Which Virtual Jobs Are in High Demand?

By Caryn AndersonLast Updated Jun 24, 2020 7:18:14 PM ET
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Working remotely has been gaining traction in the United States during the past few years. In fact, from 2005 to 2017, the number of people telecommuting increased by 159%, according to a study from FlexJobs. That trend has continued over the past few years as increasing numbers of workers seek the flexibility of being able to choose their work environments — and as increasing numbers of companies see the cost-saving capabilities of having at least part of their workforces operating off-site.

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As COVID-19 has swept across the globe in 2020, many employees with suitable roles were given the option to continue on a remote-work basis. However, other workers out there may be looking for new jobs or may be interested in switching to virtual positions entirely. Figuring out which ones are authentic can be tough, but these virtual roles are all in high demand — and legitimate.

Developer

There's huge demand for developers across the marketplace, with many businesses offering remote-work opportunities. Indeed notes that many developer jobs are also the hardest to fill, with front-end, full-stack and mobile developer jobs making the top six in-demand roles.

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Every business has its own list of things it looks for in developers. Experience working with programming languages like Python and Java is almost always a must. But there are several different directions to take a career as a developer.

For example, mobile developers create the apps used on mobile devices. Front-end developers build websites by taking data and turning it into the site interfaces that users interact with. Back-end developers create the interactive elements of a website, including options to log in, like pictures and create accounts. Finally, full-stack developers work as both front- and back-end developers with extensive knowledge of software development, user experience, quality assurance and security.

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Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistant jobs vary widely in their tasks and responsibilities. At a minimum, virtual assistants need a computer and an internet connection. You'll also need to be a self-starter with excellent organization skills. After all, whoever hires you is looking for someone who can eliminate some of their stress.

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The nature of the job depends on whom you work for. Many virtual assistants are tasked with organizing documents and files, maintaining social media channels and handling billing and accounting issues. Other common tasks include answering and directing phone calls, keeping up with email communications, managing calendars or schedules and researching potential projects and clients.

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Medical Transcriptionist

As a medical transcriptionist, you take voice recordings made by healthcare professionals and turn them into written reports. Some people work in doctors' offices and hospitals, but many medical transcriptionists can work from home. In most cases, you do need to have a good foundation in medical terminology and grammar. Most employers require candidates to have completed a postsecondary educational course.

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Online Marketing

Digital marketers are in demand. There's been a skills gap in the marketplace for years now, according to Digital Marketing Institute. Some of the most in-demand skills include search engine optimization strategy, website development, brand marketing, content strategy, digital project management and data analytics. You'll essentially be tasked with helping businesses target, engage with and attract consumers by using various online strategies.

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For those with the skills needed to perform these jobs well — and the desire to potentially create a remote business — online marketing is a solid option. Some online marketers work as consultants who analyze a business' current online marketing plans to see where the company can improve. Others are hired to create and implement online marketing strategies for the long term.

Designer

Graphic design, web design, user experience and user interface all tend to fall under the umbrella of design. It isn't impossible to break into this remote work opportunity with minimal experience, but the most lucrative and stable design jobs are often awarded to candidates with the experience and know-how to get the job done. Experts suggest choosing the kind of designer you want to be and the role that best suits your skills. Then, talk to other designers, take a class and practice your craft. If you don't have a portfolio, start taking on projects to create one.

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