15 In-Demand Jobs that Didn’t Exist 10 Years Ago

Illustration of a man flying a drone

Every once in a while, when we are reminded of our mortality and how much time speeds up as we get older, we look back on how much society has changed from ten years ago. New products, new services, new technologies, new governments and new trends – a lot can happen over a decade, including new careers. 

Corporations and startups have created unique employment opportunities that may have been alien concepts at the turn of the century. Today, many of them have become popular jobs, with many these positions making it possible for us to attain high-paying (and downright awesome) careers.  

Here are 15 jobs that didn’t exist 10 years ago.

1. Driverless car engineer 

Are driverless cars the future of automobiles? Many of the major automakers, from Tesla Motors to General Motors, are developing autonomous vehicles, spending years and millions of dollars perfecting the technology. 

They have employed driverless car engineers to ensure these cars can function without a human being holding onto the steering wheel. This position’s growth highlights an evolving industry, accelerating a concept that was only found in science-fiction novels 50 years ago. 

2. Social media influencer 

Social media has become a critical component of our lives and economies. We might not want to admit just how much of a role Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and now, TikTok play in the vast marketplace. 

Brands understand the power of social media, utilising it in a myriad of ways. One of the strategies is employing social media influencers to promote a product or a service. Suffice it to say, if a social media personality has one, two or ten million followers on Instagram or YouTube, that individual will be a prime target for companies, whether it is a paid spot in a video or a shoutout in a tweet. 

3. Blockchain analyst 

Thanks to the rise of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, blockchain is quickly transforming into an integral and influential technology. Like cloud computing several years ago, a growing number of corporations are transferring to the blockchain. 

But to achieve this lofty goal, these businesses are tapping into blockchain analysts. These professionals produce and install assets and accelerators that can assist with the development of an infrastructure that communicates with the blockchain. 

4. Podcast producer 

Who doesn’t have a podcast these days? It is estimated that there are approximately 850,000 podcasts with more than 30 million episodes. Considering that half of US consumers over the age of 12 listen to podcasts, this is a vast market. Everyone is getting in on the action, and this is a great addition to the labour market because a new in-demand field has been born: podcast producers.  

This position possesses plenty of responsibilities, such as podcast management, quality control supervision, guest research and guest scheduling. As podcasts become more prevalent among the industry power players, podcast producers will be in even more demand than they are today. 

5. Telemedicine physician 

Telemedicine has been around for a few years, but it has only accelerated in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The sector’s growth has seen an explosion in new jobs, and even the transformation of how physicians practice medicine. 

A telemedicine physician offers remote patient care through virtual communication channels, such as online chat, video consultations and telephone. 

While in-person clinics are here to stay, this is becoming another layer in how medical professionals work with their patients – and another way for high-paying professionals to bill their clients. 

6. Cloud architect 

Many companies are finally caving in and heading to the cloud, ditching their apprehension over this wildly successful technological development. Who are they turning to today? One of the most popular STEM fields: Cloud architects. 

These are information technology specialists who develop the firm’s computing strategy, design cloud adoption plans, establish a cloud management and monitoring scheme, and produce the cloud application design. Cloud computing was in its infancy period in 2011, and it has ballooned in the last couple of years. 

7. Uber / Lyft driver 

Across the globe, there are approximately five million Uber and Lyft drivers. These two companies have changed the transportation game entirely, giving the industry a facelift. They have also ventured from passenger transportation to food delivery and courier service. 

It has been remarkable to witness in real-time. Due to the growing demand, there has been a considerable uptick in the number of people who are maximising their vehicles and signing up as drivers for Uber and Lyft.  

8. Drone operator 

Drones were still very much esoteric technology a decade ago, used mostly in the military. Fast forward a decade later, drones are used in a whole host of industries, from real estate to transportation to content production. 

Chances are, if you have experienced working with a drone, you can gain employment as a drone operator. This is a popular job, too, since these experts are more than likely hobby enthusiasts transferring this passion into a career. 

9. Chief listening officer 

Have you ever been told to put your ear to the ground to understand the latest buzz going around? Well, this has been turned into an entirely new position known as a chief listening officer (CLO). 

A CLO’s primary role is to monitor internal and external communications regarding organisations, from gathering information from customers to devising strategies to increase relationships with clients and employees. The best way to achieve this is through social media and big data, two technologies that were still immature a decade ago. 

10. Budtender 

In recent years, governments worldwide have legalised cannabis, realising its vast potential to stimulate the economy and generate tax revenues. As it becomes legal in more jurisdictions, the job opportunities continue to grow, including the position of budtenders. 

These professionals help novice and veteran customers with medical or recreational marijuana consumption, from testing products to emphasising the experience. While budtenders may not earn life-changing salaries, the position will become as common as baristas and sales associates. 

11. Big data scientist 

Data mining, machine learning, and big data were merely concepts ten years ago. Today, they are part and parcel of how corporations, laboratories and academic institutions operate. 

Without exploiting these advancements in technology, you aren’t trying. Big data scientists gather and analyse enormous volumes of structured and unstructured data, utilising a diverse array of sources to maximise the efficacy of the information, whether it is Google search rankings or Twitter feeds. 

Believe it or not, big data is just getting started, so the demand for data scientists will inevitably swell even more. 

12. Contact tracer 

The coronavirus public health crisis decimated the global economy, but it also spawned new employment opportunities, including that of contact tracing. A contact tracer employs various protocols and tactics to notify, interview and advise close contacts to patients with confirmed COVID-19 infections. Put simply, you identify all the people who came into contact with someone who had a highly infectious respiratory illness.  

Could this be a new career for people struggling to find work? As CNBC reported, contact tracers will likely become a mainstay in the health care profession for years to come, particularly if another pandemic arises in the next several years as the World Health Organization (WHO) has suggested

13. E-sports game coaches 

Hitting baseballs, tossing footballs and shooting basketballs are passé. Now, it’s all about e-sports, a competitive video gaming industry between professional players and teams. 

Whether it is amateur or professional tournaments, e-sports has blossomed into a multi-billion-dollar niche, and many people are trying to get in on the action. 

A new job has been added to the labour market: e-sports game coach. This is someone who has participated in the sport and offers their skills to help gamers reach new heights and improve their gaming skills. 

14. Online dating profile writers 

If you are desperate for love and romance, you have likely signed up for one of the many dating websites and mobile applications, such as Tinder. But if you think that you’re not having much success, you might consider hiring an online dating profile writer. 

These professional scribes have turned into valuable resources for users who want to capture other people’s attention in the online dating pool, using their expertise for writing, editing, proofreading, and constructive feedback. 

This shows how writing jobs evolve and diversify, going from writing IKEA product guides to composing CVs to helping others find love online.

15. TikTok marketer 

Have you been on TikTok? It is another video-sharing social network that has witnessed immense growth over the last year. Thanks to its millions of users, marketers are already taking advantage of the platform, including tapping into the influencers who have a broader audience or opening up a branded channel. 

Just as YouTube and Facebook produced many new jobs that were non-existent ten years ago, TikTok has allowed marketers to add another feather to their caps. 

Life comes at you pretty fast. It is remarkable to think about how much life has changed in the last decade. 

From how we consume content to the type of content that is created, our daily lives have been altered by society’s evolution. And this is only the tip of the iceberg of what has evolved or become new additions to the international marketplace. 

This is not a bad trend because new goods and services also bring about new popular and high-paying jobs. Anything can happen, so one can only imagine what future jobs in the next ten years will look like, which also shows how imperative it is to tailor your skills to the work of tomorrow. 

Which of these jobs did you find the most interesting? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!

This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 20 August 2016.