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The 15 fastest growing jobs in the UK

Suban Abdulla
·3-min read
Young woman working on desktop computer at home
COVID-19 saw a rise in online shopping, as such, e-commerce personnel tops the list, with hiring hotpots in Birmingham, Northampton, Manchester and Leicester. Photo: Getty

E-commerce, healthcare, digital marketing, professional coaching and freelancing are among the UK’s fastest growing jobs in 2021, LinkedIn says.

According to the professional networking site, which has 29 million members in the UK despite the difficult environment for freelancers, there’s been a big spike in people embracing the gig-economy.

As firms continue to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic, changing consumer behaviour and business needs are creating new job opportunities.

COVID-19 saw a rise in online shopping, as such, e-commerce personnel tops the list, with hiring hotpots in Birmingham, Northampton, Manchester and Leicester.

Jobs including driver, supply chain associate, supply chain assistant, warehouse team lead and online specialist, grew by 143% in 2020 compared to 2019.

Healthcare jobs came in second place, with the sudden and sustained demand for doctors and nurses creating huge demand for people who support healthcare professionals.

LinkedIn saw a 104% increase in healthcare support staff roles, such as home health aides who provide care to the elderly, as well as healthcare assistant, health advisor, health coach and medical writer. Overall, Specialised medical professional roles grew by 58% in 2020.

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In 2020, there was a 44% growth in mental health professionals, including clinical psychologist, mental health counselor, occupational therapist, psychiatric nurse roles.

Following a year of significant job losses across multiple sectors, many people transitioned into new careers, such as professional coaching, to help others regain their footing.

As a result, Life coach, business coach, and leadership coach job titles rose by 101%, with the majority of people moving into life coach roles being women (62%), who worked in a self-employed or freelance basis.

Meanwhile, digital content freelance workers, with job titles including content coordinator, YouTuber, blogger and podcaster, grew by 118% last year.

Social media and digital marketing roles grew by 52% in 2020, this category attracted a younger demographic with an average age of 28, and 68% of total hires were women.

With schools, colleges and universities forced to shut during the coronavirus pandemic, education roles, including english tutor, mathematics tutor, academic tutor, and instructional design specialist grew by 53% in 2020. 63% of total hires in the sector were women.

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Customer service roles saw a 54% increase over the past year, including customer service consultant, customer service advisor, customer support specialist and customer contact representative.

While construction on commercial building projects screeched to a halt at the start of the pandemic, the tiered system combined with the UK government’s cut in stamp duty gave UK home builders the incentive to proceed with projects.

This meant a 132% growth in construction roles in 2020, including mason, site specialist, construction specialist, construction worker and construction site manager.

Residential real estate roles, including real estate agent, property specialist and real estate consultant, grew by 62% in 2020.

There was a rise in demand for engineering roles, which are proving to be a “pandemic-proof” job category. Specialised engineering roles, such as back-end developer, game designer, game developer, reliability engineer and software engineering specialist grew by 45%.

Meanwhile, jobs in artificial intelligence, with roles such as machine learning engineer and machine learning researcher grew by 40% last year.

Janine Chamberlin, senior director at LinkedIn, said: “While COVID-19 has evidently created job turmoil for many, it has also fuelled a wave of roles that are growing in demand as businesses continue to adapt to the pandemic and new restrictions.

“We’re continuing to see job growth in e-commerce, healthcare, customer service and technology roles, but also new growth in digital and creative freelancing and professional coaching as companies require specialists to support their businesses and employees during this challenging time. With a more flexible future inevitable, companies have the opportunity now to tap into new and expanded talent pools, and benefit from greater diversity of people and skills.”

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