4 Jobs Most At-Risk of an AI Takeover


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Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming industries as organizations leverage the latest technologies to drive efficiencies and make smarter data-driven decisions. A common concern is that AI will replace workers, but, at least so far, these fears haven’t borne out. Rather than replacing workers, AI is reshaping the job market by creating new roles and enabling workers in existing roles to work more strategically.

Deciphering AI’s growth

The term artificial intelligence was first coined by John McCarthy in 1956—the same year the first transistor computer was released. In the years since, the technology has grown to the point that we might have finally achieved artificial intelligence—or something close to it.

In late 2022, a new milestone in AI was achieved and user adoption skyrocketed following the launch of ChatGPT-3.5. AI offers many beneficial capabilities for businesses, including automation, enhanced data analytics, and improved data-based decision-making and problem-solving.

As more companies recognize the benefits of AI, research from Bloomberg Intelligence estimates that generative AI will grow into a $1.3 trillion market by 2032, compared to $40 million in 2022. Given the growth and impact of AI for businesses, it’s no longer a matter of whether to embrace AI, but rather how to maximize business outcomes by using AI.

Key insights on AI and hiring

With more and more businesses embracing AI, recruiting and talent-acquisition teams are increasingly looking for experts in AI who can help incorporate the emerging technology into their systems and workflows. According to data from the Upwork Research Institute, the average number of weekly search queries related to generative AI increased 10 times from the fourth quarter of 2022 to the first quarter of 2023. The data also shows that in the same period, weekly job posts looking for generative AI skills increased by more than 600%.

While some individuals may be concerned that AI will lead to job cuts, Upwork Research Institute data also showed a promising trend with AI’s impact on hiring, with 49% of hiring managers surveyed saying they will hire more independent talent and 49% saying they will hire more full-time employees as a result of generative AI.

Key insights on AI and hiring

Jobs augmented and created by AI

As AI continues to see widespread adoption across organizations and industries it’s proving its ability to create new jobs and help people work more effectively in their current roles.

Improved productivity in existing roles

According to McKinsey, by 2030, activities that account for up to 30% of hours currently worked across the U.S. economy could be automated—a trend accelerated by generative AI. As AI automates manual, repetitive tasks, workers can be more productive and focus on driving improved business outcomes.

Here are a few examples highlighting how AI can be used in business to improve productivity:

  • Doctors and other medical professionals. Keeping track of the latest healthcare research and diagnoses can be challenging and time-consuming. AI tools powered by machine learning and natural language processing can quickly analyze medical literature, research, and scans to provide relevant information to doctors. This can help doctors discover and diagnose potential illnesses, explore treatment options, and make better informed decisions about patient care—while freeing up time to spend directly interacting with patients.
  • Writers. Writers and other content creators are embracing AI tools to save time and improve the content development process. Tools like ChatGPT, Google Bard, and Jasper enable users to input text prompts to gather research and automatically generate drafts of written content such as outlines, social media posts, emails, and articles. Writers can also use AI tools to generate mockup visuals for their content, which can help provide context and direction before submitting a graphic request to a designer. While AI tools can be used for inspiration and initial drafts, thorough editing and fact-checking should be completed before finalizing any AI-generated content.
  • Human resources professionals. Leveraging AI can enable HR professionals to automate routine tasks, work more strategically, and focus more on the “human” side of human resources by engaging with candidates and employees. Some ways AI can be used in human resources include, drafting recruitment content such as job descriptions and interview questions with generative AI tools, automating candidate screening with AI capabilities in applicant tracking systems (ATS), driving candidate engagement with AI-powered chatbots, and centralizing employee documents in human resources information systems (HRIS).

Creation of new roles

In addition to increasing productivity in existing roles, AI is also driving job creation with entirely new rolesAccording to global research from the World Economic Forum, 50% of organizations surveyed expect artificial intelligence to create job growth in the next five years, compared to 25% who expect AI to lead to job losses. And while some individuals may think AI roles are only a fit for workers with an engineering or related technical background, non-technical roles involving AI are also on the rise.

