What are the jobs of the future?

Staying on top of the trends

business man pressing a digital button

The jobs market is always changing: there's not much call for knocker-uppers or leech collectors these days. But as the old careers disappear, new ones come along to take their place.

Freelance marketplace PeoplePerHour says that over the last 12 months, it's seen massive growth in jobs that didn't exist a few years ago. From eBook cover designers to Twitter consultants, people nowadays are fulfilling job descriptions that they simply wouldn't have understood a decade ago.

Most of these new jobs relate to the online world.

"Turn the clocks back to 2003 - the huge potential of the internet was only starting to be realised, and social media was in its infancy," says Xenios Thrasyvoulou, founder of PeoplePerHour.
"Today, just 10 years later, we exist in an entirely different world. The internet has evolved at a staggering pace and is now an integral part of most of our our lives."

The biggest rise in demand, says PeoplePerHour, is for personal social media managers, with demand up 854% over the last year. Similarly, there's been a 684% increase in ads for Pinterest consultants.
Some of these new jobs are relatively high paying, with people charging up to £34 an hour for their services - the equivalent of £272 a day.

"What's particularly impressive is how fast specialists pop up the moment a new internet-technology is launched," says Thrasyvoulou.

"The internet revolution hasn't just changed the way we work, it has also spawned a new and vibrant jobs market, that could have a massive influence on the career paths of future generations, and ultimately change the career landscape forever."

Not all the new jobs are online, though. Some represent a new take on an existing career, such as offering academic tutoring or personal training via Skype. And, says Thrasyvoulou, "Other new unusual roles seeing big growth include family tree researchers, personal shoppers, mixologists (cocktail makers), speech writers and date planners."

Unfortunately, many job-seekers aren't keeping up with the trends. A report from the Association of Colleges (AoC) earlier this year found that nearly half of 14 to 16-year-olds don't feel well-informed about the jobs market, and may be getting out-of-date careers advice from parents and teachers.

"Many of the top jobs available in 2014, such as those in the emerging sectors like energy renewables, IT and the computer games industry, didn't even exist a decade ago," says AoC president Michele Sutton.

"Our research suggests parents and teachers are struggling to keep up-to-date with current and future work trends, and may be unwittingly stifling young people's aspirations and hampering their educational choices through a lack of contemporary information."

More than half of the kids surveyed by the AoC said they wanted to become doctors, teachers or work in the uniformed services when they grow up - demonstrating a limited understanding of the range of jobs now available.

And many of the more traditional career paths are drying up, according to a government report published earlier this year.

"Jobs which have traditionally occupied the middle of the skills hierarchy and earnings range, such as white collar administrative roles and skilled/semi-skilled blue collar roles, are declining at a significant rate due to changes in work organisation driven by technology and globalisation," the researchers write.

"There is evidence that new types of jobs are emerging to fill the middle ground but these have markedly different entry routes and skill requirements."

Professional jobs, too, may be on the decline. Insurance underwriters, paralegals, accountants and auditors all have at least a 90% chance of eventually being replaced by computers, say researchers at the Oxford Martin School.

And, they say, the jobs that will exist in the future will be those that require creative and social skills - just like many of those in the PeoplePerHour list.

It's worth remembering that not all of these jobs will be around forever: it's unlikely, for example, that Pinterest will still be an important enough platform in ten years' time to warrant hiring consultants. But they neatly represent they types of skills that employers will be looking for in the future - and gaslamp lighters need not apply.

Growth in new jobs in past year and hourly rates charged:

Personal social media manager 854% £21

Pinterest consultant 684% £27

Online dating profile writer 504% £19

eBook cover designer 420% £32

Virtual personal trainer 352% £26

Mobile app developer 329% £34

Professional blogger 305% £22

User experience designer 302% £17

Facebook/Twitter consultants 290% £28

Online tutor (via Skype) 177% £18


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