The world has transformed a lot since 1988 — spearheaded by inventions like the internet, cellphones and Facebook. No wonder new careers are emerging at lightning speed to satisfy the demand technology created. These jobs for millennials are nearly all tech-, internet- or environment-focused — and many are even work-from-home jobs.
Here’s list of job opportunities that didn’t exist 30 years ago. Keep in mind that some of these new jobs don’t even require a college degree, then judge for yourself how much the work world has changed.
Last updated: Sept. 6, 2019
Amazon FBA, or fulfillment by Amazon, is a booming industry that you might not have heard about. Created in 2005, FBA allows merchants to outsource their products to individuals who work with Amazon fulfillment centers, who sell them and earn a cut of the sales.
Because this is such a young platform, FBA is continuing to evolve and improve. Embraced by digital nomads — individuals who travel the world earning income online — FBA offers work-from-home flexibility, wherever your home might be.
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The blogosphere has made quantum leaps since the early 1990s. Amanda Williams, author of the blog A Dangerous Business, shares about her personal adventures, ideas about how to travel smartly and information on how to make money as a blogger.
Williams said that it wasn’t a “sustainable career until the last five years or so when social media started to take over more traditional types of marketing and more brands and destinations began putting an emphasis on things like influencer marketing.” Through her blog and social media channels, Williams, like many other professional bloggers, makes money by attracting ads, engaging in affiliate marketing and working with brands.
You don’t need any formal education to be a blogger, but it does require excellent communication and writing skills. Writing and media jobs are on the rise — according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field should experience an 8% increase over the next 10 years.
Whether you’re concerned about the environment or hunting for tax incentives, you might have considered owning an electric car. The very first electric car was invented in the 1800s, but the idea didn’t catch on until its renaissance in the 21st century.
Increased demand for clean cars is sparking job opportunities in this market. Clean-car engineers must have at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering and the sciences. The job horizon for clean-car engineers looks bright: Consumers are demanding even electric car innovations, like longer range vehicles, at more affordable price points.
CrossFit isn’t just a fitness craze — it’s here to stay. Developed in 2000 by Greg Glassman, a former gymnast and personal trainer, CrossFit creates individual workout regimens full of constantly varied, functional, high-intensity movements. It also has attracted deep loyalty from customers by promoting a strong sense of community throughout its more than 13,000 global affiliates. Specialized coaches are always needed to teach at those gyms.
You might not know it, but you’re likely using cloud computing services every day. Cloud computing consists of storing information in servers over the internet in the “cloud.” Cloud computing can create new apps, store data, host websites, stream audio and video, deliver software and analyze data — all on demand from an external hub. Careers this field are gaining traction, particularly for professionals including cloud software developers, salesmen, architects and administrators.
With the growth of the internet and the dawn of social media, data scientists are in high demand. Data scientists decipher data sets measured in exabytes — the equivalent of 1 quintillion bytes. Scientists must read structured data, words and numbers, plus unstructured customer comments on websites and social media.
You must have a bachelor’s degree to become a data scientist and many pursue higher degrees. The work focuses heavily on mathematics, statistics and computer programming. All that hard work will pay off, however, because the national average salary for a data scientist is $120,931, according to Glassdoor.
Digital marketing requires knowledge of web analytics, search engine optimization, social media and email marketing, all of which are new, thanks to the internet. Digital marketers must select the best marketing strategy for a particular business and put together online promotions or email campaigns for clients.
“As more companies get digitally disrupted … all facets of digital marketing job growth should remain very healthy. In the coming years, jobs within digital marketing will grow increasingly specialized as the pace of change, and what’s at stake, continues to escalate,” said Joshua Feinberg, chief thought leader, vice president and cofounder of SP Home Run Inc., a company that “help CEOs identify revenue growth opportunities their companies are currently missing.”
Etsy Store Owner
Known as the online marketplace for unique, handcrafted items, Etsy has 1.9 million active sellers using its platform. Established in 2005, Etsy offers digital storefronts for users at an extremely low cost.
Online storefronts, like eBay and Amazon, have been popular for a while, but Etsy is different because it sells only handmade, specialty items. Vendors create and sell their own jewelry, accessories, clothing, home decor, beauty products, toys and more. You don’t need much overhead to start an Etsy store — and you can work from home — so it’s an attractive option.