Examples of new job opportunities that incorporate AI include:

  • Prompt engineers. Generative AI applications like ChatGPT require users to enter inputs, known as prompts, to generate desired outputs. Prompt engineers are skilled at developing and refining prompts to help the application better understand the information about the input and, as a result, improve responses. Effective prompt engineering requires creativity, an understanding of the AI application or platform, and knowledge of the latest updates in prompt development.
  • Machine learning engineers. Machine learning engineers often have backgrounds in data science, software engineering, or computer science. They’re responsible for building AI systems and models and performing statistical analysis to improve AI model performance. Experts in machine learning leverage large datasets to train models and neural networks to recognize patterns and make predictions, among other functions.
  • AI content editors and fact-checkers. While some organizations and professionals are turning to AI tools to generate and improve writing, a human-centered review process is essential to ensuring AI-generated content is accurate, free from biases, and aligns with the organization’s brand and tone. Individuals with traditional writing and editing backgrounds are expanding their client bases by taking on roles or projects as AI content editors and fact-checkers.

Jobs threatened by AI

While AI has proven itself able to improve the productivity of some roles, other roles or specializations may be threatened by automation. However, as is the case with any other technology innovations, many roles will evolve in response to AI, rather than being eliminated.

For people in roles likely to be threatened by AI, they should look for ways to embrace AI tools and include them in their workflow. Or, they might identify and develop new skills to advance their careers or continue to show their value in their organization.

Data collection and processing

Data from the Pew Research Center shows that workers who focus on basic data collection are among the most vulnerable to automation by AI. These roles may include data entry jobs, basic research positions, and preliminary data analysts. Many data entry tasks are manual and highly repetitive, tasks that AI can complete at unprecedented speeds, while minimizing the risk of human errors.

Instead of eliminating jobs in this field, AI can boost data entry productivity and enable team members to focus on more strategic, value-added tasks and skills, such as data analysis and critical thinking. This can help them position themselves for new career opportunities in their organizations.

Basic customer service

Several AI-powered tools have emerged in recent years to automate and improve customer service.Embracing AI for customer service can help support faster, round-the-clock response times and tailored solutions that align with customers’ specific needs.

AI-driven customer support tools include:

  • Chatbots. Using natural language processing and machine learning, AI-powered chatbots automatically answer customer questions, offer personalized recommendations, provide support, and, when necessary, direct more complex questions to customer service team members.
  • Automated phone systems. Also known as interactive voice response (IVR) systems, automated phone systems interact with customers using voice prompts and keypad responses to answer simple inquiries and route calls to the right department.
  • Self-service and knowledge-base systems. These systems feature advanced search functionality and include resources such as frequently asked questions (FAQs), tutorials, troubleshooting guides, and interactive tools, to help customers find answers on their own.

While AI has the potential to automate basic customer service tasks, the latest technology can also empower customer service professionals to be more productive and take more of a consultative approach to customer interactions. A survey from DialPad of more than 1,000 customer service professionals found that almost 60% of respondents believe that AI helps them save time or work faster.

Individuals who work in customer service can embrace AI-powered analytics from chatbot logs, phone call recordings and transcripts, emails, and customer reviews, to identify pain points and opportunities to improve the customer experience.

Low-level finance and accounting tasks

AI is also impacting entry-level roles in the finance and accounting sector. An Intuit survey of 2,000 accountants found that 48% of respondents plan to invest in automation tools and AI in the next year

Some of the accounting tasks that can be automated using AI include data collection, data entry, categorization, reconciliation, and invoicing. On the finance side, AI tools can automatically process high volumes of data and identify financial patterns and trends to help make data-driven decisions related to vetting borrowers, calculating risk, and managing investments.

The good news for early career finance and accounting professionals is that AI can empower them to accelerate career growth. For example, research published by Fortune shows that at KPMG, one of the largest consulting firms, AI is enabling recent graduates to complete tax work that was previously intended for staff with at least three years of experience.

Entry-level legal work

AI capabilities can also automate many tasks associated with entry-level legal work. According to research from LexisLexus, 36% of lawyers surveyed have used a generative AI tool either personally or professionally.

Ways AI is used in entry-level legal work include:

  • Document automation. Generative AI tools can help create initial drafts of standard legal documents, such as contracts, nondisclosure agreements (NDAs), wills, and leases.
  • Contract review. Manually reviewing lengthy legal documents can be time-consuming and presents the risk for human error. AI tools with machine learning capabilities can review and analyze contract language to flag information that may have otherwise been overlooked during an initial review by a legal team member.

