Top 5 Dream Jobs in the Internet Age


Dream jobs have changed over the years. If you asked someone what their dream job was 50 years ago, you may have gotten answers that included careers like doctor, lawyer, or Wall Street guru. 20 years ago, as the millennial generation started dreaming of what they wanted to be when they grew up, the answer may have been astronaut, scientist, photographer, or artist.

The Internet Age has given birth to a whole new generation of dream jobs. These new career options prize things like flexibility and entrepreneurship, rather than the rigid schedule and 'ladder climb' of the more traditional career. Here we've collected the 5 top dream jobs in the Internet age.

1. Writer. 

Everyone has a story to tell but for the longest time, the authors of those stories were limited to those who had the knowledge and fortitude to navigate the publishing industry. The Internet, and more specifically self publishing platforms like Amazon.com, has made writing a much more approachable career. Instead of writing on strict deadlines and sending out manuscripts to dozens of publishers just hoping for a bite, you can now write, edit, and publish on your own, without the need for a third party publisher.

Even creating print copies is easier than ever before. If you need a good cover and don't have the artistic skills to create it, simply commission one from any of the thousands of cover artists who market their work via social media. Thanks to the Internet, writers are no longer tied to the traditional publishing houses.

2. Photographer. 

No, we're not talking about being Instagram-famous or taking 'artsy' black and white pictures of lawn chairs with your cell phone. Photography does require a bit of skill and a lot of patience, but it's not something that requires a degree or the money to open a studio anymore. Today's modern Internet Age photographers use the world as their studio, offering photo shoots in beautiful outdoor locations or indoor public locations where available.

Like traditional photography, this career does require a bit of an initial investment in terms of equipment and software, but a skilled photographer can make their equipment pay for itself.

3. Freelance Journalist. 

How many of you wanted to be Clark Kent or Jimmy Olsen growing up? Not Superman, but actually be the reporter who chased stories, found out what was going on, and lived their life in a bustling news bullpen? While traditional news offices do still exist, they tend to focus almost exclusively on television news, leaving the Internet to the freelance journalist! Many news websites employ freelance journalists now, for a variety of reasons.

First, it's cheaper than flying their salaried journalists to every city in the world. If you're based in New York, and there's a breaking story in San Francisco, California, it's a lot easier to call up a freelance journalist who already lived in San Francisco than it is to fly your salaried journalist across the country.

Second, it's cheaper, because freelance journalists are often paid only for the stories that they write and submit, rather than being kept on salary.

It works out well for both sides of the arrangement.

If you’re interested in becoming a freelance journalist, Paydesk is a great place to start!

4. Artist. 

There is a reason that the stereotype of the ‘starving artist’ continues to hold a place in today’s pop culture: becoming an artist used to be hard. You could be the next Da Vinci or Van Gogh, but it wouldn’t matter unless the right people saw your artwork.

Today, with some skill and a couple decent social media accounts, it’s much easier for artists to get their artwork into the right hands.

Selling commissioned art is much easier as well. Not only can the transactions be handled securely through sites like PayPal, if necessary, the artist can upload pictures or videos of the work in progress. Sites like DeviantArt also provide a great free way for artists to showcase their work.

5. Programmer. 

All of these fantastic Internet Age jobs wouldn’t be possible without websites to host on, and that’s where programmers come in. Knowledgeable programmers who can troubleshoot problems, diagnose bugs, and create new websites and programs are always in demand. There can be no global internet economy or without the often overlooked programmer.

It’s a lot easier to learn how to program than it used to be. You don’t need to enroll in a local college to get all of the knowledge you might need to create someone’s dream website or app. Many sites offer programming classes for free in a variety of languages, CodeAcademy.com for example, offers free classes in HTML&CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, PHP, Python, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, and others. All for free and easily accessible to anyone who’s got a computer and basic computer knowledge.

One of the biggest benefits of these Internet Age jobs is that they provide the flexibility that many young career-minded individuals crave. The age of stepping on the person below you to climb the corporate ladder is coming to an end. Internet age jobs are quickly moving in to replace them. It will be interesting to see which careers move to an internet based model in the next 10 years or so.

image credits: hywards

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