

Education Needed

A Degree in Fine Arts could be advantageous here. But once again; a possible post-university diploma, some eye-catching photoshop skills or sound engineering course could land you a job.

What Can You Expect?

Positions include a nine-to-five, working on a company brand, hand-in-hand with the marketing and content departments. If sound engineering is more of your thing, you could venture into the event industry.

You could branch out and find yourself in the film industry or be freelancing for a variety of clients with your impressive video or Photoshop skills. Just keep in mind here, you are permanently competing for jobs and you could go for months without work.

Possible Positions
  • Graphic designer
  • Digital designer
  • Sound engineer
  • Audio-visual producer/designer
  • Audio editor
  • Video producer
  1. Business, Finance and Accounting

Business and finance

This may seem counter-intuitive but here we are looking toward those more entrepreneurial focused minds out there!

Education Needed

Of course, your BCom, or MBA can go very far here. But so can some really big ideas. You may just need a top-up course on basic accounting, or business management to get your idea off the ground.

What Can You Expect?

Blood, sweat, tears and the high risk of the business failing. The reward is a functioning business that you have created! Start-ups are exploding globally and there are endless possibilities.

Possible Positions
  • Entrepreneur
  • Angel investor
  • Founder
  • CEO or Managing Director
  • Head of product

So, How Do You Start?

The first step would to seek out your new profession. Settling on what to do next could be quite tricky.

  1. Conduct online research or speak to people in the position about your new venture!
  2. Apply for a postgraduate course, postgraduate diplomas or post-university program to get something behind your name. There are numerous online sources that could assist you with this including BrighterMonday Learning,Udemy, Coursera among others.
  3. Build up your experience during quarantine and lock down. Volunteer, freelance, have a personal project or intern.
  4. Have fun! Changing your career can be the most daunting, yet freeing experience of your life.


Doreen Mueke
Doreen is the Senior Content Marketer at Ringier One Africa Media.


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