Similar to how AI is helping accounting professionals level-up in their roles, the Fortune article cited above also shows that at law firm Macfarlanes LLP, AI is enabling junior lawyers to interpret complex contracts that were previously the responsibility of their more experienced peers, which can help-fast track the timeline to becoming a partner.

Upskilling and AI adaptation

Looking ahead to the future of work, AI will likely continue to create new jobs and increase automation in others. Research from McKinsey estimates that at least 12 million U.S. workers will change to another field by 2030, largely due to the impact of generative AI.

Even among individuals who don’t need to completely pivot their careers in response to AI growth, AI will have an impact on most roles across industries and focus areas. As stated by Harvard Business School professor Karim Lakhani, “AI is not going to replace humans, but humans with AI are going to replace humans without AI.” Because of this, upskilling and learning about the latest AI technology are essential to ongoing career relevance and growth.

Continuous learning

global report from the World Economic Forum estimates that 44% of workers’ core skills are expected to change in the next five years. Top organizational priorities or skills training include analytical thinking, creative thinking, and the ability to use AI and big data. The research also shows that while six in 10 workers will require training and reskilling before 2027, only half of workers have access to adequate training opportunities today.

Individuals and organizations can both play a role in prioritizing continuous learning, which can help ensure workers possess the most in-demand skills and can drive positive business outcomes as technology and business priorities evolve.

Some of the ways individuals can focus on continuous learning include:

  • Completing courses and earning certifications about AI and other in-demand skills through online platforms like Coursera, edX, Skillshare, and Udemy
  • Listening to podcasts and reading books, news articles, and research papers on AI and other disruptors relevant to their jobs
  • Joining and participating in professional AI-focused communities
  • Gaining firsthand experience with AI by experimenting with tools directly

Organizations can support ongoing learning and development by offering resources such as:

  • An overview of available AI and other technology tools during onboarding
  • Online learning platform access
  • Skill assessments
  • Stretch assignments and experiential learning
  • Mentorship opportunities
  • Stipends for professional development events and courses

Preparing for an AI-augmented future

As AI continues to have a significant impact across industries, organizations that proactively integrate AI into their business strategies—rather than being resistant to AI—are most likely to stay ahead of their competition and remain relevant as customer demands and priorities shift.

Redefining business models

According to research from UKG, 78% of C-suite leaders surveyed said their company is currently using AI. Additionally, 71% of C-suite leaders indicated that increasing and advancing their use of AI is a priority for their organization, underscoring the competitive advantage AI can bring.

Many organizations are embracing AI tools to help their teams work more effectively, while others are also integrating AI directly into their business models to improve the customer experience.

Here are some examples of creative ways companies have incorporated AI into their business models:

  • Amazon. As one of the largest companies in the world, Amazon integrates AI across the business, with one of the most well-known examples being the virtual assistant Alexa. Like many retailers, Amazon also uses AI to identify customer patterns and trends and offer personalized products recommendations. One of the more innovative ways Amazon leverages AI is by deploying 750,000 collaborative robots to automate manual tasks so employees can focus more on customer interactions. In 2022, one billion packages were sorted by Amazon’s AI- and machine learning-powered robotic handling system, called Robin.
  • Coca-Cola. In early 2023, Coca-Cola launched a contest inviting digital artists to create original artwork on an AI platform using iconic assets from the brand’s archive. The platform, “Create Real Magic,” was created by OpenAI and Bain & Company and combined the capabilities of GPT-4 for text creation and DALL-E, which generates art and images based on text inputs. More than 120,000 images were created in eight days with no paid media spending. Following the initial contest in March, Coca-Cola launched another iteration of the platform in November 2023, enabling individuals to create holiday cards using the same technology and iconic brand assets.
  • Johnson & Johnson. Neutrogena, a Johnson & Johnson cosmetics and skincare brand, partnered with Nourished, a 3D-printed dietary supplements company, in early 2023 to print personalized skincare gummies for customers. The process uses existing AI-powered Skin360 technology from Neutrogena, which enables users to scan an image of their face on the mobile website for a digital skincare assessment and personalized product recommendations.

Debunking common fears and misconceptions about AI

Despite the significant benefits AI has to offer, many individuals are concerned about the potential of AI. In fact, according to a report from Pew Research Center, 52% of Americans surveyed say they feel more concerned than excited about the increased adoption of artificial intelligence. One of the top reasons some people may be apprehensive about AI is that they have misconceptions about the technology and its impact.

