It's easy to be pessimistic about the prospect of finding a six-figure career in America. Increasingly, workers are forced to get by as freelancers, and roughly 60 percent of positions created since the financial crisis began have been low-wage.
But the new economy does create opportunities -- the key is to find where they will be before everyone else does. And it's highly likely the future economy will be chock full of unprecedented professions; roughly half of the 125 executives recently polled by executive search firm Korn/Ferry predicted that at least half of the undergraduate class of 2017 will end up in jobs and careers that don't yet exist. And so AOL Jobs solicited the help of Sparks & Honey, the New York-based advertising firm that monitors workplace trends. The firm uncovered all kinds of high-paying jobs, most of which don't even exist today.
Any common thread to the gigs? In making jobs projections, Sparks & Honey found that many jobs of the future are a result of the "collaborative economy," as company CEO Terry Young told AOL Jobs in an interview. "Increasingly, we have platforms like online payment systems to transfer funds and social networks to enable collaboration, and so many of these jobs are about people coming together," he said. See below for ten.
1. Bot Lobbiest
Job Description: This specialist will be paid to create phony social media accounts that help promote a client's business or other marketing needs.
2. Future Currency Speculator
Job Description: As Bitcoin and other virtual currencies continue to gain traction, a future currency speculator will specialize in the investment opportunities that will abound in this new market.
3. Productivity Counselors
Job Description: With workplaces increasingly tracking the returns on their every investment, workers will need help boosting what they can offer. So this expert will provide advice on a range of topics including wellness and time management.
4. Microbial Balancer
Job Description: A trained balancer will help assess the microbial composition of any environment as concerns increase over dangerous bacterial agents that could even take the form of weapons. The appeal of this new worker will also increase as scientific detection of bacteria improves.
5. Meme Agent
Job Description: You don't have to be a celebrity to be a celebrity anymore, especially if your star is hitched to a viral meme on the internet. And a meme agent will represent and advocate for the latest sensation.
6. Big Data Doctor
Job Description: Providing a proper diagnosis is as old a medical process as the taking of the Hippocratic oath. But with the rise of "big data," a new class of doctors will seek to treat patients by focusing more on their their biographic profile and personal data points than their latest ailment.
7. Crowdfunding Specialist
Job Description: This expert will provide advice on how to promote and attain funds for a project through crowd funding on websites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo.
8. Jobs of the Future Specialist/Recruiter
Job Description: Perhaps the only constant of the future job market is that there will be no constant, as jobs and tasks will be in constant flux. This specialist will provide continuing advice on how to remain relevant in the workforce.
9. Disorganizer/Corporate Disruptor
Job Description: This expert will be called in to shuffle existing systems in companies to create start-up culture and welcome, organized chaos.
10. Privacy Consultant
Job Description: This consultant will help provide solutions to holes and dangers in an individual's digital presence.