(and the list might surprise you)

With inflation hitting an all-time high, more Americans than ever feel uneasy about their jobs and seeking new opportunities in search of better pay and security. Our own study found that only 27% plan to stay in their current industry, while 40% actively plan a change. An additional third remain hesitant, but as living costs rise, those on the fence are likely to be swayed. 

With that in mind, we surveyed 21,500 Americans looking to change or enhance their careers to discover the top 5 recession-proof professions — and they are not what you think! 

5 uncommon job skills employers are desperate for amid crippling recession (and will pay a premium to secure)

“Following decades of wage stagnation, our workforce is finally seeking more. Close to a quarter of employees are considering their options and scrambling to expand their expertize. But so too are thousands of others. ‘Skills inflation’ hits, the supply of candidates increases and the number of available roles plummets. Ultimately, mastering mass market skills are unlikely to improve a job seeker's prospects. Instead, employees should focus on acquiring skills that are less common among today’s workforce, yet no less valuable and desirable to employers,” — said Roman Peskin, co-founder and CEO of ELVTR.

These 5 recession-proof skills make you immediately employable

Here are the top 5 skills that, according to ELVTR, can provide candidates with an employability boost, unlocking untapped opportunities to secure jobs in the most in-demand, under-served and highest-paid fields:

1. Product Management

In a world driven by technology, there’s no shortage of innovation or demand for talent in the IT sector, but companies aren’t just seeking technologists. They also require those with product management skills to ensure the success of their products. According to Glassdoor, there are 17,725 current openings in the product management field.

IT product managers can expect a respectable salary and opportunities to progress. Offering a pathway into the lucrative tech industry that doesn’t require the ability to code, more and more career-seekers are looking to follow in the footsteps of former product managers such as Susan Wojcicki and Sundar Pichai.

Average salary, Glassdoor: $96,496 per year

2. DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) Management

According to LinkedIn, the number of ‘head of diversity’ professionals has more than doubled since 2015, with companies such as Electronic Arts, Deloitte and Amazon among those hiring. Shown to boost productivity, employee retention and morale, and with 75% of job seekers evaluating a company’s diversity when considering a job offer, investment in DEI management positions will only increase.

By mastering skills such as communication, issue identification and conflict management, candidates can secure a career in this growing field. Besides offering a lucrative career choice, such roles are perfect for those hoping to leave a positive mark on our workplaces and society.

Average salary, Glassdoor: $89,804 per year

3. Game Production

The gaming industry grew by 26% between 2019 and 2021 and will continue on this trajectory despite the recession, according to PwC, as consumers seek low-cost entertainment. Few people know that, as of today, the gaming industry is bigger than Hollywood and the music industry combined.

With gaming a favorite hobby among young consumers, this ranks as the most desirable industry among job-seekers, with new professionals seeking a career doing what they love most. To beat the competition, candidates will need to master scarcely available skills. This is not just an opportunity for those with coding knowledge and experience. To meet demand, the industry will need to recruit a diverse range of skills — from UX/UI to sound engineering, programming to script writing.

Average salary, Glassdoor: $87,024 per year

4. Creative Direction

With sector job prospects projected to grow 11% this decade, faster than the US job market average, there is an evident need for art direction skills. A decline is unlikely despite the economic situation, as people continue to seek entertainment during tough times and businesses increase their advertising efforts to maintain recognition and loyalty.

Opposing the ‘starving artist’ stereotype, art direction roles enable creative types to showcase their creativity with the guarantee of reward.

Average salary, Glassdoor: $72,694 per year

5. Data Analytics

With an ever-growing amount of data available to businesses, professionals with the analytics skills to transform raw data into valuable insights are in high demand. According to LinkedIn, data analytics vacancies have been growing by 37% annually in the US. 

With roles spread across almost all industries, those competent in data analytics have the freedom to pick a role and sector that appeals to them, such as banking, healthcare, retail or tech. Also requiring above-average computer literacy and mathematical skills, this is by no means an easy profession, but the rewards are equal to the requirements with even entry-level analysts commanding above-average salaries.

Average salary, Glassdoor: $63,731 per year