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10 careers that didn’t exist 10 years ago

Ryan Matthews

Technological change has created new career paths for university graduates to consider – here are ten careers that today's graduates can pursue.
Two young professionals at work

The way we do business is evolving at a rapid pace, and that means new opportunities for everyone. Your degree could now take you into careers that didn’t exist ten years ago, or if they did exist, they weren’t as well known. 

Ten careers for today’s grads to consider

In the digital age, the way we do things in business is evolving so quickly that it feels hard to keep up sometimes. Technology is advancing quicker than it ever has, and it’s changing the way we do things in business every day. The fact is, some of the jobs you could end up in weren’t even around ten years ago. That’s an indication of just how quickly the world is changing, so let’s have a look at ten careers that didn’t exist ten years ago.

Digital Marketing Specialist

Before the online boom of the mid-2000’s when social media platforms rose to popularity, a digital marketing specialist may have existed only to send email newsletters. These days, the role is far broader.

Some of the tasks a digital marketing specialist may be responsible for include:

  • Lead generation
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Email marketing
  • Research, developing and monitoring online advertising campaigns. This could include pay-per-click advertising through search engines, paid advertising on social media or email campaigns.
  • Market research to understand target audience and current trends.
  • Creating content such as blog posts, videos, social media posts and website copy.
  • Developing strategies to turn new leads into ongoing customers.

Almost all businesses perform digital marketing on some level, and many will hire a full-time specialist, a freelance specialist or a digital marketing company which employs those specialists. 

A great example of growth in this area of business is Hachiko, a marketing agency in Sydney which specialises in digital marketing services. Starting in 2012, Hachiko has started to expand its programs into Asia in 2018 and have hired a sales team to drive the growth of the business. They also have further ambitions of launching programs in the US and the Middle East in the near future.

App Developer

Mobile apps are quickly becoming the biggest tool businesses have to interact with their customers. People love using apps over responsive mobile websites because they load faster, are simple to navigate and allow auto-login and easy payments. So it’s little wonder the people who build these apps are in high demand.

For a career that didn’t exist ten years ago, it’s remarkable to think the role has already been essentially split in two. You will usually find that app developers specialise in either Android or iOS application development because trying to develop skills in both systems can be difficult. It’s not impossible to learn both systems, however many people prefer to focus on one or the other.

Patrick Stoddart from DXC Technology studied a Bachelor of IT (Games Design and Development), and now does a mix of app development and business consulting. When describing his job, Patrick says, ‘I never could have imagined being exposed to such cool and expensive technology!

User Interface/User Experience Designer

More commonly known by their abbreviations (UI/UX Designer), these are the people responsible for making your online experience visually pleasing. The roles are often combined, however, there are slight differences. User interface refers to how a website, app or any digital media looks. User experience is more about how easily a user can interact with the program. For example, making websites easy to navigate and interact with other platforms like social media.

UI/UX design is also an integral part of app development. The biggest appeal of mobile apps is their ease of use and convenience, so UI/UX plays a huge role in producing a finished product that allows customers to interact with businesses easily.

Chris Nguyen, UX Designer with Datacom has this advice for people pursuing a career in UX design, ‘A creative eye and an ability to understand visual design is always a good prerequisite to have for any UX Designer.

Data Scientist/Analyst

While data analysts have been around for a number of years, the role now takes on a much more varied scope. Data has become an essential part of business, and on a much larger scale than years gone by.

Data scientists these days are working with what’s sometimes called ‘big data’. The rise of the internet age is partly responsible for the increased reliance on data, as more companies are thinking globally rather than locally. As such, they employ data scientists and analysts to examine this ‘big data’, looking for market trends, patterns and other information to help them make informed business decisions.

Big data is applicable in almost every industry now, and as a result, companies are using it to work out the best ways they can grow successfully. This opens up a range of possibilities for data scientists to be employed directly within organisations or by companies specialising in data mining and analysis.

Simon Mac is a Programmer Analyst with Cognizant, and lists his duties as data forecasting, data discovery, and data insight analytics. He says the coolest thing about his job is, ‘Analysing and discovering new trends and possibilities of the data given to you in your field of work.

Social Media Manager

A social media manager is usually responsible for looking after a company’s online presence through social media platforms. Considering the massive growth of social media as a marketing tool, this is one of the rapidly growing careers that didn’t exist ten years ago. 

The job of a social media manager can often be linked to other roles on this list, such as digital marketing specialist and chief listening officer, however, the jobs are quite different. Because jobs of this nature are relatively new, the positions will vary from company to company, and depending on your area of expertise. This means there can be some crossover of tasks.