Common misconceptions about AI include:

  • AI is similar to human intelligence. While AI-powered conversations may seem realistic, these conversations simply show AI-powered algorithms at work. AI doesn’t possess human emotions, can’t learn on its own like the human brain, and some outputs created by AI tools are inaccurate or biased. Because of this, taking a collaborative approach that includes both technology and human workers is essential to successful AI adoption. In fact, research from Workday found that 93% of business leaders surveyed believe humans should be involved in AI decision-making.
  • AI is unbiased. Because people create AI tools and systems, and because these systems are largely trained on material created by people, biases can be incorporated into AI technology. When bias makes its way into a tool during AI development—even unintentionally—the tool can skew results toward or against certain groups. This can introduce implicit biases and microaggressions into a product, which can undermine customer confidence in a brand, and have a negative impact on people’s lives.
  • AI can only be used by technically skilled people. Some individuals may be concerned about falling behind in their careers because they lack the technical skills to embrace AI. However, AI tools such as ChatGPT, Midjourney, and Jasper make it easy for any user to input conversational prompts and experiment with AI. Additionally, some of the emerging AI-related roles, including AI ethicists, AI researchers, and AI policy specialists, are non-technical.

Addressing global challenges and improving lives with AI

As companies identify ways for AI to drive business growth, AI also has the potential to solve global challenges. A survey of 2,000 U.S. adults conducted by The Verge found that 74% of respondents believe AI will have a significant impact on society as a whole, a higher percentage than any other emerging technology such as augmented reality or autonomous vehicles.

The survey also found that while many are concerned about AI’s potential impact, about half of respondents believe AI will have a positive impact on addressing challenges such as developing new medical treatments and economic empowerment.

To maximize the ability of AI to address global challenges, the United Nations launched an advisory board specifically aimed at harnessing AI for the common good.

Here are two ways AI has the potential to address global challenges:

  • Disaster relief and humanitarian aid. AI can analyze data from social media, satellite images, and other relevant sources to pinpoint areas affected by natural disasters. It can then direct aid to those in need, which can help save lives and improve recovery efforts. xView2, a machine learning system developed by the U.S. Department of Defense and Carnegie Mellon, combines algorithms with satellite imagery to identify damage in disaster areas, such as recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, and prioritize relief efforts.
  • Food insecurity. As the global population increases and climate change presents challenges with growing food, AI can help support food security around the world. Charlie Li, a professor at the University of Florida, uses AI to combat food insecurity in a few ways, including analyzing large datasets to develop more resilient crops, using sensors, robots, and drones to collect data on crop and soil conditions, and detecting crop diseases and pests early with image-recognition algorithms.

This article originally appeared on Upwork..com Resource Center (Upwork is a company that helps businesses find talent and people find workand was syndicated by MediaFeed.org. 

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10 In-Demand Jobs in 2024

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At different points in your career, you may decide that it’s time to make a change and switch industries or professions. Changing careers may mean taking a few steps back and focusing on learning new skills. You may consider taking online courses and earning certificates before you can start applying for jobs. While you have to put in this effort upfront, it pays off in the long run when you feel more fulfilled at your job and have better opportunities and career growth.

If you’re feeling unsatisfied in your current role and are thinking about changing careers, explore some growing industries and popular roles we’ve compiled for you to consider.

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Changing careers is a big decision that takes planning and research. At first, moving to a different industry or switching professions can feel like starting over. Soft skills like communication, organization, and leadership are transferable, but you may need to learn specific hard skills before you’re qualified for the types of positions you want.

As you start brainstorming your different options, you want to make sure changing career paths is the right move. Evaluate your current position and company to identify possible growth opportunities and other small changes that would impact your job satisfaction and happiness. You may decide to look for the same job title at a different company that fits your needs better.

