10 jobs that didn’t exist 10 (or so) years ago

July 15, 2021
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10 Jobs

In honour of the UN’s World Youth Skills Day (15 July 2021), we round up some of the jobs that didn’t exist 10 years ago.

1. Crypto Trader

Blockchain technology has spawned over 1,500 cryptocurrencies, including the big three, Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple. Crypto traders do what all other currency traders do: they forecast trends in the value of cryptocurrencies and buy or sell to take advantage of these fluctuations. Despite the risk and uncertainty that tends to dog these currencies, many people have successfully made this their full-time job in recent years.

2. Uber Driver

Since its first ride in 2010, the ride-hailing app-based service has lured almost 3.4 million people in 10,000 cities into the gig economy. Despite the downside (lack of benefits like holiday pay or sick leave), the gig economy offers levels of flexibility and agency normally reserved for much higher-paying jobs.

3. TikTok Manager

First there was MySpace, then came Facebook, and now, and there’s TikTok. This social media platform is made up of lots (and lots) of maximum 3-minute videos. Big brands are increasingly hiring TikTok managers to curate their profiles on the app to tap into its one billion-plus monthly users. Crocs, NBA and San Diego Zoo, are just some of the companies whose TikTok profiles attract a huge youth following.

4. Drone Pilot

These nifty machines are much more than toys for rich boys (and anyone identifying as a rich boy). Drone pilots and operators are increasingly sought after in industries as diverse as film, security, agri-business, architecture and real estate. And if Amazon gets its way, they’ll be delivering packages to your door too.

5. AI Ethicist

Solving the problem of bias in the algorithms driving artificial intelligence (AI) is key to taking AI to the next level. This task falls to AI ethicists, who are hot property right now due to the diversity of skills required. Successful candidates will be well versed in AI tools and technology, plus exhibit a keen understanding of the business and the industry and the specific AI ethical traps that exist in them. Add good communication skills and the ability to work across organizational boundaries as well as regulatory, legal, and policy knowledge and a grounding in the philosophical, psychological, or sociological aspects of ethics, and you can pretty much name your price.

6. Meal Kit Designer

Meal kits solved two pressing problems during Covid-19: reduced the chances of contagion and alleviated the boredom of having to think what to make for dinner… again. These kits often contain the exact amount of everything you’ll need, as well as a tried and tested recipe. The mammoth task of designing menus that cater to all kinds of diets and tastes has thrust the meal kit designer into the spotlight. A good meal-kit supplier is a find – once discovered, few people go back to mooching aimlessly along grocery aisles trying to decide what to serve the family tonight.

7. Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants are not new, but WFH has made them far more ubiquitous and mainstream. They’ll help out with administrative tasks, keep on top of your emails, arrange meetings, manage your social media and sort out your accounts - anything except picking up your dry cleaning, really!

8. SEO Specialist

While the internet has been around for longer than ten years, the focus on search engine optimization (SEO) has only really taken off in the last decade. An SEO specialist will ensure that a company’s website is ‘searchable’ and – more importantly – that it shows up ahead of the competition when the relevant keywords are entered into a search engine, such as Google.

9. Sustainability Manager

The 2012 launch of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals has seen even medium-sized companies focusing resources on sustainability. It goes much further than assessing and mitigating an organization’s environmental impact and is increasingly tied to strategy and supply chain. It’s also key to ensuring a companies’ social license to operate, and specialists who can apply a sustainability lens to their industry are increasingly in demand in the C-Suite and in boardrooms.

10. Chief Listening Officer

Often outsourced to agencies, efficient social media listening gives companies a strategic advantage as they can swiftly identify market trends, head off potential reputational disasters and pass on valuable customer feedback to marketing, customer service, R&D and production. CLO’s will monitor communication within the company, between customers and the company, and keep an eye on what is being said about the company by billions of users on social media. Facebook currently leads the pack at 1.6 billion daily users, followed closely by WhatsApp (1 billion), Instagram (600 million), YouTube (149 million) and Twitter (134 million), not to mention millions of daily posts on micro-blogging sites such as Tumblr and video sharing apps like Periscope and TikTok.