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New jobs that are all the rage

A decade ago, Facebook was in its infancy, Twitter was being launched, and iPhones were non-existent. Ten years on, the world is a completely different place, and so is the workplace. It is estimated 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. Here’s a selection of 10 occupations that weren’t around more than a decade ago.

1. Social media manager

Currently, social media managers are all the rage, but back in 2006, before most social media platforms had been created, the idea would have been laughable. But with the rise in popularity of social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter created this new type of marketing job. Social media managers help run social media marketing campaigns, respond to customers on social media platforms and manage posts and other content on social media.

Today Facebook has 2.2 billion active users worldwide and, alongside other platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, it has become an indispensable marketing tool with which brands can engage with consumers. Social media managers earn an average salary of $48,000 (Sh 4.8 million) a year, according to PayScale.

2. App Developer

The iPhone arrived in 2007 and the Android followed shortly after, and now nearly half the world’s adult population own a smart phone. 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 globally.

3. 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 (Sh 6.25 trillion). 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 as the company eyes self driving cars.

4. 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’.

Among others, cloud computing specialists write code for Hypervisors, write provisioning scripts using Python or DevOps tools like Chef, Puppet and Ansible.

In Kenya 35.6 per cent of public sector institutions use cloud services in comparison to only 22.9 per cent of private businesses, according to research done last year by the Communications Authority (CA) and the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS). In large economies in East and South Africa, adoption of cloud services has accelerated in recent years, underpinned by better fibre connectivity and driven by a need to improve efficiency and cut costs, especially as companies spread across the region.

5. YouTube content creators (v-bloggers)

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.

6. Social Media Influencers

Influencers are not a particularly new phenomenon, celebrities have always endorsed brands, they are becoming increasingly popular in the social media age. Today, famous influencers can earn hundreds of thousands of dollars for a single Instagram post. Condé Nast Italia even offers a degree in being a social media influencer. In Kenya, one of the known influencers is Xtiandela who has quite a huge following on his social media pages. Companies can pay thousands for one Instagram post by an influencer who mentions their product, although rates depend on the size of an influencer’s audience. According to Forbes, an Instagram user with 100,000 followers typically earns about $5,000 (Sh 504,300) per post.

7. Data Scientist

Businesses are dealing with huge amounts of data created by internet and web applications, which data scientists help analyze and interpret. A background in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) field is preferred, such as a degree in computer science, although some professionals attend data-science bootcamps to fit in. This career often scores highly in rankings of hot jobs that pay well and was one of the top occupations for both 2016 and 2017. The typical data scientist earns almost $129,000 (Sh13.1 million) annually, with the in-demand role needed at almost every type of company.

8. Drone Operator

Apart from being used by the military, drones are now used by civilians for photography, transportation of light cargo and even traffic management. Kenya has no approved drone pilot, neither does it have a training institution for UAV operators, but a lot of people are using the facilities to take pictures and shoot video. If approved, Kenya will become the second country on the continent after South Africa to have such training.

Construction drone usage has skyrocketed by 239 per cent year over a year, compared to 198 per cent in mining and 172 per cent in agriculture, according to a May report on commercial drone trends by DroneDeploy, which provides mapping solutions for drone users. Kenya has meanwhile introduced new regulations of drone use with those planning to purchase the drones for private use to be parting with $1,100 (Sh110,946) while a commercial user will pay $2,300 (Sh231,978) inclusive of registration and licensing fees.

9. Admissions Consultants

Parents want to make sure that their children will get the best education possible and they often turn to admissions consultants for advice. These people can help choose the right pre-school for kids and offer their guidance to ease the process of interviewing and testing for schools as well as the transition to college. Admissions consultants can earn a lot of money depending on how experienced they are and how well connected they are.

10.Sustainability Manager

Sustainability is becoming increasingly important to organizations 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. The role of a Sustainability Manager is an unusual and varied one. It is multifaceted, helping to guarantee that a company upholds environmental standards and takes steps towards a greener future.

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