Tech jobs that didn’t exist 15 years ago

Occasionally, I ask my kids what they want to be when they grow up. For some reason I always expect the usual answers: doctor, fireman or astronaut. I hope to hear, “I want to do what you do, dad.” To my surprise, the last time I asked my 6-year-old son, he looked straight into my eyes and said, “I want to be a YouTuber!” 

He showed me the videos he has made on his mobile device. I was surprised at the amount of effort he put into these videos. He was serious, and the most interesting part is you can make a living as a YouTuber! Let’s look at a few jobs that have been created in the past decade. 

YouTuber: YouTubers have grown in the past five years. While some may not consider this a full-time job, it’s worth mentioning. Forbes reported that YouTuber Felix Kjellberg earned $12 million in 2014. However, not everyone on YouTube makes this kind of money. 

Successful YouTubers need to 

captivate followers and grow subscri-

bers, and they can make money by mentioning products. Companies pay thousands of dollars for those mentions, and the more subscribers, the more they will pay.

Cloud Architect: The name doesn’t mean someone is shaping the big puffy clouds in the sky. In IT, there are many new terms. SaaS (Software as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) come to mind when I think of a Cloud Architect. 

When you run apps or servers in the cloud, you are moving away from the traditional “in house” model that has been used in the IT industry. Opportunities, like a highly scalable environment, and challenges, such as high bandwidth requirements, have warranted a new skillset for IT professionals. According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary for a Cloud Architect is $142,000 per year.

Drone Operator: Only in the past few years have we had the technology, authority and ability to fly drones, or small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), for business purposes. Previously, it was a long process to qualify to fly commercially. Remote controlled airplanes and quad copters have been around for years, but they take time to master the skills to fly. 

With today’s technology, anyone can be a safe UAV pilot with little instruction. There are many ways UAVs are used. In the electric industry, we use UAVs for line and pole inspections, predictive failure analysis, and forestry service evaluation and safety. 

A 2014 CNN Money report said starting salaries are as high as $50 per hour, over $100,000 per year. Due to new technology, the salary of a drone operator is declining. According to the L.A. Times, prices charged for a drone inspection of industrial sites have dropped to $5,000 — a third of what it was two years ago. Money now lies in the analytics of the data gathered from drones.

Uber Driver: The taxi has been around for decades, but Uber has 

revolutionized this iconic occupation practically overnight. In a conversation with family, we discussed the safety and security of Uber drivers. These are ordinary people driving passengers using personal vehicles. How can they be trusted? This is an example of how technology can provide safe and efficient services. 

The business model relies on the Uber app. Without the app, Uber doesn’t exist. It provides the ability for customers to rate drivers, and it allows them to choose a different driver. With Uber, no money is exchanged. You pay through the app, and you can leave comments and a tip after your arrival. According to Uber, drivers netted about $25 per hour and averaged 1.3 rides per hour.

The next time you ask a child what they want to be when they grow up, don’t be surprised if they aspire to be something unexpected. As technology advances, so do the job opportunities that support those technologies.