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Hiring for these jobs is on the rise in 2021, according to LinkedIn

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In a shift from recent years that have seen tech jobs as one of the most prominent fields for opportunity, the past year showed the rise of human-centric roles to cater to new and urgent needs brought on by the pandemic. LinkedIn's latest Jobs on the Rise report, a special edition of the career site's yearly emerging jobs report, saw spikes in hiring for frontline e-commerce workers, health-care professionals, workplace diversity experts and more as the top jobs on the rise that are expected to continue well into 2021.

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For its report, LinkedIn tracked the growth in listings for over 15,000 job titles to find the ones that increased the most in 2020 compared with the year prior; those titles were then grouped into 15 major career trends that emerged from a year, and corresponding job market, unlike any other.

Covid job trends: Health care, living online, calls for diversity

Frontline workers in the e-commerce space, ranging from warehouse workers to delivery drivers to gig workers tasked with personal shopping, were identified as the No. 1 emerging job trend of the year, thanks to a year dominated by shelter-in-place advisories and ongoing social-distancing practices. According to LinkedIn, hiring for these roles grew 73% year-over-year, and workers continue to be in-demand with over 400,000 open jobs in the field right now.

Meanwhile, loan and mortgage experts were also a top emerging job in 2020, following both the rollout of the Paycheck Protection Program loans, as well as increased mortgage demand during the pandemic-fueled homebuying boom.

Several health-care positions are recognized throughout the list, including nurses, health-care supporting staff (who handle processing and administrative tasks for hospitals and care centers) and mental health specialists seeing skyrocketing demand. The pandemic has both exacerbated mental health trauma while, in some ways, removing barriers to access as providers have moved online.

Elsewhere, as other organizations moved online, they had greater need for workers in business development, sales, digital marketing and user experience to ensure their operations could continue in a new space. Hiring for data scientists and artificial intelligence experts remained strong, LinkedIn says, a sign that successful businesses are also thinking about how to safeguard their operations from future disruptions beyond the pandemic.

Following a year of racial justice protests and calls for accountability, many companies are beginning to do the work of addressing systemic racism within their corporate practices. As a result, hiring for experts in workplace diversity increased by 90% compared with 2019, and many expect the corporate push to continue.

Open jobs continue to be in big cities, despite remote work

While early migration data suggests people are leaving crowded cities for more space beyond metro areas, the majority of open jobs continue to be found in top cities including New York; San Francisco; Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; and Chicago.

"The fact is that cities still contain large populations that need services," says LinkedIn News senior editor Andrew Seaman. "Until that changes in a significant way, we expect to see robust hiring continue in major metropolitan areas." 

"That said," Seaman tells CNBC Make It, "with the rise of remote work, we do expect to see a democratization of opportunity and movement of skills all around the country." He says the share of remote job listings in the U.S. increased by more than 4.5 times over the last year, and as of November, applications to remote jobs made up more than 15% of all applications on LinkedIn.

Furthermore, as the jobs data itself points out: "as remote work and learning have persisted, we've seen a continued rise in demand for specialized engineers, particularly for tools and products that help us communicate and stay connected, as well as for education experts," Seaman says.

What hiring will look like in 2021 and beyond

Hiring trends in the last year will dictate where opportunities are in 2021, Seaman says, and job seekers can take a look at ongoing patterns to position themselves for a new role.

For example, Seaman says, "there is a strong demand for health-care support roles as we continue to navigate this pandemic, such as home health aids, patient care technicians and medical screeners. Many of these roles can be trained for remotely and don't require a four-year degree."

He also says job-seekers can pay attention to the types of skills employers are looking for today in building their workforce and businesses of tomorrow: "Our data shows that in the next five years, we'll see 150 million more technology-related jobs across industries globally, so demand for digital skills is very much on the rise," Seaman says.

The top in-demand technical skills posted on LinkedIn jobs include web development; video editing; SEO; design thinking; UX testing; statistical modeling and data visualization; Amazon Web Services; and Python. Soft skills, including customer service, team building, leadership, community outreach and time management, are also high on employers' priority list.

