2005 was a much different time. The iPhone didn’t exist, Facebook was only a year old and Spotify wouldn’t be founded for another year. With the lightning pace of innovation, it’s getting harder to tell which inventions will completely change the economy, the workforce and life in general.
But how do you plan for a career that may not exist? If you’re thinking ahead to the future, one thing is clear: technology will become a big part of your professional career. It will create whole new industries and destroy some occupations entirely. If you need proof, look no further than a few of these jobs that didn’t exist 10 years ago, but are an absolute necessity today.
And take some cues from these 30 Job Predictions for the Class of 2019
- Chief Listening Officer
The rise of social media brought with it a variety of positions that needed to be filled. In 2010, Beth LaPierre became the first person to ever hold the title of Chief Listening Officer.
The person in this position is responsible for having an eye and ear on all things involving brand mentions. It’s a mix of customer service and social media. Through workplace conversations, industry information and social networks, he or she is responsible for keeping the company up to speed. Where is the company being mentioned and discussed? Are there negative reviews that can be addressed? What are customer product ideas, complaints and tips that can be passed on to different departments? As we develop more ways of communicating and reviewing products, the need for the role of this listener is only expected to increase in the coming years.
- App Developers
There’s an app for that — unless you’re living back in 2005. The app store first opened in 2008, so Temple Run, Angry Birds, Candy Crush and those other apps that aren’t games didn’t exist just seven short years ago. What’s more, the app platforms for thousands of businesses had not been invented yet either.How often do you see advertisements that encourage you to “Download our app!” nowadays? App creation has spread like wildfire, and developers and businesses have been fanning the flames for years.
Two years ago, Google Inc. and Apple had more than 700,000 apps each. In 2011, there were over 1,200 apps being released on a daily basis. In just a few short years after the app store was introduced, the app industry was generating billions of dollars, and the trend continues today.
Read about 11 Essential Apps For College Students.
- Big Data Analysts
The idea of big data, or analyzing trends in enormous swaths of data using computer algorithms, has existed for years, but businesses across the country are just beginning to hire professionals specifically versed in big data. A data analyst is one of the most desirable professionals in 2015.
In fact, demand for computer systems analysts with this specialized expertise jumped up nearly 90 percent in 2014.That’s just one occupation in the information technology industry, however. Demand for big data professionals in information technology project manager positions increased over 123 percent in the same time.
- Social Media Managers
Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or Pinterest didn’t exist in 2005 (or they were in their infancy). Social media was more of a hobby than a business pursuit. The younger generation was using it to connect with friends, and businesses weren’t quite in the loop yet.Now, companies big and small are creating whole departments dedicated to social media marketing and managing. Industry giants use social media sites to tailor PR strategies, retailers use the space to draft advertisements and thousands of other entities use the networking tools for recruiting, researching, analyzing trends and more.
To meet those goals, companies have been hiring social media professionals at a blinding pace. Social media positions have increased by more than 1,300 between 2010 and 2014. And with advertising dollars flooding into social media services, it’s safe to say that job prospects will continue to grow.
How to Prepare for Careers that Don’t Exist Yet
So what does all this mean for you? It’s not always easy to prepare for the unknown, but here are three ways you can get ready for jobs that don’t even exist yet:
- Grow Your Network
Developing a strong network of professional contacts is beneficial for any career. Do you have a LinkedIn profile? Even high school students need one these days! Connect with people who live, eat and work around you. But actually engage with these people and develop relationships. Spending time with those who think big will prompt you to do the same.
- Go Beyond Textbooks
Problem solving isn’t something that can be taught. Use your time in school to broaden your horizons by engaging in discussions, attending lectures on new topics and getting involved in a variety of clubs and organizations. The more diverse your knowledge and background, the better equipped you will be to enter any given field.
- Challenge Yourself
No matter what your field of study or current career, you can always find a way to challenge yourself. Take on a new project, implement an updated approach or suggest a new idea. In thinking outside of the box and constantly stimulating your creativity, you set yourself up for success. No matter what new career may come up, past accomplishments will always be an asset and critical thinking and communication skills can be applied to any field.