If you’re planning to have a family, you consider employing a genetic counselor to assess your future child’s risk of genetic diseases. By evaluating your genetic information, counselors determine the probability of your coming down with certain diseases and/or pass them on to your children. If your family has a history of Huntington’s, Tay-Sachs disease — or any other serious diseases — this information could be very valuable.
You’ll need at least a master’s degree in genetic counseling or genetics, plus, a certification from the American Board of Genetic Counseling to work in this role. Prospects for a career in this field are positive — jobs are slated to grow at a rate of 29% over the next eight years, according to the BLS.
Sean Ellis coined the phrase “growth hacking” in 2010 to describe the phenomenon of start-up companies — such as Facebook, Airbnb and Dropbox — experiencing rapid growth. Amanda Orson is a growth hacker for Zift, an app that enables parents to monitor their children’s digital content — she describes a growth hacker’s core objectives as the development of “user acquisition, activation, retention.”
It’s “the process of rapid experimentation to improve results for those channels,” Orson said. She foresees traditional companies embracing this approach to marketing because “it was born of necessity, not intention, as most early-stage startups lack the funds necessary to acquire users through paid means at scale.”
If helping others live their greatest possible lives is your passion, you might consider a career in life coaching. Sometimes known as enrichment specialists, coaches work with clients to address lifestyle issues and create goals to improve their lives. Thomas J. Leonard, considered the founder of the concept, developed the first formal coaching program during the 1990s. Today, it has evolved into a full-fledged profession — you can get accredited professional certification from programs and institutes.
Motion Graphic Artist
Graphic designers have been around for quite a while, but these days, businesses are searching for motion graphic artists, thanks to Snapchat and other video-sharing media. These artists use animation to create striking designs for companies.
With a bachelor’s degree and some computer programming experience, you can make a substantial income as a motion graphic artist. Crissy Bogusz, motion graphics artist on the Snapchat team at Vogue International, says Snapchat and platforms like it that use these types of graphics have “affected how we visualize our stories,” and are “revolutionizing interactive technology, and is leading the way in which brands communicate to their consumers.”
Online Business Manager
Online business managers work the same as traditional brick-and-mortar business managers in that they take on tasks such as daily operations, record keeping and planning. With a bachelor’s degree, you can begin management work, a field the BLS expects to grow by 10 percent over the next eight years.
Businesses have always needed help with optimization. Now, many provide these services online — and it’s a great way to tap into consulting services. If you have talent and experience, can solve problems and work well with clients, starting an online consulting business might be the way to go. Plus, online consulting offers career flexibility, which is becoming increasingly popular.
Of course, like most other business-related careers, you’ll likely need a bachelor’s degree or higher to become an online consultant. Bonus: Management consulting careers expected to have a faster-than-average growth rate during the next 10 years, according to the BLS.
Online Freelance Writer
Writers provide a valuable service for businesses — by drafting articles and creating content for social media — but they weren’t always accessible. Although writers can have nearly any educational background, most have experience in journalism, English or communications. Writers are using websites and freelance platforms like Upwork to advertise their services and reach a larger audience of potential clients. In general, writing jobs experience average growth — they should grow at about 8% per year until 2026, according to the BLS.
Online Health Coach
The internet is even reshaping how we get medical advice. Mary Delasantos is an online coach who studied at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Health coaching “started becoming more common in 2007 and is not yet entirely mainstream, but is heading that way,” said Delasantos.
The BLS predicts very fast growth in the health education field — a 16% increase in jobs — over the next eight years. To become a health educator you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree, plus other specialized training.
Ten years ago, you probably didn’t know what a podcast was but now it’s now a staple form of entertainment for many. The beauty of podcasts is that listeners can instantly connect to content on nearly any topic imaginable.
Podcasters earn revenue through advertisements and platforms like Patreon, which allows fans to fund artists via monthly subscriptions. Growth for radio- and audio-announcing professions has been on a decline during the internet age, but podcasting is showing some notable progress despite its only occupying a fraction of all media.
Renewable Energy Engineer
According to NASA, pollution from carbon dioxide and other human-emissions have caused the temperature to rise during the last 35 years. As a result, renewable energy engineers are working to find new sources of green energy, create more efficient technologies and work toward increasing the planet’s overall energy production from clean resources. Green engineers require advanced degrees, but it’s worth the extra school time because this industry on the rise.
