Now is the Best Time to Reinvent Yourself | Briefing v8.0

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2019 is an exciting time to be alive. Socio-politics aside, we are fortunate enough to experience first-hand a massive advancement in technology only seen once every generation or so, and what many are calling the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution.’ At the forefront, of course, has been the mainstream adoption of at-home personal computers, the Internet, and mobile phones. As with the advent of new technologies and advancements, boundless new opportunities arise in unexplored or previously non-existing industries. Consequently, if you are uncertain of or dissatisfied with your future or career path, there is no better time than now to explore an area that has only existed for a short amount of time and reinvent yourself.

What are some of these areas? 

The commonalities between them are these industries (or sub-industries) are nascent and have only existed or been available to the public in recent years. There is little to no precedence available or conventional background required due to lack of historical access or existence, development, and market maturation. Therefore, the barrier to entry is significantly lower than traditional fields or professions (e.g. Accounting, Law, Marketing Executive, etc.) Better yet, many of these only came into existence after the rise of the Internet, so there are a tremendous amount of valuable guides, how-to’s, miscellaneous material and even free courses that can be found online. 

Let’s be more specific:

Computer Programming/Software Developing
The rapid global adoption of the personal computer and the Internet leading up to and during the 21st century has had colossal implications on society and the economic landscape. Industries and roles have completely evolved, some becoming extinct, but exponentially more opportunities becoming born out of nothing. Behind all the websites, desktop programs, web-based platforms, virtual networks, mobile apps, and more, are people who write code in C, C#, C++, JavaScript, Python, and other programming languages to create, debug, publish, and sell functional products and platforms. 

System Admin./Network Admin.
Commonly known as “IT” - ‘Information Technology.’ With so many businesses primarily or solely online, having someone manage day-to-day and resolve issues in real time is crucial to a smooth business workflow. Nearly any modern office, business, or place of business has some degree of computer and Internet-access infrastructure. From a modest single router pizza shop to a high-rise multi-floor institutional trading fund, there has never been more demand for a dedicated and expert System Admin/Network Admin who is the authority on equipment, set up, troubleshooting, bug-fixes, system upgrades, and overall maintenance. Better yet, the standard barrier to entry is as follows: Associate’s Degree from an accredited community college and attain the necessary certifications. 

Similarly, as a consequence of the global adoption of personal computing the Internet, cybersecurity threats have become a legitimate concern for businesses and personal consumers alike. Enter another premium career or work opportunity. Larger, more established businesses, and businesses that deal with particularly sensitive information, often recruit dedicated Cybersecurity Specialists. These are often experienced developers and programmers who, leveraging their knowledge of common security measures, patch or monitor potential vulnerabilities for threats and attacks. 

Taking it one step further, some of the best and most skilled cybersecurity experts are highly sought after for independent contract assignments. This involves being paid to hack into the hiring company’s network(s), data-storage center(s), or encrypted accounts; purposefully exploit or access vulnerabilities, and report the findings so the employer may improve their cybersecurity. These contractors are known as “Pen Testers” (Penetration Testers) and their work can be extremely lucrative. Many of the most valuable Pen-Tester clients tend to be federal government agencies, multinational banks, and billion-dollar tech companies with vast sums of data. In keeping with the freelance/gig economy, pen-testers are commonly employer-agnostic and will only be hired on a freelance or a temporary contract-basis. This allows the pen-tester freedom from a permanent, full-time job and allows them to accept multiple high-rate contracts simultaneously, far exceeding the take-home income of even higher-salary in-house cybersecurity positions.

With the advent of revolutionary blockchain technology over the past 11 years, an entire new sub-sect of financial technology has emerged. The so-called “Fourth Industrial Revolution” is here, and its limited pool of experienced developers are working on delivering blockchain-based platforms and assets predicated on hyper-optimizing financial transaction speeds while exponentially reducing fees, and enabling borderless online peer-to-peer money transfers, thus removing third party middle-men charging exorbitant rates for 20th century financial technology functionality. Blockchain platforms, exchanges, and asset entities are expanding in the race to conceptualize, build, and release a next-generation decentralized internet. As states and regulatory bodies continue to enact blockchain regulations and traditional financial institutions increasingly stake percentages of billion- and trillion-dollar portfolios in blockchain assets and platforms, the demand for Blockchain Developers, and Blockchain Product Marketers will move up and to the right. 

Similarly, with such a new and unconventional asset class showing high rates of growth, volatility, and gradually reaching price discovery, institutional portfolio managers and traders will continue to explore and participate in new areas for in pursuit of alpha. Experienced traders and PM’s, especially those well-versed in markets similar to crypto, such as volatility index or leveraged products, may be a logical fit to specialize in managing capital in this space (with proper certifications, of course). 

The list goes on. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has already started to creep into our daily lives on a pandemic scale, and will continue to do so through Smart Phones, computers, the Internet of Things (IoT). Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality (VR/AR) is already present and growing as the future of modern interactive game-play, training simulations, and media entertainment. Any Industrial Design student will tell you how much curriculum emphasis is on 3D-Printing (and how much filament is used) in this bursting mass-manufacturing field. As file storage infrastructure moves off centralized hardware and onto shared data centers, Cloud Computing is the most in-demand skill right now according to LinkedIn

Of course, there are more opportunities not analyzed here. Until we revisit this topic in the future, see here for more. 

Not into computers, but still want to reinvent yourself? See here for our comprehensive list of business ideas and skills you can start now on your goal to financial independence.