Your parents always told you could be anything you wanted to be. That might be true, but in today’s economy and with the rapid changes in technology, the bigger issue is, can you continue to be anything you want to be?
Apps and Clouds and Networks, Oh My!
With Labor Day upon us, I began to ponder today’s job market; specifically the changing face of the job market. I realized there are a number of jobs today that didn’t exist 10 years ago. Every year, Forbes Magazine publishes articles about jobs, one of them being, a list of “10 Jobs That Didn’t Exist 10 Years Ago”, and according to their last list, these are:
- App Developer
- Data Miner
- Education/Admissions Consultant
- Millennial Generational Expert
- Social Media Manager
- Chief Listening Officer
- Cloud Computing Services
- Elder Care Workers
- Sustainability Expert
- User Experience Designer
Much of the fuel for this decade’s new job creation comes from advancements in technology and social media.
Consumers today demand high quality, low-cost products, and to keep costs low, companies have needed to find more ways to cut the cost of goods and services without sacrificing quality. One of the easiest ways to do this is to automate the process. In other words, remove the human worker from the process. Machines don’t get sick, take vacations, need insurance, or complain about their boss.
Social media has also changed how companies do business.
In the past, a company’s marketing strategy was much like a one-way street. They decided, based on research, what messages they thought the consumer would respond to and directed those out to consumers. Then they would wait. Either it worked or it didn’t and was usually judged by an increase or decrease in sales, or sometimes through complaint letters or calls, and later emails. The use of social media has dramatically changed how companies market to consumers. Today, feedback is swift and instantaneous, and consumers are very much demanding a say in how companies “behave”. Consumers insist that companies have a social conscience and take a stand on issues. Hence, the presence many of the jobs on this list.
As an aside, ‘green jobs” haven’t had a significant enough impact in the job market and the economy to be included.
We’ve all seen the lists of jobs that no longer exist such as, Elevator Operator, Bowling Alley pinsetter, lamplighter, Switchboard Operator, Coal Stoker, and Ice Delivery Men. But those jobs became obsolete so long ago and for very different reasons. The jobs I was curious about are those jobs poised to become obsolete due to recent advances in digital technology and social media.
According to Business Insider and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (and in no particular order), the fate of these jobs has suffered greatly due to advances in digital and optical technology, as well as the use of social media to disseminate information.
- Postal Service Workers – mail sorters, processors, mail carriers, postmasters, clerks, and mail processing machine operators – I’m sensing a trend here!
- Electrical and electronic equipment assemblers
- Newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers
Data entry keyers
- Word Processors/Typist
- File Clerks
- Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing
- Reporters and correspondents
- Photographers, Photographic process workers, and processing machine operators
- Office machine operators (not computers)
- Press technicians and workers
I suppose we can surmise that people are slowly being replaced by a machine’s ability to handle, read, collate, store, and send out information. Here, Andrew McAfee discusses some astonishing examples of how machines and advancing technology are and will affect our lives and jobs.
He also discusses how technology may even one day replace some human worker jobs you might not expect, such as that of a truck driver!
Happy Labor Day!