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    New Collar Jobs – The New Work Alternative. Have You Heard About Them?

    So COVID-19 came through and hit us like a high-speed train derailing everything in its path. For many, our health and now, our jobs. Whew, chile, if this 2020 doesn’t get itself together!

    *rolls eyes*

    As of April 23, the unemployment rate soared past 20% – and the U.S. has lost 26.5 million jobs according to Fortune, and the rate is rising more every week.

    The future looks pretty bleak if I do say so myself. For those of us lucky to have our jobs or some sort of income still coming in, it is a relief and we thank the ancestors for the continued blessings on this one.

    To my unemployed sisters out there, the real question is what’s next?

    If you find yourself asking this question, there may be a ray of hope. It’s called New Collar Jobs.

    A new collar job is defined as a high-quality position that requires vocational training but not a 4-year college degree. Yippeee! 

    It used to be that here in the US you were either a blue-collar worker or white-collar worker, but in the last few years, there’s a new category, and you can fit into it easily if you want to consider a career path in a ‘new collar’ field and have no hangups about working outside of a buttoned-up office setting. 

    There are a few drawbacks, though.

    1. You should also enjoy technical work.
    2. You may have to move. Yikes!

    I know this may not be something you want to consider right now, but when times get tough, you have to shift your preference just a little to make that extra coin, especially if you have a family and they are depending on you to eat.

    A post in the US News & World Report lists the most common areas for new collar jobs. See below.

    For engineering, the hot spots are Grand Rapids, Michigan; the greater Portland, Oregon area; Pittsburgh; the greater Seattle area; and the greater Washington DC area.

    For technology, high opportunity indexes are found in Pittsburgh; the greater Washington, DC, area; Denver; the greater Boston area; and the greater Detroit area.

    For software, the hot spots are Baltimore; Pittsburgh; the greater Portland, Oregon area; the greater Washington, DC, area; and the greater Boston area.

    That means people looking for new-collar jobs have good odds overall in Pittsburgh, Washington DC, and Boston.

    It is interesting to note that half of IBM’s job openings located in West Virginia, Texas, and North Carolina are considered new-collar positions.

    Also, I know many of you know deep down inside it was time for a career change anyway, and thanks to COVID, this might be the right time to explore that.

    The upside to these jobs though….they provide salaries in the top half of the U.S. wage scale. That’s excellent news!

    Goodbye retail! Goodbye, boring office job!

    Hello, tech job! I hope you are as excited as I am. 

    They also offer promising career prospects, thanks to the fact that companies of all kinds are increasingly reliant on online tools and data. Demand is so great that Congress is considering the New Collar Jobs Act of 2017, which would provide tax credits to employers who pay for workers to get training in cybersecurity.

    So what kind of Job qualifies as New Collar?

    According to IBM, new collar titles include application developer, systems administrator, data center technician, software engineer, project manager, technical support representative, and security analyst. 

    I know these sound stuffy and a little uppity but listen, forget the naming conventions and think about the coin. Especially, the part about working for a reputable company that ‘needs’ you more than just wants you. 

    This is a good thing, don’t you think?

    Back in 2017/2018, the most in-demand job titles among employers according to ZipRecruiter were computer support specialists, web developers, NET developers, registered nurses, field service engineers, physical therapy assistants, medical assistants, and cable installation technicians.

    Today, the most in-demand jobs are in cloud computing technicians, cybersecurity analysts, artificial intelligence (AI) roles, and other IT roles. 

    How do I get one of these New Collar Jobs?

    ABCNews recently shared where to find these jobs. They did caution that you do need the right training, which IBM is offering for free. 

    The company, along with 600 major companies launched a program called ‘Open P-Tech‘, a free digital education platform focused on workplace learning and digital skills. It equips 14-20-year old learners and educators with foundational technology competencies, preparing them for these well paying, in-demand jobs. Open P-Tech offers online training. 

    For adults, the IBM Tech Re-Entry Program is a paid returnship for technical professionals who have been out of the workforce for at least 24 months and are looking to re-enter the workforce. The program provides participants training, access to tools and technology, mentorship, and work assignments on technical projects that are matched to their expertise.

    Also, the IBM Apprenticeship Program, which is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor, includes a 12-24 month program that pairs apprentices with an IBM mentor to work on actual IBM projects in technology’s fastest-growing fields, such as cybersecurity, mainframe administration, and software development. 

    Other Resources For Training


    Department of Labor

    If you’re wondering OMG I don’t have any coding skills…I can’t do this… fear not my sister. IBM’s Executive Chairman, Virginia Rometty says it’s not about having coding skills, but more about the soft skills. 

    (It is worth noting that Rometty started out on food stamps and is now at the top of the IBM food chain).

    Other Sources

    Another area that most people don’t know about is data management experts who collect and process cancer data. These positions do not require you to work from the office, but you do have to have a few things. And the average salary is about $57,049. 

    In terms of skills, you need these: Organization, Data Collection, Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, Time Management, Communication, Knowledge of Anatomy & Physiology, Presentation, Data Analysis

    In terms of Personality/Qualities, you need to be: Analytical, Detail-Oriented, Investigative, Disciplined, Multitasking, Meticulous, Focused, Persevering, Motivated

    AATS has a link to the cancer data manager positions, so if you’re interested, contact us ASAP!

    MarketWatch shared these alternative areas to consider:

    Think pharmaceutical and biomedical companies researching vaccines or treatments like Gilead. Or communication technology companies like Zoom that have boomed in popularity. There’s even been hiring growth in the bidet industry, as consumers look for alternatives to toilet paper.” Crazy, right?!

    Something immediate to consider is jobs associated with logistics and delivery. Now that people are at home, online shopping has increased, and someone needs to get the packages ready and get them out. 

    So sister sister, if you’ve found yourself in the position that warrants a change at this time, don’t be afraid to explore something totally out of your comfort zone.

    Remember, Aunty Michelle Obama told us…

    AATS quote michelle obama


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