Social media management could be a full-time job with a larger company who would pay someone to manage the posting of content to social media platforms as a singular role. Smaller companies though may require someone who can manage their platforms as well as conduct research on market trends and develop online marketing strategies.

The other job prospect in social media management is to work for a digital marketing company, where you may find you’re handling online content for a range of different companies.

Cloud Architect

If you don’t understand what cloud software is, you’re not alone. The technology itself is relatively new and many people don’t understand - or even fear - the cloud. It isn’t as scary as it sounds though, and it basically refers to storing information on the internet rather than individual hard-drives. Many applications you use every day are supported by cloud software – even things like Netflix.

One thing’s for certain though, cloud computing is here to stay and that’s why there’s been a surge in the requirement for cloud specialists. These people are often referred to as cloud architects, because they are essentially responsible for planning, designing and maintaining the systems a company uses for their cloud computing needs. A strong background in IT is required, including good knowledge of operating systems, networking, computer programming language, and most of all security. If companies use cloud software to store customer information, security of that data is one of the key responsibilities of a cloud architect,

Avipsa Padhi is a Systems Engineer with VMWare, a leader in cloud technology. She says regular learning is the key to success, ‘Being a systems engineer is a very dynamic job which needs constant reinstatement from a learning perspective.

Blockchain Engineers

You may have heard of blockchain as the technology that sits behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and hundreds of others. What you may not know, is that the technology has a range of other real-world uses which is putting blockchain engineers in high demand.

In very simple terms, blockchain technology allows information to be stored and shared through the internet without being copied or compromised. There is no central location for the information, nor is it controlled by any one person or company.

Aside from cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology can allow the management of things like digital voting, real estate transfers, payment processing, data sharing and medical recordkeeping to name just a few. 

While still in its infancy, blockchain is a fast-growing industry, and those who are skilled in this field are enjoying one of the careers that didn’t exist ten years ago.

Chief Listening Officer (CLO)

Have you ever gotten nowhere trying to lodge a complaint with a company, only to post something on their Facebook page and almost instantly hear from a representative? If you have, there’s a high likelihood that company employs a Chief Listening Officer (CLO).

A CLO is responsible for monitoring an organisation’s online presence. This could encompass social media platforms or even independent review sites. It’s a CLO’s job to gather information from online sources and pass it on to the relevant departments for action. It’s not all about resolving complaints though. For example, someone posts a menu suggestion for a fast-food restaurant on Twitter, and the post gains unprecedented support in a public forum. The CLO refers this to the appropriate department for a decision on whether the menu suggestion would be profitable.

This is a relatively new job, but with online interaction between businesses and customers becoming easier every day, one of the exciting careers that didn’t exist ten years ago is definitely a Chief Listening Officer.

Sustainability Consultant

As the world focuses more and more on how we’re impacting the earth, sustainability has become big business, and not just for environmentalists. The risk of bad press if companies are engaging in environmentally unsafe practice is enormous, and they even put themselves at the mercy of governments and councils if they’re not doing the right thing. As a result, they’re hiring sustainability consultants to help them create products and conduct their business in the most environmentally-friendly and cost-effective way.

Because environmental sustainability is such an all-encompassing issue, you could find sustainability consultants specialising in mining, energy, food production, manufacturing, automotive – practically every industry imaginable.

Most industries have strict environmental regulations imposed on them by the government, thus making it essential they’re getting the right advice when it comes to sustainability. As one of the careers that were less common ten years ago, the job of a sustainability consultant is to understand environmental laws and regulations so they can advise businesses accordingly.

Artificial Intelligence Specialist

One of the biggest technological advances in recent years has been in artificial intelligence (AI). Many people think of AI as the robots you see in science fiction films, but it’s a lot more than that. In actual fact, you’ve probably dealt with artificial intelligence without even realising it.

Companies are relying heavily on AI to provide instant customer service through their websites and mobile apps. Quite often, if you’ve used the live chat function on a website, you’re not talking to a real person. These are known as chat-bots, and they’re designed to recognise keywords in your questions and provide answers from pre-programmed ‘help’ information.

Some of the new gadgets around the home like Google Home rely on AI, as do services like Netflix and YouTube when they provide you with recommendations based on previous use. Essentially any computer-based technology that has the ability to interact autonomously with humans, or even has the capability to learn through human interactions is considered artificial intelligence. It isn’t going away anytime soon, and you could certainly do worse than a career in artificial intelligence.

Want to know more about your chosen career path? Contact us to let us know and we’ll do our best to make it happen.