An Unprecedented Time of Change has Begun to Sweep the Nation
Putting aside the political turmoil of the last few years and the rises and falls of the economy, the technological advancements made over the last decade alone have changed how we function at every level and in every facet of our lives. With the widespread availability of portable electronic devices such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets, we are more connected to each other and the world around us than ever.
At any given moment, we have the power at our fingertips to research a complex topic, attaining all the information we could ever want or need, as well as shop electronically, communicate over long distances with friends and family, conduct business transactions, and even disassociate via online gaming. And this is just one of the many revolutionary technologies that have been developed over the last few decades, a minor miracle compared to the technological advancements that are brewing in Silicon Valley.
While we were already on the road to becoming a more digitally-oriented culture, the coronavirus pandemic took this slowly-developing change and vastly accelerated it. Participation in digital landscapes was no longer an option, at least for people who wanted some semblance of their lives to continue on as usual, with the alternative being sitting alone in their homes, not making money or accomplishing anything of value, businesses, students, and consumers alike transitioned to conducting their day-to-day operations through digital platforms such as Zoom or e-commerce sites.
With the Delta and Gamma variants of COVID making the rounds as states and governments attempt to facilitate a delusional “return” to pre-COVID operations, it’s unlikely that these changes will revert any time soon. Moreover, as this change was already taking place, it’s extremely likely that consumers will adapt to a more digitally-bent culture and that technology will continue to take a dominant position in our lives.
Amidst all of these cultural and historical factors, the fourth technological revolution has begun, with the development of technology spun straight from science fiction. From all this, it’s safe to say that we as a culture aren’t going to regress to a point where technology will be less vital, in fact, with the new technologies being developed, it’s likely that technological literacy will only become a more critical aspect of all of our lives. The future of the workforce will be careers that help companies transition to and improve the efficacy of their campaigns in digital spaces, professions such as web design or data science.
The labor shortage brought on by the aftermath of the coronavirus offers a unique opportunity for people to switch their chosen careers. If any of the below options appeals to you, consider starting on a brand new career path, as it’s likely that these professions will age like a fine wine as tech continues to develop.
App Development: The New American Gold Rush
While the least stable of all the options on this list, app development can be extremely lucrative, that is, if you get lucky. App development is a career built on the entrepreneurial spirit, fueled by the idea that you can bring something new and revolutionary to the market, unfortunately, the reality is that very few achieve the kind of virality needed to make their apps anything more than shots in the dark. App consumers are notoriously fickle, trying out apps for a limited time as fads come and go, with only the most useful apps having any longevity on the market.
One way to add longevity to your app is to integrate useful application product interfaces (APIs) with your software, giving your application extra functionality that would increase user retention.
While this is a solid career path for self-starting, creative personalities who are willing to bet on the utility of their ideas, it certainly isn’t a career path for everyone.
Data Science: The Mad Science of Marketing
The proliferation of social media sites and the abundance of people across demographics who use them frequently has led to the creation of a massive historical database, full of potentially useful marketing data. With our time being known by analysts as “the era of Big Data,” the cost for obtaining this information continually goes down as the amount of available data consistently goes up.
In order to read and make use of this data, however, companies need someone who is able to take massive amounts of data from disparate sources, identify trends in the data set, and then translate those findings to an actionable marketing strategy. These officials, referred to interchangeably as data scientists and data analysts are among the highest-paid professionals on this list, with the average salary being around $120,000 a year. Individuals with an analytic bent who can communicate their findings effectively either through visual or written media may find a home in the data science industry; and should you need the training to get to a career-ready level, you can always attend a data science Bootcamp.
Cybersecurity: Keeping Corporate Assets Safe
As technology has evolved, so have cybercriminals, and the bar of entry for cybercrime is lower now than ever; cheap hacking kits are available for as low as a dollar online, with hundreds of thousands of dollars in data and assets being jacked by cybercriminals every year. Cybercrime is projected to become one of the biggest sources of crime in as little as five years, according to experts, and because of that, companies are doing the best they can at the moment to shore themselves up for that incoming future.
While an understanding of cybersecurity basics might be enough to protect your personal computer from DOS attacks and malware, you’ll likely need to invest in education to become fluent enough in cybersecurity practices to make a career out of it. While this kind of training will be arduous and potentially expensive, it’s well worth it, as cybersecurity officials tend to get paid around $80,000 a year on average.
Preparing Yourself for a Digital Future
While switching career paths may seem like a time and money-intensive ordeal, the world is shifting in such a way that more traditional jobs may soon become obsolete. To protect your future and ensure that you will be positioned for success as things continue to change, you may want to take advantage of the opportunity offered by the labor shortage to learn a new trade and switch to a more lucrative career path.