Netflix Is Impacting The Future of Your Tech Career And You Didn’t Even Know It 💡
Living in a world dependent on copious amounts of media and technology, a variety of new tech careers are just sauntering into the limelight, but the light shone upon them is dim; read more to discover how we can inspire future generations capable of taking on the jobs of the future.
Entering the foreign territory of my Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction class that I took on a whim during my second year of college enlightened me and evoked novel feelings of enthusiasm, helping me develop a growth mindset for my newly discovered passion. My academia lifestyle suddenly gained more purpose and schooling no longer felt like a blasé, interminable continuance.
Although appreciative for accidentally stumbling upon the class that would determine my future, I speculated why I had to be a “late-bloomer” and why I was never aware of the world of User Experience, User Interface and Interactive Design.
Perhaps I didn’t do enough research or talk to enough people? Was I oblivious?
Two years of amassing enough reasoning that it wasn’t completely my fault brings me here to spread awareness of how the world should be preparing future generations with knowledge about emerging employment positions in design and technology.
Rising Tech Industry: The Facts
As an aspiring UX designer, I’ve conducted research on my personal future career path and others in similar industries of information technologies and systems. The growth of the global digital transformation market size was valued at 284 billion dollars in 2019 and is expected to grow at a rate of 22.5% from 2020 to 2027. The digital revolution is growing at an extremely quick rate, thus the information technology and design job industries will survive for a prolonged amount of time by reason of burgeoning established technologies and job sectors.
Advanced machineries and data information only dreamt of as possible just a few years ago are taking the world by storm and are constantly being upgraded, each competing to be the best for the intense global market and the average user’s eye. The tech explosion corresponds with the occupation eruption with so many modernized job titles being brought to attention, not only on account of high job demand, but also because of their high value and applicability in today’s automation eating world.
There are a number of impending jobs that held very little necessity or did not exist whatsoever just a few years ago that do today, such as UX Designers, Social Media Managers, and App Developers. Some job titles with more than an estimated 30% increase in the upcoming years include Artificial Intelligence Specialist, Data Engineer, Cybersecurity Specialist and more.
What The Heck Do You Do?
My great passion for designing user experiences is tough to explain to a majority of my friends and family since 90% of the time, they respond with tilted heads and perplexed looks, uninformed that such a subject of study exists.
Is it like computer science? A little, but not that much.
How about graphic design? Again, yes, but not really.
Oh, is it business related? It can be involved, but also no.
Answering questions like these is extremely common and sometimes confuses others even more, but why is this? Many students are following conventional career paths, which is not in any way substandard, considering some of my most intelligent and talented family members and friends are future doctors, lawyers, teachers, and more.
However, why are recent and current surfacing job options not considered “typical” if our human era is highly dependent on digitized products and services? How are students and even older adults supposed to understand such terms and a completely different side of the professional working space if the information is never taught to them or brought to the spotlight?
To know more about those types of job paths, one would have to acquaint or understand the concept in a basic way, and even searching and finding the most adequate information can be hard. Many “standard” jobs are easy to understand because the information is handed and taught to us from a young age, not only from “Future Profession” quiz results, multiple high school classes and older family members in the field, but because of its representation in the media.
Developing industries in design and technology are changing the future and as a result, should be shown in mainstream media as a way to inform, educate and engage.
Myth: TV Kills Brain Cells
TV streaming services are extremely popular, specifically for students and millennials, and popular services such as Netflix, Hulu and HBO, each have millions of paid subscribers worldwide; Netflix surpasses others with a whopping customer base of 203.67 million users. Lots of students spend their free time away from class de-stressing with TV shows and oftentimes, are not aware of the significant unconscious affect it may have on their daily life. Think back to a time you watched a specific show or movie, learned about an unusual term or topic and recognized it later in life or perhaps within your daily routine.
The hit kids show, “Phineas and Ferb”, created one song about the tip of the shoelace, the aglet, and the term’s remembrance continues until this day as seen by many of their viewers’ viral nostalgic Tik Toks pointing to the song.
The hit 80s movie, “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial”, showed a usage of Reese’s Pieces in a big scene and because of this, Hershey saw a 65% profit increase as a result.
The Netflix show, “The Queen’s Gambit”, focuses on a female chess prodigy and set chess sales soaring at an increase of 215%.
