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Top 10 Jobs That Didn’t Exist 10 Years Ago
Alvin Toffler once wrote “change is the process by which the future invades our lives”. One way to mark the passage of that change is to examine employment trends for the past 10 years.
Within the last 10 years, new employment roles and positions have emerged and this is very apparent in the technology sector, which continues to increase its need for new and sometimes unique skills.
As students graduate from their course of study and enter into the workforce to build a new career, many of the jobs they will be taking did not exist and no-one predicted them.
While we can speculate and try to guess what will be essential in the next 10 years, sometimes it pays to look at the past and look at ten of the top new jobs people enjoy today, that didn’t exist 10 years ago:
1. App Developer/Designer
The concept of apps really took off in 2007 when the first iPhone was introduced, followed by Android based mobile devices. This breakthrough opened doors for app developers and designers. Since then, more than a million apps have been created to services consumers’ needs (and wants too!) and are now available in Apple’s App Store and Android’s Google Play.
Apple earned more than $15 billion in revenue from mobile applications in 2011 alone – it’s seriously big business! This has come at the cost of sales of programs that run on desktop computers (or at least only on desktop computers). With the growth of the mobile device market, many of these once desktop-only applications have been converted or redesigned to work on mobile devices as well.
With the continuing demand for apps to run on iOS and Android, companies face shortages of talented individuals who can develop these programs. This means there are plenty of opportunities for programmers and developers to demonstrate their skills and create apps for mobile.
2. Social Media Manager
One of the first social media sites, Geocities, was created in 1994. A decade after that, Facebook was launched and has over 1 billion monthly active users as of 2013. Many businesses see social media tools (including sites like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube) as a very effective niche to build brands with this very promising audience on hand.
That’s where social media managers step in. They develop strategies to help employers and clients get the audience – and results – they need. Social media managers normally possess excellent written communication skills, substantial experience with social media tools and have a marketing background. When everything falls into place, the results can be outstanding.
3. Ethnic Aged Care Workers
Australia (and much of the western world’s) continuous increase in life expectancy, coupled with declining birth rates, has led to an ‘ageing’ of the population. As more people are living longer lives, there has been a huge growth in the demand for services like in-home and residential care.
While overall demand for aged care workers has been incredibly high, and will continue well into the future, there is a demand for workers from many different ethnicities who have the language skills and cultural background to provide care for patients from a diverse range of countries.
Aged care workers frequently train in courses such as the Certificate III in Aged Care, Home and Community Care and Disability Work. This helps them to develop their skills to provide a high level of care and teaches them about end-of-life issues and health-care regulations.
Ideal characteristics for aged care workers are empathy, follow-through, and excellent communication skills, coupled with a strong desire to help some of the most vulnerable members of Australia’s society. Many aged care professionals build on their qualifications over time to advance their career and ensure they’re providing the best care for their patients.
4. Sustainability Expert
A corporate sustainability program used to just involve recycling and was a tiny part of someone’s job. In recent years, with increasing awareness of the environment and knowledge of the finite nature of resources, companies have expanded this role considerably.
These days, almost all fairly large corporations need a professional with qualifications and experience in sustainability to develop and maintain sustainability programs. These can include recycling, waste management, supplier sustainability evaluation and carbon footprint issues. It even extends to reconsidering how products are manufactured and incorporating more green manufacturing techniques and technology, while new facilities are designed from the ground up with reduced energy footprints and renewability in mind.
5. User Experience Manager
“User experience” is what happens when you watch the most anticipated movie of the year in the cinema. It’s when you buy yourself a really cool t-shirt that makes a statement about who you are. It is about the emotions you feel when you use or consumer a product or service; and it’s a substantial component of product ownership or service use.
User experience is particularly important in the technology sector, and ‘User Experience Managers’ first became mainstream in Web-design firms. Their focus was on developing websites from the perspective of the users that would eventually navigate and explore the site.
Today, user experience is a catch-cry for everyone from banks, insurance companies, restaurants – in fact, virtually any company that has reason to assess and enhance the manner in which its customers or prospective customers encounter employees, procedures, products or services. As a result, the user experience manager position has become increasingly common in recent years.
6. Educational/Admissions Consultant
The number of tutorial schools has increased considerably over the years. As much as parents want their kids to have fun and enjoy their childhood, it’s hard not to be swayed by the competition to succeed academically and enjoy the widest range of choice of schools, then universities.
Tutoring is an ancient profession, but it has led to the development of a new interesting role – educational consultant. Educational/admissions consultants work with children and their families to find the right educational environment for the students’ learning needs. This can start as early as preschool, and continue all the way to university.
Educational or admissions consultants are part counselor, but must also develop their knowledge of, and connections with, many different schools and other educational institutions. They need to be experts at matching the right student to the right education provider in order to achieve the best outcomes for the student and their family.
7. Market Research Data Miner
Customer information is an incredibly valuable resource for retailers these days. It is essential to providing the best and most targeted retail experience for consumers, which is why business compile huge amounts of data. This has created opportunities for data experts who are needed to help businesses make sense of their data; analyse it and find behavioural patterns. This allows the businesses to predict future trends for building ‘recommendation’ engines and generating personalized advertising.
Growth in demand for people to fill this role has led to candidates being drawn from fields such as engineering, research and applied sciences.
8. Millennial Generational Expert
The challenge of recruiting and developing young professionals to be future executives is considerable. It’s increasingly normal for people to regularly move between positions and companies, resulting in a high rate of attrition of employees. Businesses must take this very seriously, as each lost employee can represent a considerable investment in recruiting and training, not to mention the productivity lost when there is no one to fill a position for a period of time.
Companies can, however, increase the loyalty of employees and retain great staff for longer by incorporating practices and activities that connect with and lead to job satisfaction for employees – especially among younger workers. As a result, the role of ‘millennial generational expert’ consultants has arisen, offering expert advice on how to engage, motivate and work with Generation Y employees.
9. Talent Manager/Coordinator
Drawing excellent, talented people into an organization and keeping them there is an essential requirement of a good Human Resources department. Within Human Resources, a new position has been emerging – Talent Management.
Companies have started hiring dedicated talent mangers or talent coordinators to plan for and respond to their workforce’s needs, ensuring that dedicated and skilled employees are retained by the business.
Talent managers or coordinators also deal with their companies’ succession-planning programs for board members, so shareholders feel confident and secure about the future of the company should top management decide to retire or resign.
10. Chief Listening Officer
A social media manager may strategise and implement plans to build brands through social media tools; but the person responsible for keeping their eyes and ears on social channels, monitoring real life discussions and keeping the company in the loop is usually the Chief Listening Officer.
Before the rise of social media technologies, businesses normally only had a one way channel of communication with their customers. They could send a message out, but found it difficult, if not impossible, to hear what their clients had to say in return. There were some methods to facilitate two way conversation, but nothing like today.
The Chief Listening Officer’s role is often vital, monitoring and examining mentions of the company’s product on social media sites (such as Facebook, Twitter or Youtube) as well as popular or relevant niche forums. As the importance of listening and responding to the comments of customers online increases, so does the necessity of employing people to fill roles like Chief Listening Officer.
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