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Top 10 dead-end jobs on their way to extinction

Being a social media expert might be one of the coolest gigs going right now, but getting paid to post content on Twitter and Facebook is a dead-end career choice, according to a new study.

Job-hunting site Workopolis says social media experts won’t exist in 10 years time, alongside other careers such as taxi dispatcher, postal workers, retail cashiers and, perhaps of little surprise to many, video store clerks and print journalists.

“It’s a keen reminder that today’s job market changes rapidly,” says Tara Talbot, vice president of human resources at Workopolis.

While the decline in print journalists and video store clerks seems obvious, social media experts is more surprising given that the career is relatively new.


Today, social media experts are in demand because older workers that didn’t graduate from college or university with a smartphone stuck to their palm aren’t as comfortable with the technology, or its impact. That’s why they hire “experts” to do the work for them.

Workopolis says the career has limited shelf life because it will soon become part of everyone’s job.

“With this glut of savvy young online communicators looking for work, social media skills will just become expected communication competencies, like reading and writing, rather than unique areas of expertise,” Workopolis says in a new report. “This will end the need for social media experts.”

Taxi dispatchers are also predicted to become obsolete, as more people use their smartphone to call a cab directly, while the growing popularity of self-checkout services will also make retail cashiers less necessary.

The 10 jobs that won’t exist in 10 years include:

  • Social Media Expert

  • Taxi Dispatcher

  • Toll Booth Operator

  • Retail Cashier

  • Word Processor / Typist

  • Switchboard Operator

  • Photo Finisher

  • Postal Worker

  • Video Store Clerk

  • Print Journalist

Fast-growing and fast-dying gigs

Workopolis also identified jobs that are quickly expanding and diminishing across Canada today as the economy starts to gain momentum and consumer confidence picks up. The list includes sales representatives to help convince those consumers to buy their products

"In a time when most Canadians are watching their wallets, employers are looking for skilled sales people. Frequent postings for sales representatives could be a sign that employers are getting more optimistic about the future, and are willing to invest in a solid sales force,” Workopolis says.

Financial advisors and financial services representatives are also high on the list of jobs in demand, as Canadians with record household debt-to-income debt ratios start thinking about better saving and investment strategies.

“The need for financial representatives may also stem from an uncertain economic future,” the report says. “Canadians unsure of their pensions may seek professional advice as they plan for retirement."

Among the jobs that are quickly falling off the list are photo lab associates, data entry clerks and couriers, all positions that are being replaced by advances in technology.

5 fast-growing gigs

1. Financial Advisor

2. Representative Financial Service

3. Field Sales Representative

4. Sales Associate

5. Social Worker

5 fast-declining careers

1. People Greeter

2. Photo Laboratory Associate

3. Head Cashier

4. Data Entry Clerk

5. Courier