Why is chess relevant to your future? If certain products or terms featured even slightly in the media can have an incredibly positive result, then this proves recognition and relevance go hand in hand. Imagine the impact TV can have on students’ mindsets regarding their professional lifestyles if new careers become featured more in the television industry.
The Power of Entertainment In Your Professional Life
The newest and upcoming jobs I had mentioned earlier should be shown in the media in a positive and healthy interpretation. Representation in media is important to promote diversity in sex, gender, ethnicity, and more. Non-stereotypical representation in the media holds extreme power because when a person identifies themselves with a character, they feel included, important, and inspired. Although the topic of diversity surrounding jobs may be seen as less important, it should also be a key factor considered in the media so students can feel good about their potential “nontypical” job path.
There are plenty of both fictional and non-fictional TV shows highlighting well-known jobs but they are shown in exaggerated and favorable circumstances that have proved to be unrealistic at times, nonetheless, they do get a lot of airtime. Some of the most popular TV shows are focused on the workplace with popular titles including, the lifestyles of doctors in Grey’s Anatomy, lawyers in Suits and policemen and policewomen in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, along with similar shows having been produced over the years.
In the most opposite way, prevailing careers involved with new technologies and digitization are portrayed in quixotic lines of action. Life is portrayed as a dystopia and fantasy; so much so, that the genre to describe a lot of these TV shows and movies is described as “futuristic” when in reality, about half of the show’s concepts are possible to a certain extent and executed by actual people today.
Real World Examples: The Good, Bad and In-Between
Mr. Robot is a fictional American drama series with focuses on complex data science and the main character, a cyber-security engineer by day and extreme hacker by night. The show’s concentration on cyber-security vulnerabilities and how its rising dominance can cause malicious, but highly implausible consequences is just one example of how a real career is shown adversely.
Black Mirror is also a popular Netflix series that focuses on science fiction dystopian lifestyles and the dark sides of extremely advanced technologies. Black Mirror enacts excellent entertainment value through the exceptional technology fantasia it creates. Are we close to having social rating systems implemented globally or using virtual dating simulators as a part of our daily routine? Probably not. However, why do leading-edge technologies have to only be portrayed as theatrical figments of our imaginations if these tools have the ability to be of state-of-the-art practical use to a certain degree in the real world?
There are shows and movies that do show emerging careers in positive lights, but it’s difficult to think of ones that come right to mind. One example I can think of is the Netflix show that was number one in India for sometime, Mismatched, a show about a group of college students in a summer program working on designing the best app in their class. It was the first time a show I watched had even mentioned the terms “User Experience” and “User Interface” and had such a primary focus on app design and development, especially within the South Asian community. I felt ecstatic at the representation I received, as a South Asian female, from just an eight episode series and after mentioning the show to some of my friends in a similar career path as me, they too appreciated how their futures were illustrated.
In order for anything, whether it’s an Internet video or a specific field of work, to become “popular” and “mainstream”, it needs to be talked about and spread around through a number of sources, either by human interaction or multiple forms of media. Today’s ascending careers are potentially life-changing by virtue of their immense impact for social, financial, health, environmental and technical aspects for the average human’s daily lifestyle and are too prominent to neglect by any age or gender.
As I highlighted throughout this writing piece, the perceptions of these careers must be put in a realistic spotlight in TV shows and movies, but what can we do as average people not involved in Hollywood? We can share our knowledge on social media, whether it’s a 15 second Tik Tok video sharing job tips for the app’s millennial audience or an Instagram Story displaying a project just begging for replies and reacts, there are small steps each of us can take to stop the professional passions we undertake from becoming an unexplored area of interest that we hide because of its unfamiliarity to others.
Students and older adults alike must both come to the understanding of the great influence of the skyrocketing tech and design careers, but students especially should explore more of these areas of professional interests so they can one day hold the job position that was obscure to many and only dreamt of possible just a few years ago.
Let’s Talk More!
As someone who is very close to graduating and taking on the twists and turns of “adulting”, I’ve learned a lot from my peers, professors and projects and have come to make the realization I discussed thanks to all three defining factors. I’d love to know your take on the situation, too, so feel free to comment below or connect with me. Thank you!