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New emerging careers
Published on: Monday, November 07, 2022
By: K Krishnan
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THERE are many conventional occupations you may know of, such as doctors, dentists, lawyers, accountants, engineers, etc.  You may be very familiar with conventional occupations because these are the occupations your parents have been talking about since you were young.  

However, you must understand that as modern technologies grow, some of the conventional careers would vanish.  

“Many restaurants are employing robots to take and deliver orders in restaurants. It may seem veered but it is happening. When there is a shortage of labour force, the business owners will have to depend on robots to carry on their business.”

There are many more new or emerging careers in the pipeline. As students looking for career pathways, you must not be ignorant about these new emerging inventions. What are new emerging careers?

“A new occupation usually is identified as one that is not included in the most current occupational classification system. An emerging occupation is one that has small employment numbers but is expected to get larger in the future.”

Technology is only one cause of new occupations. Demographic trends – such as increased immigration, ageing, and higher levels of education – also cause new types of jobs to emerge, as do business trends and shifts in consumer needs and tastes.

How occupations emerge

New occupations develop when employers need workers to do tasks that have never been done before – managing Websites in the early 1990s, for example.

Usually, workers in existing occupations add these new tasks to their jobs, sometimes creating a specialty. 

But if the needed task is sufficiently different and becomes the primary job of enough workers, the specialty grows to be an occupation in its own right. 

Computer security is one emerging specialty. In most companies, the same workers who set up and administer computer networks also keep them secure. 

But as security tasks become more numerous and complex, computer workers have begun to specialise, even earning specific credentials and degrees.

Similarly, when scientists began decoding the human genome in 1990, they collected staggering amounts of biochemical data.  

To organise these data, employers turned to computer experts or to biologists who had some computer knowledge. 

But as demand increased, the field of bioinformatics grew from a small side line to an established career. 

Bioinformatics specialist is now a common job title, and several universities offer specific training for these jobs. 

Some of the factors that cause new specialties and occupations to emerge include changing technology, laws, demographics, and business practices. 

The more dramatic the changes, the more likely they are to cause occupational change.

When videoconferencing became widespread, for example, a few organisations needed workers who could set up, troubleshoot, and track the new technology full time. 

The resulting occupation was called videoconferencing technician. Some other technological changes driving new specialties and occupations include:
  • Improved computer graphics that have brought forth new multimedia and animation specialties;
  • Increasingly sophisticated manufacturing automation and robotics that have led to new types of silicon and biological chipmaking technicians;
  • New medical imaging techniques that have given rise to radiological specialties such as dosimeters, who measure bone density; and
  • Improvements in data management and networking capabilities that have led to geographic information programmers, who manage data from global positioning satellites; data security engineers and analysts, who develop policies and computer programs to keep data confidential; and usability specialists, who make Web sites, software, and databases easier to navigate.


Occupations and specialties also emerge because of changes in the law.

Welfare-to-work legislation, for example, prompted the need for new types of job coaches and human services workers. 

Telecommunications laws that require closed captioning of television programmes have spurred growth of closed captioners, or steno captioners – workers who type captions for television programs. 

And changes in criminal laws have led to occupations such as restitution specialists and victim’s, witness, and children’s advocates.

Likewise, changes in Medicaid regulations created a demand for new types of record keepers and record makers – including assessment specialists, who test the mental and physical functioning of residents in assisted living institutions and report their findings to government agencies.

Demographic shifts and social developments are another source of new occupations and specialties. 

To serve an ageing population, organisations began employing workers with expertise in geriatrics, including geriatric nurses, human services workers, and social workers. 

An increase in the demand for plastic surgery has resulted in the need for medical aestheticians, who combine skin-care proficiency with medical knowledge to care for patients’ skin after surgery.

And increases in the number of two income households have spurred new service occupations, such as personal chef and corporate concierge. 

New occupations and specialties also result from changes in business practices. 

The increase in the use of health management organisations, for example, drove demand for utilisation review coordinators and restorative therapy coordinators, both of whom examine patient records to ensure that treatment w as in line with an organisation’s standards. 

Also, as more people send personal information over the Internet, a few companies are hiring privacy officers to set and enforce policies about customer and employee confidentiality.

Most new types of work result from a combination of factors. Distance learning occupations fall into this category. Improved computer networking, social trends toward lifelong education, and competition between learning institutions combined to give rise to distance learning and its occupations. 

These occupations include information architects, who make sure that course organisation is conducive to learning and that the Web site is simple to navigate, and course editors, who modify traditional classes for the Internet; editors reformat course content by organising it into understandable pieces and adding multimedia and other data sources.

Career tips

It may be easy to identify new occupations but predicting and measuring new occupations is more difficult. 

For students, it is hard to determine if technological, demographic, or other changes will lead to new occupations. Recently, experts have touted new discoveries that allow materials to be constructed one atom at a time. Some say this “nano-manufacturing” could revolutionise how products are developed. 

But whether this will lead to a new type of production or occupation is unknown. Even if this technology becomes widely used – which, as is the case for nearly any innovation, is uncertain – it might not create new types of work. It might simply add a few new tasks to old occupations.

Let us explore more about new and emerging careers nextweek.

(Adapted from https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2002





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