Although there are signs that the United States is on its way out of the recession that claimed the jobs of millions of Americans, companies are continuing to cut jobs to prepare for a second recession, or cut expenses that are hurting their bottom lines. More and more Americans are now returning to school to learn new skills and prepare for the jobs of the future, and considering the possibility of working from home to offer more security to their family, and cut down on potential babysitting costs. So, what online jobs show a positive outlook over the next five years, and are considered by many to be “recession-proof?”

Online Content Writing

One of the most lucrative and secure jobs on the Internet is web content writing. Many web developers and SEO experts use content writing as a backup plan when there isn’t enough work, and many people are turning to online content writing as a possible career choice. If you choose to become a content writer, you should have a variety of skills, including:

  • A strong grasp of the English language, including proper grammar
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to stay focused and meet tight deadlines
  • Some experience in building websites
  • Basic understanding of HTML and CSS

You also have a variety of choices for how you obtain work. For example, you can create your own website advertising your content writing services, and promote that website to gain customers. You can also visit freelance writing forums to seek clients – but these sites often offer very low rates and are plagued with scams. Finally, you can apply at several sites that accept freelance writers and pay competitive up-front rates for your work. Some sites include:

  • Demand Studios
  • Textbroker
  • Suite 101
  • Associated Content

Demand Studios is likely the most lucrative, with the typical payout being $15.00 for a 400 word instructional article. A good writer should be able to complete two articles per hour – but even completing one an hour offers a competitive rate. Demand Studios also pays writers twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Online Gambling

Believe it or not, online gambling sites offer a safe career opportunity if you are good with numbers and familiar with casino games or poker. Even if you don’t play the games to make money, online gambling offers a variety of career opportunities for tech-savvy people. Some of these opportunities include:

Customer Service: Although there are customer service jobs available, you won’t find any in the United States as online gambling sites are not permitted to operate within the country’s borders. If you have recently been laid off from a customer service position at a brick and mortar casino, you can find employment working at casinos online as long as you are willing to work overseas.

Website Affiliate: Even after the recent closure of many online poker sites to U.S. players, affiliate marketers continue to profit by promoting online poker sites and casinos. Web affiliates create websites about online gambling, then promote links to those sites. Online gambling sites offer a percentage payout based on how much referred players spend at the sites, or a flat rate per player.

Programming: Finally, online casino sites continue to seek programmers to update and manage the complicated software used to operate their websites. While the actual game software is typically provided by a third party software company, online gambling sites still operate large websites to promote their services and entice new players to sign up.

Software Development and Design

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, software design and development will be one of the fastest growing careers through 2016, with the average worker making $85,000 to $95,000 per year. Even if you’re not interested in the technical aspects of software development, there are multiple ways that you can find work within the field. Some tasks that require professionals include:

  • Performing market research
  • Software testing
  • Sketching software appearance
  • Identifying business solutions
  • Coding
  • Maintenance

Most companies will require software developers and designers to earn a college degree, often culminating in a graduate software engineering program. Fortunately, in 2010, there were 654 college software engineering programs available in the United States, including 70 online education programs. So, you can potentially earn your degree and begin your career – all while studying and working from home.

The Internet offers one of the greatest opportunities for skilled workers to find employment. Jobs like online content writing and online gambling offer careers that require minimal experience, instead emphasizing basic skills. If you are interested in going back to school and want a truly lucrative career, earning a degree in software development or computer science will allow you to enter one of the highest paid and fastest growing fields in the United States through 2016.