- BBC World News
Despite the crisis, it is not all bad news.
Although unemployment in Latin America surpassed 10% in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, some jobs saw an increase in demand.
Thus, health and technology became the two sectors with the greatest need for workers in 2020 compared to the previous year.
And despite the fact that each country has its own peculiarities, there are some general trends that marked the evolution of the labor market in the region.
Jobs in the technology sector, which had been showing an increasing demand, took a giant leap in 2020 as a result of the confinements and transformations that companies have been forced to carry out to facilitate remote work.
“With the pandemic, the digital transformation of business accelerated. Many companies did in six months changes that could have taken years“Ramiro Luz, director of Talent Solutions for LinkedIn Latin America, tells BBC Mundo.
And due to the health crisis, nurses, doctors and other professionals and technicians in the health sector are being required more than ever.
“The intensive care nurse it was the most critical and most demanded job in all places, “explains Luz.
In this context, the country in the region that experienced the highest demand for this type of professionals was Brazil.
But in addition, in the largest economy in the region, the demand for professionals in the research and development (R&D) sector increased, such as pharmaceutical and biochemical, a new element that makes a difference with respect to the labor requirements of other Latin American countries.
The surprise of real estate and e-commerce
In Mexico, the second largest economy in the region, an unexpected element appeared in the labor market in 2020.
“What has caught our attention is that in Mexico there is a high demand for real estate professionals,” says Luz.
Although the real estate sector took a heavy hit due to the coronavirus crisis, paradoxically the need for a rapid adaptation of the property rental and sale business model was created.
On the one hand, “many corporate spaces were left vacant,” says the expert. But it is also true that with the decrease in interest rates and the price of houses, the demand for workers in the sector rose 54% compared to 2019.
Another phenomenon that emerged in 2020 is the transfer of workers from the bank or the retail towards electronic commerce.
For example, employees who worked as tellers moved to jobs in logistics centers or storage that are critical to trade online.
Without a specific order and considering that each country has its own labor needs, these are, according to Ramiro Luz, some of the jobs with the highest demand in the largest economies in Latin America:
1- “Front-end and back-end” web developer
In the jargon of software developers there are two types of specialists: those who work on the “front-end” and those who work on the “back-end.”
The former develop the part of the software that interacts directly with users, while the latter process the information.
Together with these developers, programmers computer scientists. The latter are in charge of “coding”, that is, writing instructions in a computer language that the computer can read to perform tasks such as, for example, the control of stock in a warehouse or sales record.
Experts say that in a few more years, those who do not know programming languages in developed countries, will not be able to advance professionally, since it will be a required skill as reading or writing is now.
Other jobs in high demand include SAP specialist (business application software), which help to improve all the processes of a company, and computer engineers specialized in the cloud.
Data engineers are responsible for finding trends in data sets anddevelop algorithms to help make the raw information useful to the business.
This profession requires a deep knowledge of database design and multiple programming languages.
It is a kind of job that is in the middle between application developers and data scientists.
Other highly sought-after professionals in the computer industry include validation analysts, machine learning engineers, and data architects.
Given the health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the job with the greatest demand in the region is that of a nurse specialized in intensive care.
However, the demand for doctors and all kinds of health workers rose exponentially.
Beyond the encouraging prognoses regarding the control of the pandemic thanks to the massive vaccination processes, the phenomenon of the growing demand for this type of professionals and technicians is a trend that has accelerated in recent years.
And those countries that are experiencing a gradual process of population aging will require even more health workers in the future.
In the midst of the confinements, the need for mental health professionals, including psychiatrists and psychologists.
4-Health support staff
Added to the above is the need to have nursing assistants, that help patients in their cleaning, care, feeding, medication administration and general assistance processes.
There is also a need for more professionals specialized in rehabilitation, physical and respiratory therapy, and people trained in the care of the elderly.
5-Expert in digital marketing
As businesses were forced to suddenly accelerate their digital transformation, jobs for those responsible for marketing strategies also grew. social media marketing, digital marketing consultants, branding specialists and marketing assistants.
6- Director or coordinator of electronic commerce
E-commerce has given a boost to the labor market in the region.
The field of work is very extensive because it includes from computer specialists to people who perform functions in warehousing and product distribution centers.
The director or coordinator of electronic commerce, better known as “ecommerce manager”,is responsible for managing an e-commerce project and understanding and controlling the sales process online from beginning to end.
Depending on the country, the names of this position vary, although basically it is the figure in charge of manage the business online.
In relation to electronic commerce, other jobs that have prospered are those of delivery people, assistants of the supply chain and responsible for the warehousing team, as well as profiles related to logistics and transport.
7- Customer service representative
With the rapid digitization of companies, the demand for all roles associated with customer service also increased, such as that of a company representative who responds to consumer requirements, as well as supervisors and managers of the team that has this function. .
They are usually the people who work in the so-called “call centers”.
8-Generator of digital content
The position of digital content generator includes people who offer creative services such as copywriters, animatoris, illustratoris, 3D artists and video editors.
9-Business Development Specialist
A business development specialist or business development expert is the professional in charge of identifying new opportunities for a firm or leading a venture from its inception.
He is responsible for researching and creating new projects, managing the resources necessary for their implementation, and putting the initiatives into practice.
It is common for a business development specialist to generate specific analytical models for a signature.
This work experienced an increase specifically in Mexico.
This has generated job opportunities for roles as a real estate agent, property manager or real estate consultant.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.