Because search engines are many people’s favorite ways to research products, SEO specialists are marketers’ best friends. Today, websites must utilize search engine optimization practices to maintain greater visibility on Google, Yahoo and Bing. SEO specialists work with digital marketers to target key sales terms, study search analytics and research key words competitors use.
Site Reliability Engineer
Site reliability engineers are in high demand — they tackle software problems to improve a website’s operations, which might involve working with cloud computing systems. The position requires strong programming and problem-solving skills coupled with a solid, cutting-edge, college education.
Social Media Influencer
If you have a substantial following on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube and your posts are related to a specific industry — like fitness or fashion — being a social media influencer could be your calling. Companies search for influencers to promote their products on their social media pages and persuade consumers to buy. Becoming an influencer does not require any education, just a considerable following on social media — within a particular niche.
Social Media Manager
Like it not, social media is here to stay. If managing social media sounds like it’s up your alley, you’ll need to understand public relations, communications and the basics of business, and have experience using various social media platforms. Typically, becoming a social media manager requires a bachelor’s degree, plus some experience working with social media from a business perspective. With social media use becoming more prevalent, job opportunities in the field are looking good for the foreseeable future.
Solar Photovoltaic Installer
Photovoltaic installers assemble, mount and maintain solar panels on the rooftops of homes or other fixtures. Installers typically have a high school diploma and some trade school education. The outlook for solar panel installers is extremely positive — the BLS expects employment in the industry to grow 105% in eight years. Many states offer tax credits and exemptions for installing panels. In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo put forth an initiative for the state to rely 50% on renewable energy by 2030.
As global interest in protecting the environment has grown, so has the demand for sustainable builders. Green construction ensures buildings are erected in sound locations, are energy efficient with low emissions and use water responsibly. Sustainable builders can specialize in design or construction — or in a specialty trade, such as green electricity. Most builders don’t need any formal training, but if you decide to, you’ll likely need to go to trade school or get a specialized bachelor’s degree.
If you’re passionate about the environment but want to tackle it from a business perspective, consider becoming a sustainability professional. The demand for green professionals correlates with the growing effects of climate change and the decline of important natural resources. Overall, employment in green industry is growing quickly — and there’s a need for managerial professionals. Most positions in the field will require you to have a bachelor’s or higher degree.
Hiring virtual assistants is becoming the new normal — particularly in the online business world. From answering emails and phone calls to managing social media accounts and personal schedules to bookkeeping, virtual assistants work for your business from anywhere in the world. By utilizing the internet and desktop sharing tools, assistants can easily manage important business tasks.
Basic virtual assistant applicants will need a high school diploma and training in word processing, Excel and database software. Upper-level assistant positions might require a bachelor’s degree or technical school education. Virtual assistant jobs are on the rise — to the BLS expects a 7% increase over the next eight years.
Within the past five years, demand for quality education across the planet has increased. To teach online you’ll need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree — and likely teaching certification. You’ll also need a working knowledge of the internet and online interfaces. Companies like VIPKID have emerged to help children across the world learn while its teachers enjoy a flexible lifestyle.
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If you love analyzing data and enjoy creating websites, a career in web analytics might be for you. Web analysts examine digital data from videos, servers, social media and external websites, and interpret it for companies so they can improve their businesses. For entry-level positions, you’ll need an associate’s degree and knowledge of Microsoft Office, Google Analytics and social media monitoring software, such as Cision.
If you like design and optimization and know how to code, web development will enable you to use those skills and more. For basic web developer positions you’ll need an associate’s degree, and if you want to be a project manager you’ll need your bachelor’s. The outlook for web developers is strong — the BLS expects the industry to grow by 15% in the next eight years, thanks to projected expansion in online retail and the shift from computers to mobile devices.
In order to make money on YouTube, you’ll need significant subscribers and views. YouTube pays its publishers based on views — mainly cost per click or cost per view ad views, that is. You typically won’t get rich as a YouTuber — 1,000 views equate to only about $3 to $5. The superstar YouTubers routinely reach hundreds of thousands — and sometimes millions of viewers.
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About the Author
Laurel Jacketti Funk is an entrepreneur and freelance writer originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania now living outside NYC. Laurel graduated at the top of her business class from the Pennsylvania State University, earning a B.S. in business administration, focusing on marketing and management.