Here are some factors to consider when deciding to change careers:

  • What to change. Try to determine how big a change you need, whether you would be happy at a different company doing the same role or if you need to change positions or industries entirely.
  • Values. Changing career paths is an opportunity for a fresh start. Think about what matters to you most in the workplace, whether it’s flexibility, culture, pay, or the type of work you do, so you can find companies and positions that match.
  • Skills gaps. Evaluate what courses, certifications, and skills you need to learn before you can start applying for jobs.
  • Market research. Pay attention to projected growth and trends so you can move into an industry that pays well and has job openings.
  • Career goals. Use this time to set career goals and contemplate where you want to be in the next five years.
  • Time commitment. Decide if now is the right time to make a change. Research the types of jobs you want and consider if you have the time in your schedule to commit to upskilling and preparing your resume.
  • Burn out. Reflect and see if you’re suffering from burnout and need to learn how to create work-life balance by setting boundaries or take some time off completely to recover.
  • Quitting. Decide if you can change careers while staying at your current job or if you want to quit, take time off, or go back to school.
  • Career coaching. Get career advice from an expert coach if you need help creating an action plan and figuring out your next move.


The industry you work in affects everything from job availability to workplace flexibility. Some industries are better suited for remote working, while others need in-person participation. Ideally, you want to choose an industry that’s growing and is in high demand; typically, that means a higher average salary and more secure job. The industry should align with your interests, whether that’s health care or sustainability, so you can enjoy what you do.

When evaluating job industries, analyze how experts predict they will change and evolve based on societal trends and technological developments in the next five to ten years. Consider whether advances in generative AI (artificial intelligence) could impact your day-to-day job activities or if the demand for your industry will grow or shrink.

AI, sustainability, and other trending areas have demands for talent that aren’t quite met yet by availability because the fields are newer. This supply and demand situation can mean higher starting salaries and opportunities for growth. You have a chance of establishing yourself as a leader in a new field.

Before suggesting specific roles, we’ll describe several different types of industries to consider switching to:

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During the Silicon Valley boom, tech jobs became known for paying well and having flexibility, along with other perks. Many employees became millionaires overnight by cashing out stock when the startups they worked at went public (IPO–initial public offering). Companies like Google and Apple built entire campuses for their employees, offering free chef-cooked meals, on-site gyms, wellness benefits, and even unlimited paid time off, depending on the role.

While the noise around Silicon Valley has quieted some, and tech companies have headquarters across the world rather than centralized in San Francisco, these types of jobs still offer competitive compensation and can often be remote. If you want to work in tech, positions in software development, data science, and digital marketing tend to pay well and have competitive starting salaries.

These positions often allow work-from-home flexibility, or you can spend part of the time in the office, depending on the company’s remote working policies. You can teach yourself hard skills like coding languages or earn certificates in product management or Google Analytics to make yourself a more competitive candidate. Online learning platforms offer free and paid courses to acquire specific skills.

Online learning platforms for tech skills:

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Private and public companies worldwide are shifting their focus toward being greener, creating a surge in demand for jobs. The green economy invests in social and environmental sustainability. Many companies are looking to minimize their impact and use of resources. This could involve developing an alternative energy source or reducing corporate waste by switching to more eco-friendly product packaging.

Startups are creating innovative solutions to everyday problems like reusing plastic waste or removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Established companies are joining the net zero coalition to help reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to as close to zero as possible. Even if a company’s products or services aren’t directly related to sustainability, they may have a department or team dedicated to making the business more environmentally friendly.

In the green economy, you could work in corporate social responsibility, helping companies reduce their impact, or be in the field as a technician, farmer, or researcher. Sustainability has many different facets that you can focus on, whether you want to be on the business side or have more of a hands-on technical role.

Different areas of focus for green economy jobs:

  • Biology
  • Consulting
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Urban planning
  • Environmental science
  • Conservation
  • Non-profit positions
  • Environmental engineer
  • Government jobs
  • Waste management

Where to find sustainable jobs:

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The large health care industry maintains a steady demand for roles and job security over time. When you think of health-centric professionals, doctors and nurses may be the first roles that come to mind. If you go beyond medicine and enter the health and wellness space, you can find a variety of other jobs that may fit your interests.

In addition, the wellness industry is growing and looks here to stay as people invest more time and money in their mental and physical well-being. Practices like mindfulness and self-care became even more critical during the pandemic. Wellness has become an everyday part of many people’s lives.

More people are curious about alternative medicine and supplements. Chinese medicine and other holistic Eastern practices like acupuncture, massage, and homeopathy are becoming incorporated into health and wellness plans, as are virtual visits. Instead of meeting with doctors and therapists in person, telemedicine allows patients to chat or video call with healthcare professionals from the comfort of their homes—which increases job flexibility for workers.

