Job growth is a rarely heard term in the current economy, but as hundreds of thousands of people search for jobs, they might discover the wealth of opportunities available that center around technology. These new tech jobs range from revamps of old career options to professions that were unheard of mere years ago. (For related reading, also check out 7 Jobs Companies Are Desperate To Fill.)
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- Virtual Concierge
The position of concierge has been around for centuries, but technology has redefined how the job is done. Traditionally, concierges worked in hotels and high-end apartments to provide for the daily needs of guests and residents. The internet now makes it possible to make a living in customer service from the comfort of home. A virtual concierge assists businesses and individuals with various tasks such as writing emails, answering phone, ordering theater tickets and making dinner reservations. They can even do the grocery shopping for a client online through services like Peapod and Netgrocer. As a virtual concierge, you can work for yourself or be the employee of a larger firm.
Online salary database Payscale.com lists the average salary for a virtual concierge at $28,500 to $32,720 a year.
- Mobile Application Developer
If there is something that you want to do, chances are there is an app for that - or so says the catchy slogan created by Apple for their iPhone. There is also a job for that, if you are tech-savvy and have programming skills. This job can be done from your bedroom as a freelancer or at a professional development company. Apple is the leading producer of mobile applications, so you'll need a Mac to make the most of this career path. You'll also need to learn Objective C, the primary programming language for the iPhone.
There is also a market for applications for social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. With a good idea and some hard work you could make thousands of dollars a day if your application is a hit with consumers.
According to Payscale.com, the average mobile application developer makes between $61,000 and $67,000 a year.
- Online Reputation Management
A passion for public relations will come in handy with this gig. An online reputation manager's job is to monitor every square inch of the internet for negative news and other tidbits about their client, and then get rid of it or at least downplay it. The goal is to make sure that only positive information appears when an internet search is done on the business or individual that they work for. Payscale.com lists salaries in this field at $50,100 to $66,040 a year.
There is also a market for programmers who can create tools and applications that make online reputation management easier. High profile celebrities, politicians and CEOs are prime candidates for this type of service, but clientele is not limited to the rich and famous. In May of 2010, Syracuse University gifted their graduating seniors with a six-month subscription for online reputation management software so that they could present an impressive online image to potential employers.
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- Online Store Owner
Want to own a store, but not ready for a brick and mortar commitment? Set up shop in a virtual space and reap the rewards of entrepreneurship. Online sellers range from those who occasionally sell their unwanted items, to those who create full-scale boutiques with new merchandise from wholesale suppliers. EBay is a well-known online auction house that allows people to sell their wares to a customer base of millions. The Professional eBay Sellers Alliance provides networking opportunities for those with virtual shops. With a knack for marketing, excellent customer service skills and self-motivation; online sellers set their own limits of how much money they make. (Check out some of the weird things sold on eBay in Odd eBay Sales.)
- Multimedia Content Producer
Being a journalist used to mean writing for a newspaper or getting in front of the camera to report breaking news. Today, the job is much more complex, and entails knowledge of new technology spanning from video and audio production to social media management and web design. Newspapers might be struggling in print form, but they are experiencing a revival online as they integrate interactive Flash graphics, blogs and live text and video chats into their coverage. Broadcast reporters on TV and radio are being asked to expand their storytelling tool box to meet the demands of their increasingly tech-savvy audience.
Multimedia content is also in demand in other communications careers such as public relations and marketing. Those interested in these jobs can expect an average paycheck of $35,500 to $54,570, according to Payscale.com.
The Bottom Line
New opportunities to create or expand a career in the tech field are abundant for those who are willing to be innovative and stay up-to-date with the latest trends.
Find out what happened in financial news this week. Read Water Cooler Finance: GM's Dramatic Return.