LinkedIn recently placed social media management, otherwise know as online community management, as the top skill for 2013 according to its member profiles and their job-hunting success. Social media is the one of the internet’s most viral byproducts and fast becoming responsible for procrastination at its best. Companies are capitalising on this global obsession with staying connected by utilising these digital networks, so much so that the specialised role of social media manager has emerged. Essentially, it is a brand management role designed to produce content, promote conversation and monitor whatever social media platforms a company uses.
Web developers, not to be confused with web designers, are the gatekeepers of the internet. They create the web pages we happily browse through and are fluent in a range of foreign computer languages that most of us don’t even know the name of. Since the commercialisation of the internet, IT roles have boomed and web development continues to be one of the most sought after skills in the job market.
Apple stores have become an institution in themselves and are a prime example of how the internet is not only changing the retail landscape through online shopping, but also the in-store experience. With their unmistakable blue shirt and digital lanyard, Apple geniuses are your one stop shop regardless of whether you’re looking for the latest accessories or you dropped your iPhone in the toilet.
As the internet grows in popularity, so does the competitiveness of getting your voice heard online. For this reason, search engine optimisation (SEO) has quickly become big business for, well, any business. By using the right channels, keywords and other targeted strategies, companies can improve their visibility when someone goes searching for their type of product or service online. Whole agencies are now dedicated to SEO, often perceived as a bunch of magic tricks, as companies scramble for the top spot on Google.
Most of us feel naked if we leave the house without our phone or trusty portable device. Partly due to the fact no one knows numbers off by heart anymore, but also because we are left defenceless when waiting for friends or commuting to work without a suite of apps to keep us occupied. The app market has paved the way for a new, fun form of developing and has seen more ‘teenage becomes instant millionaire’ stories than I care to count. There’s no doubt about it – techs get the cheques.
Just because a company has a website doesn’t mean that people are going to use it. And just because they use it doesn’t mean they’re going to stick around for long. Great UX, or user experience, is critical in ensuring that your users can navigate – and enjoy navigating – your site. This increases your site conversion rates which, let’s face it, is the end goal for any business. The web boom has seen some pretty average creations amongst the digital gems out there in cyberspace. UX professionals marry the technical side with web design and user behaviour, designing sites that match the needs of the business and its customers. And we all know the value of a happy customer, making this role a seriously commodity.
Computer networking has been around for a while but the term ‘cloud’ has been gaining more exposure in recent times amongst us tech neanderthals. Essentially it is using the internet to connect devices and share information. Apple is one of the companies that can be credited for bringing the term to the masses through ‘the iCloud’ – a networked backup/sharing function between their products. As the concept of cloud computing works its way into mainstream consciousness, the demand for IT professionals specialising in cloud services continues to increase.
Software engineers create the computer programs that make technology actually work. Not only this, the best software engineers create programs that make computing and, let’s face it, life easier. While software is not necessarily reliant on the internet, opportunities for software engineers have boomed with the digital revolution as people turn to the internet to find quick fixes and user friendly solutions for just about everything.
If you haven’t heard about MOOCs, you’ve been living under a rock – without WiFi. MOOCs, or massive open online courses, are the new craze in online learning and, as the name suggests, are open to everyone. You can study from some of the world’s most prestigious universities as well as highly respected colleges and other online education providers. Course options span from traditional topics to ‘how to survive the zombie apocalypse’ and the growing popularity means that new roles are being created specifically to coordinate these courses.
While anyone can be a blogger, exceptionally clever wordsmiths are hitting such a high level of page views with their musings that they’re turning hobbies into dollars through advertisers buying real estate on their websites. You don’t just have to start a blogspot account and wait for the advertisers to come knocking though, companies also hire full time or freelance bloggers to create specific content for their online presence. When it comes to the internet, content is king and an effective writer can be worth their weight in gold.
As illustrated in last week's article about jobs the internet killed, the times are a-changing, but it’s definitely for the better. According to a report by the McKinsey Global Institute, the internet accounted for GDP growth of 21 per cent between 2006 and 2011. The same report revealed that the internet has created 2.6 jobs for every job lost as a result of increased technology. If you’re afraid of getting left behind by this digital ride, it’s not too late to jump on the bandwagon. In fact, the internet has made upskilling and gaining new qualifications easier than ever through online course offerings. So what are you waiting for? Viva la revolution!