The idea of wellness even worked its way into the workplace as more employers offer these types of benefits and try to cultivate a company culture that prevents burnout. This focus on health typically pays off with increased productivity and fewer absences and workplace injuries in employees.

Examples of jobs in the wellness industry:

  • Nutritionist
  • Life coach
  • Personal trainer
  • Fitness instructor
  • Chef
  • Chiropractor
  • Aesthetician
  • Acupuncturist
  • Massage therapist

Some of these jobs require schooling to become licensed, while others can be self-taught. Depending on the type of role, you may be able to work from home or need to be in-person with clients.


E-commerce and online business

Instead of selling products only at brick-and-mortar stores, companies can reach customers globally with e-commerce. Online websites, marketplaces, and social media allow companies to connect with customers from all over the world. Some companies operate completely online and don’t need a storefront, providing services directly to customers through their website or app.

Shopify estimates that by 2024, over 21% of total retail sales will happen online, and the number continues to grow. Online marketplaces, like Amazon, make up the biggest share of e-commerce sales. You could offer your services as a consultant, helping companies set up and optimize their e-commerce channels or set up your own online business.

If you want to set up an online business, you don’t need to have your own product. As an affiliate marketer, you can earn a commission by promoting and selling other company’s products and services. You can do this by advertising them on your social media channels or blog. Every time someone purchases a product using your link or code, you make money.

Content creators with a large following may have brands reach out directly for affiliate programs and collaborations. If you’re not there yet, that’s OK. You can use sites like ShopifyAmazon Associates, Rakuten, and eBay partner network to find companies looking for affiliate partners. Ideally, you want to promote only products that are “on brand” with the type of content you make.

You can also create your own online store and fulfill orders by dropshipping. Instead of having to keep product inventory, you can work with suppliers that handle stock and shipping. Dropshipping suppliers ship products directly to your customers.

Let’s say you want to sell mugs on your website. The dropshipping supplier charges you $3.99 per mug, so you list them on your website for $12.99. When a customer purchases a mug from your site, the supplier handles the shipping. All you have to do is market the products, and you earn $9 for every sale.

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Creators can use digital platforms to monetize their artistic skills. You can choose from a variety of different creative avenues and mediums, depending on what your talents are. Switching careers and moving into the creative space can mean starting from scratch to build your business and reputation. Think about what you’re naturally talented at and how you could make it profitable.

If you enjoy creating physical products, you could list them on Etsy. Digital creators can engage their audience on social media and make money by running ads and partnering with brands. As a freelancer, you can offer your services like graphic design or writing directly to your clients on an online platform.

When you do what you love, it sometimes doesn’t even feel like work. You may be able to start exploring creative avenues while working at your current job. Test the waters and see if there’s a demand for your goods and services.

Creative avenues to consider:


Think about what your dream job looks like. Some people may want the flexibility of working from home, while others need to know that they’re making a difference. Everyone has different work values. Find companies that share these values and create the type of work environment that you do best in. Reflect on what fulfills you professionally and then start doing research on the types of jobs you think you’d enjoy.

If you’re considering changing careers, these are some of the top roles to investigate:


Digital marketers help businesses reach their audiences using online channels like social media and websites. The goal of a digital marketer could be to generate leads and sales or grow brand awareness. Digital marketers know how to tell a brand’s story through content and make sure it reaches the target audiences.

Businesses of all sizes and stages need digital marketers to engage their customers. Digital marketers decide what content the brand needs, choose the channels to promote it on, and then analyze the data to optimize performance.

Digital marketing responsibilities can include:

  • Content calendar planning and management
  • Content creation
  • Social media management
  • Performance reporting
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Email marketing
  • Blogging
  • Website management
  • Paid advertising
  • Campaign stewardship
  • Project management
  • Content audits

Keep reading:

Median hourly rate: $25 per hour

Find digital marketing jobs


Data scientists combine computer programming, machine learning, statistical analysis, and software engineering skills to dive deep into an organization’s data. They look for patterns and trends to help their clients and employers make better decisions.

A data scientist may use complex data to forecast and make predictions. They often work in programming languages like Python, R, and SQL. Part of a data scientist’s job may be to take their findings and communicate them to other stakeholders in a report or presentation.

