Popular jobs that did not exist 10 years ago

SOURCE: Patrick Smith/Getty Images/AFP
Technological advancement has led to a drastic increase in job creation.

By U2B Staff 

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In a 2016 study by the World Economic Forum, it was stated that 65% of children entering primary school will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist. Today, a majority of popular jobs that are in high-demand, were not even heard of ten years ago.

Technological advances in the past decade have created entirely new career options. The platforms that did not exist ten years ago are today dominating the way we communicate, travel, shop and now, work. These advances have opened up innovative fields of careers, with many jobs to fill.

Here are some popular jobs you would not have been able to apply for ten years ago:

UX Designer

In the 1990s, Donald Norman joined Apple as its user experience architect. The term may have been around for a while, but its meaning has evolved along with technology, forming a brand new field that is crucial in software development. 

Today, UX designers are acquired to design websites and apps that are functional and user-friendly. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that there will be a 3% year-on-year growth (through 2028) in demand for industrial UX designers.


Virtual reality game developer

Virtual reality (VR) has been around since the 1990s, but according to Business Insider, the equipment used to cost between US$50,000 and US$200,000.

In 2012, the Oculus Rift VR headsets were launched by Facebook Technologies, targeting a price between US$200 and US$400. 

With the current retail price, VR headsets are now more widely accessible, which has increased the demand for VR game developers.

Big Data Analyst / Data Scientist

In October 2012, Harvard Business Review published an article titled ‘Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century’.

While the role has been around for decades, in 2012, the supply of talent was extremely short. According to the World Economic Forum, in 2016, data was growing at the rate of 40% a year and was expected to increase 50 times by 2020. 

It makes sense that people who are able to analyse, process, and make sense of data are currently in high demand.


Social Media Manager 

Brands, corporate organisations, non-profits, and even political campaigns rely on social media managers to represent and promote them on widely-used platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn

Instagram, one of the most popular and influential platforms amongst millennials, was only launched in October 2010. Even in their early years, there was no such thing as an influencer. 

Today, influencers with significant followings are reached out to regularly to promote products and services to their audiences. According to Adweek, Merriam-Webster added the word ‘influencer’ to their dictionary in 2019.

Podcast host

The term “podcast” was coined in 2004 by a BBC journalist as a clever combination of the words “iPod” and “broadcast”. However, in 2004 “podcast” was not a word used commonly. According to Visual Capitalist, between 2013 to 2018, average podcast listenership doubled from 12% to 24%. 

Since the boom, listening to podcasts has become a trendy, yet educational and informative hobby for most. Meanwhile for some, producing podcasts has become an incredibly lucrative career.

Rideshare Driver 

Uber launched in 2011 and Lyft followed in 2012. Qualifying as a rideshare driver is fairly simple, and the flexible hours are a plus. This side-hustle, or job, grew increasingly popular since launching. Uber alone employs 2 million drivers worldwide.

Video game streamer

According to Business Insider, gaming is a US$120 billion industry, and live video game streaming constitutes a growing slice. 

Twitch was founded by Twitch Interactive, a subsidiary of Amazon, in 2011, the first video game streaming platform to hit the market. Today, three million active streamers make their living by live-streaming themselves playing video games for hundreds of thousands of viewers.

Google’s YouTube and Facebook’s Facebook Gaming are growing competitors.