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As more people become immersed in social media, the need for experts will naturally decline. (KACPER PEMPEL/REUTERS)
As more people become immersed in social media, the need for experts will naturally decline. (KACPER PEMPEL/REUTERS)

JOB SKILLS

Today’s social media experts the buggy-whip makers of tomorrow? Add to ...

Jobs for tech-savvy social media experts will be as obsolete in 10 years as more traditional occupations such as taxi dispatcher and toll-booth operator, according to a study released Tuesday by online employment site Workopolis.

The study predicts that social media experts will become as much a victim of advancing technology as many other occupations.

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That is because today’s youngsters are already immersed in platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, and so will enter the job market already familiar with social media.

“People will need to be even more literate with social media just to get in the door and it will no longer be something that absolutely differentiates folks,” said Tara Talbot, vice-president of human resources at Workopolis.

The study, by the Workopolis research team, also projects that taxi drivers will be increasingly hailed by an app on a smartphone rather than through calls to a dispatcher, and that toll booths will “spit out” exact change, making operators unnecessary.

The same thing with retail cashiers, who will increasingly be replaced by self-serve checkouts.

Demand for couriers, people greeters and photo lab employees still exist, but are among the fastest declining jobs on Workopolis.

But jobs that secure money and sell products are still in demand, despite technology.

“At the end of the day, people still like to buy from people,” Ms. Talbot said. “At an individual and corporate level, there’s a lot more attention on financial security and getting yourself sorted.”

Financial advisers, financial services representatives and sales representatives are among the site’s fastest-growing professions, according to the study. So are payroll specialists, social workers, consultants and loss prevention investigators.

Meanwhile, a separate study – based on a survey of 2,500 Canadians between Nov. 1 and Nov. 11 – found that Canadians were feeling a bit more optimistic about their careers, with 50 per cent of respondents saying they believe they will have a harder time finding employment in 2014. While that may seem high, it was down from 58 per cent earlier.

For job seekers getting out their résumés, Ms. Talbot said they should highlight key skills they would bring to a job and their past employment achievements, while avoiding excessive detail.

“If there’s too much there, people just shut down and move on,” she said.

Among skills being sought in the workplace are the ability to analyze data, speak more than one language, and demonstrate proficiency with mobile apps. Forget mentioning familiarity with fax machines and word processing, which Ms. Talbot called dated skills.

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