One of the coolest things about 2020 is that you can sit on social media and call it work.
Companies like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat are reliant on a relatively new breed of STEM professional, whose specialised tech brains mine statistics to offer up marketing insights, solve functionality issues and develop new platforms.
With these peer-to-peer platforms mostly being a last-15-years-thing, the following gigs are pretty new to our job search histories. But we’re guessing you’ll probably ‘like’ all of them.
1. Data scientist
Most of your favourite companies – ASOS, Google, The Iconic, Netflix – employ data scientists to uncover hidden insights into the kind of things their audiences are consuming in order to make smarter business decisions. They spend their days hunting down stats and numbers – often from social media platforms – to predict trends and understand complex consumer behaviours. The more data they can dig through and learn insights from (like how long someone spent on a particular web page, where they clicked and what they shared), the more marketing and sponsored content can be tailored on socials.
Study: Look into a Bachelor of Advanced Mathematics, Bachelor of Advanced Computing or a Bachelor of Engineering. Post-grad degrees in data science specifically are a great way to specialise too.
2. Software developer
Fluent in code, software developers built the social platforms you know and love from scratch, and develop the devices and underlying systems that control the very networks they sit on. Have an app idea? You’ll need a software developer stat. And the more the merrier; this gig is predicted to grow by 21 per cent in the next five years.
Study: A degree or diploma in computer systems or software engineering.
3. Systems administrator
Like a walking, talking Help Tab, systems admins are the problem-solvers of the social space. Hired by most media companies during the development and execution of their platforms, tasks such as troubleshooting software and creating firewalls are all in a day – and night’s – work. When Snapchat is down, they’re onto it faster than it takes to grab a screenshot. Think of them like IT professionals, but with cooler names and prettier platforms to play with.
Study: A Bachelor of Computer Science or Computer Engineering
4. User interface (UI) designer
Naturally creative but heaps into tech too? Art meets tech in this unique role responsible for the visual look, feel and usability of an app or social platform. UI design focuses on building interfaces – the bits you actually interact with – that are not only visually strong, but also efficient and effortless to use. This could mean drafting and implementing more user-friendly homescreens, buttons, icons, voice and even gesture control capabilities.
Study: A Bachelor of Digital Communication or Electronic Arts. There are also a bunch of private colleges offering accelerated courses.
5. Mobile app developer
As specialised software developers, app creatives work specifically with Android, iOS and Windows phone platforms to build app-based social products. They test, debug and improve apps for clients, and work closely with design teams to support functionality across a platform’s mobile equivalent.
Study: If you really want to specialise, a Bachelor of Information Technology – Mobile App Development could be the way to go.
Author: Cassie Steel
As Refraction’s digital editor, Cassie Steel spends her days researching robots and stalking famous scientists on Twitter.