‘We’re doing jobs that didn’t exist 20 years ago’

Everything changes - and when it comes to the jobs market, advances in technology are giving people career options their parents could only have dreamed about.

The continuing rise of social media and apps, as well as developments in sectors like renewable energy, mean the careers market is changing. And that means opportunities for you.

A smartphone app developer? Vlogger? Solar-farm manager? Your folks may not recognise these job titles but they’re popping up in career searches more and more often.

To find out about these roles, we caught up with some of the fresh new talent working in thriving industries which barely existed at the turn of the millennium, to hear their stories of cracking their careers.

Isaac the vlogger

Got video skills? Thanks to the web, it’s easier than ever to share your calling card and that’s exactly how today’s vloggers and citizen journalists are making names for themselves.

Isaac documents his life in London in his award-winning vlog.

Isaac Harvey’s regular updates on video-sharing sites have proved a hit with followers and he was named London’s best young vlogger in 2017.

The 23-year-old has a condition which affects his limb development, so carries out all editing work on his video blog with his feet. However, Isaac is keen that people recognise him for his content skills first.

He says: “People usually see me in the wheelchair and my disability. I don’t allow that to stop me making my videos.

“During school, when I got to A-Level, I did Media where we were taught to make music videos and a film sequence that really sparked my interest of making films. Every day is different for me, it can vary from filming outside to editing videos.”

Melina the Twitter Moments curator

Ever wondered where content in your Twitter “Explore” tab comes from? Curators like Melina are working hard behind the scenes to bring you the biggest conversations in real time.

Melina's work depends on world events that day – her team must be responsive to events as they unfold.

Having trained to be a journalist, completing an NCTJ course (National Council of the Training of Journalists), Melina has drawn on her journalistic skills in her role as curator. She says storytelling skills, news-gathering skills and verification skills are all really important, to make sure that what they are selecting is accurate and engaging.

It's not always been a smooth ride: “I had to learn to overcome feelings that I might not be good enough,” says Melina. “I’m so glad I didn't give up.”

Manish the solar farm manager

Running one farm is a big enough responsibility but 23-year-old Manish has to look after 10 of them dotted all over the country.

There’s no milking or mucking out involved here though. Manish manages farms of solar panels, designed to create energy from the sun’s rays and then store it until it’s needed.

Manish manages solar farms across the UK.

Manish’s love for physics makes him a good match for this science-based role as it’s a discipline which involves a lot of problem solving and systems analysis. His responsibilities include checking power and energy readings, either from his office or at one of the farms, as well as inspecting equipment and measuring output.

He says: “After my degree in physics, initially I was searching for software jobs. I had a contact through a friend who suggested I work in renewables. I took the chance and they hired me.”

Melissa the digial marketing and social media entrepreneur

Breaking into digital marketing has been all about keeping her skills fresh and putting the time in for Melissa, an entrepreneur from London.

“Digital marketing involves working across a lot of social media channels. It’s about communicating to your customer what you do.”

Communication, communication, communication! Digital marketing roles are all about getting your message across to your audience. For Melissa, this involves tasks like designing social media posts, filming and editing videos, and working on brand strategy. She's drawn on the skills she learnt from studying English – using language appropriately and being creative – in her role, to make sure her content is well-suited to her audience.

Melissa recommends finding mentors who can help you on your career path, as well as making the most of your time outside of work or study hours: “I run my own social media and work on my skills in my own time as well as doing as many internships as possible.”

Jack the app developer

Apps don’t just exist on our phones and tablets, they interact with the world around us.

That’s where Jack’s skills as a developer come to the fore. For example, one of his creations worked in conjunction with a print magazine article to generate a video complementing the words on the page.

Jack worked on his skills in HTML and Javascript and broadened his CV by studying graphic design.

A job like this means you have to be an expert in the coding languages which breathe life into apps. In the fast-paced world of app development, broad skill sets will always be an advantage - 23 year-old Jack expanded his potential by working on his graphic design talents as well. GCSEs in English, Maths, Science, History, Business, Graphics and German were followed by a degree in Computer Game Design and Programming.

If you need any advice about your career choices, don’t forget to visit the careers section on BBC Bitesize where you’ll find lots of advice and tips from people in the know.

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