For the months ahead, here are the biggest job opportunities of 2021, according to LinkedIn, based on year-over-year growth and volume of job offerings, as well as the top cities hiring for each role, salary range based on LinkedIn pay data, and whether the field is likely to offer remote positions based on their posted job descriptions.

1. Frontline e-commerce workers

Top job titles: Personal shopper, fulfillment specialist, delivery driver

Hiring growth since 2019: Up by 73%

Where the jobs are: Chicago, New York City, Washington, D.C.

Salary range: $42,000 to $56,000

Remote job availability: Low

2. Loan and mortgage experts 

Top job titles: Loan coordinator, mortgage consultant, underwriter

Hiring growth since 2019: Up by 59%

Where the jobs are: New York City, Dallas, Chicago

Median salary: $43,700 to $60,000

Remote job availability: High

3. Health-care supporting staff

Top job titles: Intake specialist, health coach, pharmacy technician

Hiring growth since 2019: Up by 34%

Where the jobs are: New York City, Boston, Chicago

Median salary: $65,300 to $106,000

Remote job availability: Low

4. Business development and sales professionals

Top job titles: Sales consultants, sales operations assistant, strategic advisor

Hiring growth since 2019: Up by 45%

Where the jobs are: New York City, Denver, Atlanta

Median salary: $43,300 to $105,000

Remote job availability: Low

5. Workplace diversity experts

Top job titles: Diversity coordinator, inclusion aide, diversity officer

Hiring growth since 2019: Up by 90%

Where the jobs are: New York City, San Francisco, Chicago

Median salary: $72,900 to $97,000

Remote job availability: Low

6. Digital marketing professionals

Top job titles: Growth hacker, social media manager, search engine optimization specialist

Hiring growth since 2019: Up by 33%

Where the jobs are: New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles

Median salary: $48,000 to $96,000

Remote job availability: Medium

7. Nurses

Top job titles: School nurse, certified nursing assistant, nursing manager

Hiring growth since 2019: Up by 30%

Where the jobs are: New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia

Median salary: $73,000 to $111,000

Remote job availability: Low

8. Education professionals

Top job titles: Youth worker, teaching assistant, education consultant

Hiring growth since 2019: Up by 20%

Where the jobs are: New York City, Chicago, Washington, D.C.

Median salary: $46,500 to $63,200

Remote job availability: Low

9. Digital content creators 

Top job titles: Podcaster, blogger, Youtuber

Hiring growth since 2019: Up by 49%

Where the jobs are: New York City, Chicago, Atlanta

Median salary: $46,000 to $62,400

Remote job availability: High

10. Personal and career coaches

Top job titles: Life coach, career coordinator, business coach

Hiring growth since 2019: Up by 51%

Where the jobs are: New York City, Houston, Boston

Median salary: $44,300 to $50,000

Remote job availability: Medium

11. Specialized engineers

Top job titles: Game developer, software engineering specialist, customer engineer

Hiring growth since 2019: Up by 25%

Where the jobs are: San Francisco, New York City, Washington, D.C.

Median salary: $77,500 to $104,000

Remote job availability: High

12. Mental health specialists

Top job titles: Behavior therapist, mental health technician, psychotherapist

Hiring growth since 2019: Up by 24%

Where the jobs are: Boston, San Francisco, New York City

Median salary: $41,600 to $65,000

Remote job availability: Low

13. User experience professionals

Top job titles: User experience design specialist, product design consultant, user interface designer

Hiring growth since 2019: Up by 20%

Where the jobs are: San Francisco, New York City, Seattle

Median salary: $80,000 to $103,000

Remote job availability: Medium

14. Data scientists

Top job titles: Data scientist, data science specialists, data management analyst

Hiring growth since 2019: Up by 46%

Where the jobs are: Washington, D.C., San Francisco, New York City

Median salary: $100,000 to $130,000

Remote job availability: Medium

15. Artificial intelligence engineers

Top job title: Machine learning engineer, artificial intelligence specialist, machine learning researcher

Hiring growth since 2019: Up by 32%

Where the jobs are: San Francisco, New York City, Seattle

Median salary: $124,000 to $150,000

Remote job availability: Low

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