Data science responsibilities may include:

  • Doing A/B testing
  • Creating frameworks
  • Providing predictive modeling
  • Developing algorithms and models
  • Creating custom analytics tools
  • Cleaning and mining data
  • Completing statistical analyses

Keep reading:

Median hourly rate: $35 per hour

Find data science jobs

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Machine learning engineers help machines like robots learn how to function and increase output through repetition and patterns. The goal is for these machines to be able to perform these tasks independently. Machine learning engineers create autonomous machines.

These types of engineers use data to create algorithms that simulate how humans learn for machines and robots to replicate. Over time, the machine “learns” to become more efficient. Real-life examples of machine learning are image and speech recognition, video surveillance, predictive analytics, targeted advertisements, and self-driving cars.

Machine learning engineer responsibilities may include:

  • Conducting experiments
  • Designing machine learning systems
  • Performing statistical analyses
  • Creating and training models
  • Implementing algorithms

If you wanted to create a machine that mimics human intelligence, that would be AI. This is a growing field as companies across industries are beginning to expand the use of AI and generative AI. Examples of AI are digital virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri, fully autonomous vehicles, chatbots, and Canva Image Generator.

Machine learning and AI engineers work in programming languages like Python, R, Java, JavaScript, C++, Julia, LISP, and Haskell. These types of engineers are needed in many different industries.

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Median hourly rate: $35 per hour

Find machine learning engineer jobs.

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UX designers think about how the user interacts with a product and find ways to improve it. UX designers consider factors like usability, accessibility, and overall satisfaction when evaluating a product or service. They may work with a digital service like a mobile app or website, or a physical product. UX designers take the user journey and make sure that it’s a seamless experience from start to finish.

A UX designer decides how to display information in a way that’s easy to use and visually appealing. They may create wireframes for the developers and engineers to build. The job of a UX designer is to understand what the product or service needs to do and then make it as enjoyable as possible for the end user. They typically work in Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator) and programs like Figma and Sketch.

UX designer responsibilities may include:

  • Run A/B tests
  • Define end-user needs through focus groups and interviews
  • Create wireframes, mockups, and prototypes
  • Develop storyboards and user-flows
  • Gather feedback on designs from users
  • Design interfaces and visual elements
  • Provide graphic design

Keep reading:

Median hourly rate: $27 per hour

Find UX designer jobs.


Environmental consultants use their expert knowledge of sustainability to advise businesses, non-profits, and government organizations. These consultants help create policies, systems, and processes to minimize an organization’s impact on the earth. Environmental consultants can work in the public or private sector and help develop sustainable practices.

An environmental consultant may audit how the organization is currently performing and then offer recommendations for improvements that adhere to environmental laws and regulations. They help improve and protect the environment by advising companies and organizations to be more sustainable in their business operations.

Environmental consultant responsibilities may include:

  • Advising regulatory compliance
  • Remediating environmental concerns
  • Practicing conservation
  • Designing environmental management systems
  • Doing data analysis and reporting
  • Visiting worksites
  • Conducting tests

Average hourly rate: $36 per hour

Find environmental consultant and sustainability jobs


As more people install solar panels on their homes and businesses, the demand for solar technicians increases. Solar panels convert energy from sunlight to electrical energy. Companies and individuals use solar panels as an alternative energy source. Solar technicians typically install these panels on the tops or sides of buildings or in an empty field where they can absorb the most sunlight possible.

What’s great about becoming a solar technician is that you typically don’t need a bachelor’s degree. It’s a trade that you can generally learn on the job. Employers often teach technicians safety protocols, as the job involves working with electrical systems and installation techniques. Some technical schools or community colleges may offer courses and training for solar technicians to make it easier to find a job.

Solar technician responsibilities may include:

  • Performing maintenance repairs
  • Doing installations
  • Making sure panels adhere to local regulations and codes
  • Building solar farms
  • Consulting with clients
  • Troubleshooting electrical systems

Average hourly rate: $31 per hour

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Yoga is an ancient practice that today has become a wellness exercise that combines stretching, meditation, and strength. Instructors lead their classes through different poses and types of yoga, from power yoga in a heated room to a gentler, slow-paced yin. Yoga instructors must attend a registered yoga school and complete a certification program, which is typically between 200 and 500 hours.

