Jobs that didn’t exist a decade ago, fuelled by rapidly changing technology, are now considered by leading businesses as vital to their brand and bottom line, report recruitment specialists.

Along with impressive growth in the fitness industry — which has seen the number of Zumba, yoga and bootcamp instructors skyrocket — the information- technology sector boom has brought us IOS and android developers, social-media managers and big-data analysts.

New environmental jobs, including solar technicians, sustainability experts and green funeral directors, are also on the rise as consumers value environmentally friendly services, and an ageing population is making way for more patient advocates and senior move managers (helping older adults and their families through the process of downsizing and relocating to a new home).

Randstad Australia employment analyst Steve Shepherd said technology was instrumental in the creation of new job types, particularly in the online and data research sectors. Most big companies now employed social-media managers, online community managers or chief listening officers, whose role it was to safeguard a company’s brand and online reputation.

“These positions have emerged strongly in the sales and marketing arenas as more businesses understand the power of social media, ” Mr Shepherd said. “When executives realised it was more than just a fad, and bad publicity could go viral within days and even hours, the need to engage with customers in real time became paramount.

“We’re now seeing companies use those same tools to push out their own message as well as monitoring, watching and listening to what customers are saying and doing.”

Big-data analysts and scientists are also highly sought after. They make sense of personal information such as email, social media and other data to get a picture, for example, of a consumer’s buying habits, making them incredibly valuable.

“There are a whole lot of maths geeks out there being employed to track the behaviour of customers, which helps in the targeting of new campaigns and in getting people to consume more products. It’s also a very useful role in the security sector within governments, because analytics can spot potential threats.”

Search-engine optimisation specialists are similar, helping companies increase their rankings and exposure on major search engines such as Google and Yahoo.

Mr Shepherd said technology also was boosting the number of business start-ups across the country, allowing people with passion and drive to create their own employment opportunities.

“It’s allowed people to compete on a more level playing field, and in some cases we see tech-savvy smaller companies getting more hits online than big competitors, ” Mr Shepherd said. “We’ve seen this in mobile technology, with app developers and programmers pushing technology limits.

“Young people now must enter the workplace with some pretty advanced skills. Most roles will be reinvented — including jobs like bricklayers and diesel mechanics. Technology does away with base jobs and so there is a higher level of education required, even in entry-level jobs.”

In the fitness sector, new forms of exercise are keeping fitness professionals in work — among them boxercise, yoga and Pilates.

While Zumba and Pilates are considered by some analysts as fads, the industry overall is booming as Australians continue to spend $8.5 billion annually.


© The West Australian

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