5 ‘new collar’ jobs you could land today
IBM CEO Ginni Rometty coined this phrase last month to describe jobs that don’t require a traditional 4-year degree, but do require a good amount of skill. Health care is a great place to find one.
Historically, Americans have defined job types as falling into one of two camps: white collar and blue collar. The line has blurred somewhat recently, especially in health care (think about the proliferation of of health informatics in recent years, a concept that attempts to bridge the gap between clinical and IT work).
That is, until now.
Recognizing the current talent shortage in the “white collar” tech industry, and the challenges for job seekers in other, non-tech “blue collar” industries, from agriculture to manufacturing, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty penned a letter to President-Elect Donald Trump as well as an opinion column for USA Today urging politicians and business leaders to not think in terms of white collar or blue collar jobs, but to broadly consider these future unfilled positions as “new collar” jobs.
So what is a “new collar” job? Rometty believes these are jobs that “may not require a traditional college degree,” she writes. She stresses the importance of looking beyond the four-year degree and instead looking to whether a potential employee has “relevant skills, often obtained through vocational training.” Also, in her letter, she said IBM plans to hire 25,000 new employees in this mold over the course of the next four years, 6,000 of which will be hired in 2017.
With so many industries being reshaped by data science, cloud computing, and other tech-based skill, there are now a crop of new positions—specifically in the IT and health care industries—that could be considered “new collar” by Rometty’s definition.
So, if you’re looking for “new collar” work, here are five promising jobs that exist right now that fit the definition.
Job title: Pharmacy Technician
Company: Ladue Pharmacy
What makes it “new collar”: Long before there was the phrase “new collar”, health care was a promising field for vocational careers. To be a pharmacy technician, you need to enroll in a pharmacy technician program at an accredited vocational/technical college or online program, with some pharmacies offering their own training programs as well. All programs should prepare students to take and pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam. Pharmacy Technicians work under the supervision of a registered pharmacist, where work includes processing medication orders and prescriptions, maintaining patient records, inventory, and other administrative or customer service duties. A quick search for “pharmacy technician” yields over 1,000 results. In the coming years, you can expect to see even more job openings to accommodate the aging population.
Job title: Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
Company: Spectrum Healthcare Resources
What makes it “new collar”: This is definitely a hot “new collar” job. There are over 700 postings for a diagnostic medical sonographer (or ultrasound technician), which involves working under the supervision of a physician and using a variety of technical equipment to produce ultrasound images. To be a diagnostic medical sonographer you’d be required to attend an accredited school of medical sonography. Most employers will also be looking for professional certification. With an average salary of over $65,000, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting an employment growth of about 26% between 2014 and 2024,
Job title: Cloud Administrator
What makes it “new collar”: In her column at USA Today, “cloud computing technician” was one of the first jobs Rometty specifically cited as “new collar.” Cloud computing is a classic example of a field experiencing a shortage of workers, with jobs that could be filled by people who have completed training and certification programs, or are self-taught. Amazon, Google, and Microsoft all offer certification programs for their own cloud products. Cloud computing positions may also require proficiency in scripting languages such as Perl, Ruby, or Python, which can be learned in nontraditional educational settings such as nanodegrees or tech bootcamps.
Job title: Service Delivery Analyst
Company: Mercer LLC
What makes it “new collar”: Service delivery was another field specifically mentioned by Rometty as a job requiring relevant skills, often obtained through vocational training, but not a 4-year college degree. This particular position at Mercer LLC, a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, emphasizes that applicants have three-to-five years of experience in the same or similar industry, as well as Microsoft Office proficiency, communication skills, and experience with prior software implementation and training.
Job title: Cybersecurity Architect
What makes it “new collar”: In her letter, Rometty mentioned cybersecurity as a field where IBM was creating (and hiring to fill) entirely new roles. While some cybersecurity positions might still require a four-year degree, many do not, including the above cybersecurity architect position. Instead, IBM stresses hands-on experience with common, enterprise grade IT and security technologies from major vendors, as well as knowledge of TCP/IP networking, network services/protocols and network design principles. With more and more of Americans’ data being stored online, and a projected 1.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2019, cybersecurity will certainly be a “new collar” job looking for plenty of hires in the future.