Sun | Oct 1, 2023

Changing face of jobs in the 21 st Century

Published:Friday | August 25, 2017 | 12:00 AM
In this Tuesday, December 13, 2016, file photo, the Waymo driverless car is displayed during a Google event, in San Francisco.
A doctor holding an electronic tablet and connecting to electronic medical records via WiFi to cloud computing applications

In 2006, Facebook was in its infancy, Twitter was being launched, and nobody had iPhones. Ten years on, the world is a very different place, and so is the workplace.

Jobs exist now that we had never heard of a decade ago. One estimate suggests that 65 per cent of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that aren't on our radar yet.

This pace of change is only going to get faster thanks to rapid advances in the fields of robotics, driverless transport, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, advanced materials, and genomics, according to the World Economic Forum's latest annual Human Capital Index.

From Uber drivers to millennial generation experts, here's a selection of 10 occupations that weren't around in 2006.


App developer


The iPhone arrived in 2007 and the Android shortly after, and now nearly half the world's adults have a smartphone.

Smartphones are more common in Europe, the US, and less in developing countries

This has generated a huge appetite for apps: in July 2015, Android's Google Play and Apple's App Store had 1.6 million and 1.5 million apps, respectively. As a result, there is a booming market for app developers.


Social media manager


Back in 2006, there was no need for social media managers as most platforms had yet to be created. Today, Facebook has more than 1.5 billion users worldwide, and, alongside other platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, has become an indispensable marketing tool with which brands can engage with consumers.


Uber driver


The app-based ride-hailing company was only founded in 2009 but has already grown to become the world's most valuable start-up at $62 billion. In 2015, Uber doubled the number of active drivers on its US platform, and the company is announcing new services in cities around the globe.

However, it seems that in the not-too-distant future the Uber driver may become a thing of the past the company is eyeing up self-driving cars.


Driverless car engineer


While driverless cars look set to wipe out the roles of taxi drivers and couriers, they are also beginning to create some new jobs as well.

Driverless cars won't be able to mend themselves, so engineers, mechanics, and software developers who work on vehicles will be increasingly in demand in the not-too-distant future.


Cloud computing specialist


A decade ago, if somebody said they worked in the cloud,

you might well have wondered what they were talking about. The term apparently emerged from a 2006 conference where Eric Schmidt described Google's approach to software as 'cloud computing'.

Today, over half of US businesses use it, and cloud management, engineering, and strategising have become occupations.


Big data analyst/data scientist


With volumes of data growing at a rate of 40 per cent per year, it's no wonder that people who can analyse and process all this information are in high demand.


Sustainability manager


Sustainability is becoming increasingly important to organisations these days. Even companies that aren't working in 'green' sectors are hiring people to help them use their resources more effectively and make environmentally friendly decisions.


YouTube content creators


Thanks to YouTube and other video-sharing platforms that followed in its wake, video-blogging or 'vlogging' is now a career, with the most successful YouTube stars attracting millions of dollars through advertising, social media management and sponsorship deals.


Drone operators


The global market for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has been growing rapidly, creating job opportunities for drone operators.


Millennial generational expert


In 2006, most millennials were still at school. Fast forward 10 years, and they're a significant proportion of the workforce.

Millennial generational experts help companies understand the values and expectations of their youngest employees, and how to engage with them.

- Written by Rachel Hallett, and Rosamond Hutt, Formative Content, article sourced from World Economic Forum