The internet becoming a near-constant presence in people’s lives this past decade has changed the landscape of work in the United States and across the world. Peruse the careers listed on this very website, and you’ll find that around half of them didn’t even exist before 2000. And jobs that have long been a part of American life — doctors, police, teachers — have all been touched by technological changes. Read our list below of careers that look much different now than last century.
What was once a desk job tied to local newspapers or news stations has become a trade that can be done from anywhere with a smartphone or computer. Gone are the typewriters and camcorders; journalists today are expected to be multi-faceted and possess skills from reporting to photography to audio to video. Journalists have more resources and information at their fingertips than ever, though deciding what’s true and reputable in a flood of perspectives presents new challenges. Furthermore, the potential audience for journalistic and editorial writing has exploded. Information can now reach exponentially more people via social media and websites.
Nursing used to be a job that had more to do with your gender than your level of education. For so much of the 20th century, female nurses reported to male doctors who made the decisions about a patient’s healthcare. The history of nursing in America is synonymous aiding wounded soldiers on the battlefield or traveling from home to home tending to sick patients. This career was generally made up of women, with a job description consisting of cleaning up and looking after sick patients. In the modern era, nursing is a highly reputable field that requires years of schooling. Men and women both excel in the nursing profession and are increasingly knowledgable about medical procedures and the science behind treatment.
Chefs used to be culinary masters who were hidden in the back of the restaurant cooking and cooking alone. Lately, chefs have stepped away from the hot stove a bit and into the cultural spotlight. Now, we see them as judges on competitive cooking shows, helping aspiring cooks and bakers reach new heights. They have also taken their recipes into branding via personalized cook books and Instagram accounts. While running a restaurant is no simple task, chefs have even become savvy in finding ways to monetize their work. Some have created lines of products that the every-day person can utilize in their homes. This career has become an ideal choice for the cook who’s also a willing entrepreneur.
Models in 2017 aren’t dependent on someone else allowing them up on the runway. Posting pictures on social media and garnering a big following is the millennial’s new take on this long-standing career path. Instagram has become a platform where taking pictures and posting them online can be a sustainable career track. In fact, most Instagram models are paid per post, garnering a substantial income through sponsorship and product placement. Working with brands and promoting products has always been essential in modeling, but the connections, the scheduling and the hours are now the model’s to decide.
The music industry has been completely transformed by the advent of the internet and streaming services. Record stores aren’t as prevalent, nor are artists dependent on gatekeepers at radio stations to give them airplay. Hopefuls who want to break into the music industry oftentimes now just post their music themselves on SoundCloud or Bandcamp or Spotify. In short, having the work out there and noticeable is now more important than having someone else debut or push it (at least initially). With the help of fans sharing tracks with their friends and followers, anyone can reach an audience to which they had no access just 15 years ago.