6 Occupations You Might Not Know Existed: New Industries Edition
Gone are the days where being a farmer or a professional gamer is deemed nothing more than a childish fantasy. Here, we spotlight viable but unusual jobs that might not have existed 5-10 years ago.
The one thing that astronauts, farmers, and professional gamers have in common is that we might have wanted to be one of them growing up. Over the years, as more industries open up to keep up with the evolving world, there’s a growing demand for more niche and unconventional jobs all over the world. For instance, farmers can now be working in laboratories with high tech vertical farming, while video game enthusiasts can make a comfortable living as esports players, or video game developers.
The possibilities are truly are endless these days. Read on to find out more about some of the occupations that might not have existed 5–10 years ago, but have become viable and popular career options for fresh graduates, or even folks looking to make a mid-career switch, today.
Most of us would probably know about Singapore's “30 by 30” initiative, which was launched back in 2019. For the uninitiated, this means that Singapore aims to produce 30% of its own food by 2030—an ambitious goal for a nation as small and land-scarce as we are.
In line with this goal, many local startups and agriculture companies have risen to the challenge and are experimenting with urban farming techniques such as setting up rooftop farms and exploring vertical farming technology. Unlike traditional land farming, where mainly plant and nutritional knowledge is required, vertical and urban farming requires some knowledge of engineering, machinery, and mechanics in order to work with and build these high-tech vertical farms, and is a lot more scientific than one might think.
One company pushing the boundaries of urban farming in Singapore is &ever, a German indoor vertical farming company that is currently building a vertical, fully-automated leafy greens mega-farm in Changi Logistics Centre, slated to begin operations in the second half of 2022. Not only that, the company will also be setting up its global research and development centre alongside the mega-farm, and is also planning to expand to another mega-farm dedicated to growing strawberries sometime this year. The best part is that as a vertical farmer, you’ll likely be one of the first to taste the fruits of your labour. Yum!
Immersive Experience Designer
Over the years, museums have started exploring the use of more interactive and engaging elements like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). It could be because more people are seeking out dynamic experiences for the Gram, or simply making use of new innovations in the digital world to make learning and knowledge-sharing more engaging and exciting. In any case, large-scale exhibitions—like the ones that Cityneon Events at 3 Tai Seng Drive organises—are quite the sight to see and experience these days. Having been in the industry for decades, the global Cityneon team has set up themed exhibitions like their Jurassic World Exhibition in countries like the US, South Korea, and China. As a designer of immersive experiences, the job involves planning for, preparing, and executing such exhibitions from start to finish. In the case of Cityneon’s Jurassic World Exhibition, this would involve elements like moving, life-sized dinosaurs, realistic sets, and interactive features.
This is why designers generally have to have a wide range of knowledge on various softwares such as AutoCAD, and be familiar with more technical aspects of events management like rigging, lighting, special effects, and more. Sounds like a lot of work, with responsibilities being both hands-on and desk-bound, but there’ll never be a dull moment on the job.
During the pandemic lockdowns, e-commerce boomed when individuals and brands alike turned to online livestreams to sell their products in a more personal, engaging, and casual manner without even having to be in the same room or even country as their customers. In other words, online shopping was taken to the next level because of the pandemic, and though we might be well on our way towards pre-pandemic normalcy, livestreams remain a viable, and oftentimes preferred option for selling products today. In fact, in larger firms and e-commerce platforms like Shopee—which is headquartered at 5 Science Park Drive— there are even studios dedicated to hosting livestream sales and marketing strategies.
It might seem easy, but did you know that there’s actually a lot that goes on behind the scenes of each livestream? Products have to be prepped, lighting and other video equipment has have to be set up, and sometimes, scripts have to be written, especially when the products being sold are more niche or specific ones like supplements and skincare. The one downside of the job is that it might be a bit unnatural to be speaking to a camera with a crew behind it watching you, but chatty, outgoing individuals will thrive in a role like this one.
Video Game Engineer
If you grew up with video games, you’d probably be all too familiar with being scolded for spending too much time on them. However, with the rise of esports and professional players raking in millions of dollars, new age parents of the new age might be more open to the idea of video gaming as a lucrative career option for their kids. But if you're more of a casual player as opposed to a top ranking one, the next best option would be to explore video game engineering.
On the backend, video game engineers are the ones who are responsible for writing the code for the entire game system, and developing features like multiplayer capabilities, user interface, and more. Granted, it isn’t quite the same as playing video games, and is a lot more tedious, but if you think about it, coding, like video games, are all about problem solving, just in different forms. Plus, how many people can actually say that they’ve developed a game of their own? And in studios like Bandai Namco Studios Singapore at Infinite Studios in one- north, engineers will get to work on a variety of games, from weapon-based fighting ones like SOULCALIBUR VI to family-friendly ones like Taiko no Tatsujin, so the work is never monotonous.
Another thing that saw a popularity spike during the pandemic would be streaming video platforms like Discovery Networks, also at Infinite Studios in one-north but have you ever wondered how such platforms select which shows to add to their never-ending list of offerings? Enter content curators—not to be confused with content creators—people with not only a broad knowledge of global TV shows and movies, but also a background in information sciences and familiarity with data analysis. As part of the job, content curators source for potential films and series to add to the database of streaming platforms, and oversee the acquisition of rights for these shows.
This isn’t as simple as selecting shows that they enjoy watching though. Because most streaming platforms are available globally, content curators would also have to understand their audiences in different countries, and source for shows that would appeal to these different audiences. This probably explains why certain shows are only available in certain countries on your go-to streaming platform. So, if you’re one to binge series after series online, this might just be the career for you.
As with most processes in this day and age, digital is the way to go. Things like ordering food at a restaurant or getting passports renewed can all be done online now, thanks to cloud systems built by none other than cloud architects. While a regular architect designs physical buildings and structures, cloud architects design a company’s cloud computing system, which is an online data storage system. Basically, cloud architects are IT experts that primarily work with companies to create suitable cloud infrastructures for the company to meet their business goals. And because most, if not all companies have some form of online data storage system, cloud architects are hireable in demand in practically any industry.
For instance, in the consumer electronics sector, Sony Electronics’ cloud architect would be in charge of proposing, evaluating, and designing Platform as a Service (PasS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IasS) solutions among other responsibilities at their office in Hansapoint at the Changi Business Park. PaaS products allow businesses to build, host, and deploy consumer-facing apps, while IaaS products allow businesses to manage their resources and data on the cloud.
These are but a handful of relatively newer career options in the market right now, each of them groundbreaking in their own way. So, the next time you find yourself dreaming of all the possibilities you could explore in your career, don’t be so quick to write them off. Because who knows, in just a few years, your dream might be the next big career path in the market.
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