I can remember being asked as a kid what I wanted to be when I grew up, and that seemed like an impossible question to answer because I simply didn’t know enough about what the options were. I knew what subjects I liked at school, but I had no idea how that would translate into a career path, and whenever adults talked about their jobs, most of the time it sounded like a foreign language. Twenty years later, and the career landscape has changed completely, largely thanks to the massive digital boom of the 21st century. There are a whole host of careers that simply didn’t exist before which may be perfect for digital natives like you! Here’s a breakdown of some of the top 10 you might be interested in…
1. Social Media Manager
Hard though it may be for you to believe, social media is really young. Facebook only launched in 2004 and didn’t enable advertising until 2007- which means even the best Social Media Manager in the world can only claim 14 years of experience at most! Social media is constantly evolving, making this an incredibly varied and creative role that is particularly well suited to young people with their finger on the pulse. For this job, you’ll have to be good at multitasking and managing content across lots of different channels, be highly organised, and always be keeping an eye on what’s new and trending to make/manage great creative content.
Key skills: copywriting (and good spelling!), creativity, time management, eye for detail
2. Data Analyst
Data has recently become the world’s most valuable resource overtaking oil in 2017, according to The Economist. That means data is BIG business, and companies everywhere are becoming increasingly data-oriented, and building teams to help them understand and use that data to become more successful. A data analyst looks at large quantities of data to establish patterns, which then enables businesses to develop strategies to grow and develop, i.e. in sales or marketing. This is an area that’s only going to grow in the future and has great career potential, so if you’ve got a head for numbers or computer science, this could be for you.
Key skills: maths, statistics, computer science, communication
3. Sustainability Manager
Sometimes this is a role that fits under something called ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ (CSR), but this role is focused on making businesses or organisations more sustainable- as you probably gathered from the title. Depending on the business or organisation you’re working for this could mean anything from developing ways to reduce the carbon footprint to helping product managers ensure their products are not harming the environment. It’s a varied role that requires keeping up to date with legislation and working hard to get everyone from the CEO to the part-time staff on board with the sustainability goals. Being good at working with others is a must!
Key skills: communication, team player, organisation, drive to make a positive difference
4. Digital Marketer
‘Digital Marketing’ is a catch-all term for all marketing roles which operate digitally, so it’s not a job title per-se. For instance, you could be an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) specialist working to build up a company’s reputation online, or you could be working to develop digital advertising campaigns. Titles like ‘Digital Marketing Executive’ usually refer to varied roles in which you’re likely to do a bit of everything, so be sure to check the job descriptions of these roles to get a feel for what that company expects from that role. It can however be an exciting and fast-paced creative, and can allow you to experience lots of different sectors.
Key skills: copywriting, time-management, good communication, creative thinking
5. Cyber Security Engineer
In this day and age, cyber security is an essential part of keeping our world functioning safely. Everyone from businesses to the government needs to ensure their information is safe from threats (internal and external), and this is an area that is always going to be in demand. What’s more, this is up there as one of the best-paid jobs in tech, so if you’re good with numbers, have a knack for coding and want a decent paycheck- this could be a good career path for you!
Key skills: maths, coding, computer science
6. App Developer
This career path is a perfect example of how a career in tech can be incredibly creative. When you consider how prevalent smartphones are today, the potential money to be made from app development is huge, and if you’re a creative person with an entrepreneurial streak, app development could be the making of you! But whether or not you come up with the next Big Thing, companies also hire app developers to add a string to their bow, so there’s always a demand for skilled app developers for the creation, testing and programming of apps.
Key skills: attention to detail, coding, computer science, creativity
7. Virtual Assistant
You’ve probably heard of personal assistants – as in someone who helps manage a person’s daily administration so they can be more productive – right? Well thanks to the digital age, a new version of this career path has emerged: the Virtual Assistant (VA). This is a remote role in which someone is paid to manage their clients’ administration and generally support them. As this is a predominantly administrative role, the wage is often at the lower end of the spectrum. However, specialist VAs which provide more technical support in a niche can charge more. Plus, they can work anywhere in the world as it’s a remote job.
Key skills: communication, organisation, attention to detail
8. UX Designer
UX (short for User Experience) is a rapidly growing field that sits at the intersection of marketing, web design and data analysis. With an estimated 252,000 new websites created every day worldwide*, the fight for people’s attention is growing. Online businesses have to work harder than ever to keep people on their website and try and get them to ‘convert’ (make a sale/take the intended action). UX Designers’ job is to ensure that websites and interfaces are designed to perform as best as possible from the users’ perspective. It’s a technical role and requires the ability to analyse the interfaces’ data and interpreting it to make changes, but it can be a very lucrative career.
Key skills: data analysis, computer science, graphic design
9. Content Creator
This is a broad term to describe all careers involving creating content, usually involving marketing for brands, but can also include full-time content creation from ‘influencers’. Influencer culture emerged after the development of apps like YouTube and Instagram, and is now embedded in social media culture. Now, brands recognise the value of high value, trend-led content to carry their message, and pay content creation specialists to do so. While a sustainable career as an ‘influencer’ is still a rarity, turning your passion for content creation (particularly video) into a career by working behind the scenes for a brand could be an exciting possibility. It is worth bearing in mind that pay in this area can vary wildly, with influencer pay being something of a hot-topic at the moment as many brands are seen to take advantage of the lack of visibility over creation costs.
Key skills: creativity, photography/videography, editing skills, social media
10. AI Engineer
Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly evolving, with Big Tech continually trying to bring out gadgets to make AI part of the daily fabric of life. AI virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa are the start of this, but AI is still in its relative infancy, with an emphasis on developing automated services, like self-driving cars for instance. There’s a huge amount of creative potential, and experts are needed to bring this area to life. As this area grows, more experts will be needed, so if you want a career at the cutting edge of technological development- this could be the area for you.
Key skills: coding, maths, computer science
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