2016 careers: seven jobs that define our era

Most of us spend as much time online as offline, with web-based activities thoroughly integrated into our everyday lives

The jobs market has been drastically revolutionised over the last decade by innovations in digital technology. This has brought with it a raft of new employment opportunities and here we look at seven jobs that were unheard of ten years ago.

1. SEO specialist

This digital marketing job entails identifying consumer trends to optimise a product or service in Google search results. Ten years ago most marketing jobs were focused offline, with internet marketing a small element of the work; however, being able to identify which key words or phrases will achieve higher Google status is now more than just guesswork – it is a science.

2. Social media manager

Employed to maintain a company’s social media presence, these professionals get paid to network on sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Ten years ago social media was in its infancy, primarily the exclusive terrain of youth. The idea that businesses would one day need to take it seriously would have been unthinkable.

3. Darknet avenger

Not for the faint-hearted, this job entails monitoring illegal drug websites to try to ensure that users are protected from harm as much as they possibly can be. Perhaps intervening to prevent users being exposed to dangerous levels of a drug, or identifying malicious vendors with particularly toxic or contaminated products, darknet harm reduction specialists – as they are also known – will take samples of drugs bought on the darknet and have them tested in laboratories to ensure quality and safety. In this regard, they are monitoring and regulating the darknet market from the inside.

4. App developer

Smartphones were still just a twinkle in the eyes of Japanese mobile technology entrepreneur NTT DoCoMo, which is credited with releasing the first mass-adopted model. Now we all have smartphones and rely heavily upon apps in our everyday life. Apple recorded its 50 billionth app download last year.

5. Inventor of portable intolerance tester

Inventors and entrepreneurs are coming up with increasingly niche and specific devices to help people cope with perceived food intolerances, most notably dairy and gluten. Although there are undeniably many genuine sufferers out there, it is also a fact that one of the hallmarks of our era compared with ten years ago is the hysteria around food that seems to have gripped us. Whole industries have grown up around the fad for ‘clean eating’ and this trend does not seem to be showing any signs of abating.

6. Crowdfunding campaign manager

This is somebody who coordinates and recruits donors for new product development. The role entails monitoring the product’s online presence and liaising with donors to keep them informed about how their money is being spent. They may also act as a PR agent, ensuring media coverage is positive.

7. Blogger or vlogger

Ten years ago, these terms had barely been heard of; now, many are household names, such as Ariella Huffington and teen icon Zoella. Blogging as a concept was born out of online diary websites such as LiveJournal and it is now possible to make a living and sometimes millions out of publishing your thoughts on the web.

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