Publisher's Letter: Catching a Career In the Age of COVID

By Rachel Pitre on Friday, September 25, 2020

Dear readers,

These are challenging times. The world is changing every day and testing our resolve as Americans.

But I’m encouraged by the optimism of the high school students I know. In spite of the disappointment of missing proms, graduations and ACT tests during the initial COVID-19 shutdown, they press on with enthusiasm. The world is still your oyster. Therefore, in this magazine, my team wants to share some pearls of wisdom with you by highlighting some of the most important (and high-demand) careers in Arkansas.

In our main issue of Arkansas Next: A Guide to Life After High School, our cover story highlights high-demand careers in health care. Many of those health care workers have been battling on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis.

In this edition of Next Pros, we highlight 15 different careers that have also proven essential to keep our country and our economy moving: Front-line essential workers in manufacturing, supply chain and transportation, agriculture, utilities and construction. These Arkansans are keeping food on the shelves of our stores, keeping fleets of vehicles moving, keeping the lights on (and the Netflix flowing) and keeping us comfortable as we’ve been stuck at home.

Our eyes have been opened to which careers truly are essential to keep America moving! And guess what? These jobs also PAY REALLY WELL and often require less than a four-year degree! Naturally, our key partner Be Pro Be Proud has just launched their Be Essential campaign — learn more at!

So whether you’re just starting to explore jobs, beginning the application process or looking into a whole new career — read on. Find out which fields would be a good fit for you (start with the quiz, Which Technical Profession is Right for You?) and how YOU can also be an essential part of Arkansas’ economy!