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5 jobs that could weather a recession, according to PayScale

With recession fears mounting, millions of Americans are beginning to wonder if their jobs could weather an economic downturn. PayScale, a provider of salary, benefits and compensation data, recently identified five jobs in five industries it thinks could withstand the inevitable job cuts that come with a recession:

Graphic: David Foster/Yahoo Finance

Cloud computing

“Cloud computing is an incredibly lucrative pillar of the modern economy and has the intense focus of the tech giants of the world,” Sudarshan Sampath, director of research at PayScale, told Yahoo Finance. That is why jobs within the industry, such as IT architect, could prove indispensable even during a recession.

“If you think about somewhere like Amazon (AMZN), a lot of their revenue growth is from Amazon Web Services (AWS). The same goes for Microsoft (MSFT) with Azure,” he said. A main reason companies invest in cloud computing is flexibility. For example, it’s easier to give an employee a laptop and have him or her connect to an Azure API or AWS API and compute in the cloud. This reduces material costs by leveraging the relatively cheap costs of the cloud, Sampath said.

Artificial intelligence

Intelligence, machine, industrial, manufacture, factory

Artificial intelligence (AI) was once considered fodder for science fiction films, but in the present day, the industry is all too real. Sampath notes that there are only about 22,000 qualified AI specialists in the world — and that scarcity is what will insulate workers in the field.

Though often seen by many as most useful in a scientific setting, AI can help businesses find the best candidates for a job by combing through job applications. Now more companies are using biometric fingerprint technology for security and data validation purposes, and AI drives all of that.

“It’s a way to look through and comb big data and actually provide insight in an easier way,” Sampath explained.

Cybersecurity

When there’s a ton of cyber data, there is a ton of cyber risk, Sampath said. The massive data breaches and hacks that have taken place at global companies such as Facebook (FB) and Equifax is proof that this profession is necessary, even during a recession, he added.

“There’s so much interaction with tons of different types of data and media that you need to have a better way of protecting it.”

Big data analytics

Sampath tells Yahoo Finance that big data analytics is an extremely complex field that has a lot of different functions. A data scientist who understands big data analytics is an extremely valuable asset who can mold and shape terabytes of data for needs such as codifying and accessing data, he said.

“There’s no point in having all the world at your feet, at your fingertips if you don’t know how to, you know, really engage with it in a meaningful way. That’s where the data scientists and analytics comes in.”

Digital marketing

“Digital marketing is incredibly valuable because a lot of these firms need to find ways to become profitable,” said Sampath of the fifth most recession-proof field. “Like how do you monetize like a Google search?” This was something that many companies did not know how to do years ago, he added.

Digital marketing is growing very quickly because of the way marketing has evolved. “It’s gone has been from the traditional styles of the early 60s through the early 2000s to something that is much more online-based. People in the field have to understand how technology works; you have to understand how Google Algorithm SEO and driving metrics work.”

Recessions are scary to think about, especially when it comes to job security. However, PayScale says that focusing on skills and not job titles is the name of the game — and can be the difference between employment and unemployment during a recession.

AMS

Reggie Wade is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @ReggieWade.

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