As a yoga instructor, you can teach small classes at a yoga studio, gym, or other facility or even corporate or private classes. Many companies offer yoga classes to their employees as part of their wellness benefits. Virtual yoga has become more popular, allowing you to teach students from the comfort of your home.  

Yoga teacher responsibilities may include:

  • Lead the class through yoga poses
  • Provide adjustments
  • Correct posture and alignment
  • Check in students at the front desk
  • Clean exercise space between classes

Average hourly rate: $26 per hour

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Nutritionists help clients achieve their health and wellness goals through diet and exercise. They create specialized meal plans based on their client’s individual needs and check in to monitor progress. Nutritionists focus on the wellness side of food and diet, compared to registered dieticians who work alongside medical professionals as part of a treatment plan.

Depending on where you live (you can check U.S. state laws here), you may need to earn a related degree, take courses, and become a certified and licensed dietician before working as a nutritionist. Some states and countries allow nutritionists to work with clients in a non-medical capacity without needing a license.

‍Nutritionist responsibilities may include:

  • Create meal and exercise plans
  • Address dietary restrictions
  • Assess sleep, exercise, and food habits
  • Educate clients on healthy eating habits
  • Set goals for clients
  • Provide ongoing support, coaching, and check-ins
  • Monitor progress

Average hourly rate: $33 per hour.

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Deposit Photos

Shopify developers build e-commerce sites using Shopify. They build everything from the visual storefront to the back-end checkout process. Depending on how complex the website is, Shopify developers may create custom APIs and frameworks. Shopify developers work on both the front and back ends, keeping user experience and functionality in mind.

As a Shopify developer, you may build custom themes or work within existing templates. Shopify uses its own language, Liquid, to create themes, but Shopify developers may also need to know HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and JSON for integrations and APIs.

Shopify developer responsibilities may include:

  • Manage Shopify integrations
  • Create custom APIs
  • Improve user experience
  • Debug and test websites
  • Design and edit themes
  • Provide technical support

Median hourly rate: $20 per hour.

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Content creators make graphics, audio, video, or copy for their own channels or their clients’. Some content creators have successful social media channels, blogs, or podcasts that they can monetize through brand partnerships or advertising–these are influencers. Other content creators freelance or work in-house for a client, creating content for the brand’s channels.

Content creators stay on top of trends and know how to create content that engages a target audience. As a content creator, you may choose to specialize in a particular type of medium, like video. Depending on the type of content you want to create, you may need to know the Adobe Creative CloudCanva, or video editing software.

Content creator responsibilities may include:

  • Negotiating contracts
  • Creating audio, graphic, video, or written content
  • Managing editorial calendars
  • Partnering with brands
  • Promoting products
  • Responding to comments and messages
  • Doing affiliate marketing

Average hourly rate: $20 per hour.

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Many people in their careers decide to transition into a new industry or position, and that’s OK. Changing careers may seem like a big hurdle at first, but it can present more opportunities down the road. Some jobs are needed across all industries, while others are industry-specific. You may need to go back to school or learn new skills. Changing your industry or current career can feel like starting over, but it pays off if you can find jobs that you’re interested in or that have higher pay and better benefits.

Research and reskilling

Changing careers sometimes means that you need to learn new skills and focus on professional development. Research the industry and specific positions you want to apply to and start closing the skills gaps. You can start taking online courses and earning certificates to make yourself a more competitive candidate.

Make sure to research the industry and positions you’re applying to so you feel prepared. The interview process may be different than what you’re used to. Interview styles can be more technical or behavioral based on the industry and the types of roles.

Building a network in the new field

Another important aspect of changing industries is networking. Becoming involved in the industry by attending networking events can help you make connections. You may find a mentor who can provide coaching and guidance as you look for a new job and establish yourself in the industry. They may even be able to refer you to a job at their company.

Marketing yourself

Before you start applying for jobs, make sure you update your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, and portfolio with your latest experience and tailor them to the type of job you want. If you need more help, you can hire a freelance resume writer.

Think about what transferable skills you have and put them on your resume. While your past work experience may be different than what you want to do—many of the skills you learned are likely still useful. Organization and communication skills, for example, are needed in every industry.

This article originally appeared on Upwork..com Resource Center (Upwork is a company that helps businesses find talent and people find workand was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.


Zapp2Photo / iStock

Featured Image Credit: PhonlamaiPhoto / iStock.