3 Careers That Didn’t Exist Before the Internet
It’s no secret: The Internet changed the face of communication, financial transactions, and the dissemination of information as we know it. Another facet of life drastically changed by the Internet was in the occupational space. With the dawn of the Internet came a wealth of new jobs that needed to be fulfilled by tech-savvy go-getters who were willing to learn the ins and outs of the new technology quickly and in a way that could make money for businesses. Here are three of the top jobs that arose out of the formation of the Internet.
1. App Developer
When Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007, with Android following closely behind, no one knew just how expansive the power of applications—now known simply as “apps”—would be. With more than 1 million apps in both the iTunes App Store and Google Play reached in 2013, clearly apps are pieces of software that aren’t going anywhere and only continue to grow in number.
To create apps, you must have app developers who work behind the scenes designing and creating the code necessary to bring these programs and their features and functions to life. Many individuals, businesses, and organizations have signed on for the development of apps, so this occupation has become high in demand. But without the Internet, none of these apps could be downloaded, and most would not function at all.
Developers often earn a percentage of the selling price of the app after the seller, such as the App Store or Google Play, takes its cut. Apple, for example, pays out 70 percent of the sale price on the App Store. This might be less if a business acts as a middle man and then pays the developer. Or a developer may earn a flat fee, and this can vary dramatically from hundreds of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.
Loren Brichter developed not the first Twitter app, but a powerful one, with a clean, simple, and intuitive design. Twitter loved it so much that the company acquired it, rebranded it, and turned it into their official mobile app. Brichter also developed the award-winning game, Letterpress.
2. Social Media Manager
The Internet came first, but when social media hit the scene in the early 2000s, it became a phenomenon that transformed the online behaviors of people around the world.
Businesses too want to take part in social media, whether that be to develop relationships with their customers, increase their brand’s reach, and so on. When they are ready to enter the world of social media, they often hire a social media manager to handle all of the posting and analysis that comes with developing social media campaigns. Obviously, before the Internet, there were no ways to create such easily accessible user profiles and methods of instant communication, so this job has only recently surfaced in the past couple of decades.
Social media managers are usually hired on as either a salaried employee or an independent contractor. According to Salary.com, full-time social media managers can net anywhere from $50,000 to more than $100,000 per year. Independent contractors may end up making anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars per month depending on the size of the business and the amount of management needed.
In 2008, Ryan Holmes developed the social media management system HootSuite, which is especially popular among businesses. It uses a dashboard interface to integrate various social media platforms, email services, and other online services. HootSuite now has more than 300 employees and over 1 million users around the globe, and Holmes now contributes pieces about tech and entrepreneurship to LinkedIn and other various publications.
Before the Internet, you had newspapers, magazines, newsletters, snail mail, telephone, television, radio, and other more terrestrial and limited ways to disseminate information and opinions. After the dawn of the Internet, blogs came into fruition not long after as an outlet for online users to share information and opinions on a larger scale and in a much easier and more accessible way.
Now blogs have become prevalent and legitimate enough that they often rival newspapers, news programs, and magazines in getting out information to the public the fastest and with the most detailed analysis. Major publications, media, and businesses all have their own blogs, and bloggers are in higher demand than ever. Before the Internet, bloggers had no global platform on which to share thoughts and information.
Most bloggers at least start out writing their blogs for free, either because they planned to or until they figure out how to monetize their blog, such as with ads, affiliate marketing, or sponsored products. Bloggers also sometimes release other content to accompany their blog posts, such as eBooks, white papers, courses, and coaching. This means that bloggers can make anything from pennies on ads to over a hundred thousand or more depending on how effective their content and marketing is.
Perhaps one of the most famous bloggers is Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post, which provides news, opinions, and other original content that covers a wide range of topics. The Huffington Post has grown to be a major blog often cited by other bloggers and media. In 2011, AOL acquired the blog for $315 million, and Arianna Huffington had a net worth of $35 million as of 2012.
These are just a few of the many professions that didn’t and couldn’t exist before the Internet. With developments such as social media, mobile payments, and more, these occupations will continue to thrive and multiply as more people and businesses figure out new ways to make the Internet an even better method of connecting people around the world with each other.
Photo: Robert Bejil
Author - HSI Staff
Brooke is a freelance writer who enjoys anything related to technology, marketing, and the blogosphere and other pop culture topics. In her free time you'll find her feeding her coffee addiction, playing in the mountains, or catching up on the latest Netflix series.