As society changes and technology evolves, the employment options that appeal to us change. Whether it’s the low pay, high stress, unsociable hours, or questionable ethics involved, certain career paths that were once highly sought after no longer hold the same allure for a modern workforce. Here, we explore 19 common careers that young people are increasingly avoiding.
The legal profession has seen a decline in recent years due to reduced job satisfaction and a demanding work schedule, not to mention skyrocketing student loan debts due to high university fees. The Harvard Business Review claims that this demanding field often leads to professional burnout, which can be debilitating.
This previously highly respected professional career involves years of rigorous training and mounting student loans. Once qualified, long hours and difficult patients, coupled with emotional strain and excessive paperwork, can deter pre-med hopefuls. Other deterrents include the increasing complexity of the healthcare system and public mistrust of medicine.
The financial industry has faced its fair share of scrutiny in recent years, prompting concerns about job stability and social perception after the 2008 financial crisis. The Financial Times also states that the demanding work culture of long hours and high stress in a competitive environment can also make it unappealing.
Real Estate Agent
According to SGrow, 87% of new realtors fail within the first five years of their careers. Online tools and changes in consumer behavior have made the field less predictable and profitable than before. Most buyers and sellers now use online platforms to search for properties, so the role of traditional agents is shrinking and evolving, making the field less attractive.
Journalism has been deeply affected by a decline in physical media (namely newspapers) and a switch to online press. NiemanLab says the associated changes in this previously popular career have resulted in greater competition, declining job security, and reduced public trust (due to fake news), putting many hopefuls off the idea.
Oil Rig Worker
This job has always been physically demanding, socially isolating, and dangerous, but the promise of a healthy paycheck and significant time off still made it appealing to some. Environmental issues and long-term concerns about the sustainability of fossil fuel-related careers have pushed more and more people into alternative employment.
According to The King Street Chronicle, the decline of printed media and the rise of digital content have negatively affected traditional publishing careers. With many publications shifting from physical printing to online publishing, the industry has suffered redundancy and significant job cuts—not exactly an appealing option!
Flying planes sounds cool and prestigious, but the expensive training, strict regulations, and unpredictable or unsocial schedules have recently made this career path less attractive. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on air travel has also raised concerns about ongoing job security in the industry.
The New York Times says the biggest threat to professional taxi drivers is the advent of ridesharing services like Uber. With taxis unable to compete with the improved economy and convenience of such apps, their job security and earnings have plummeted. A decline in disposable income has also pushed some taxi riders toward cheaper public transportation options.
As technology advances, robots are taking over, and nowhere more so than in manufacturing! With factories using automation instead of labor, the need for manual factory workers has significantly declined and promises to continue to fall. Unsurprisingly, such careers hold less appeal nowadays, with lower pay and reduced job security.
The digital age has brought us a plethora of online booking platforms, making any type of travel booking possible from the convenience of our own homes. Quick, easy, and always open, traditional agents just cannot compete, affecting job opportunities and income potential and making the field a less appealing prospect than ever.
Once again, online platforms and apps have made face-to-face employees and physical shops irrelevant. With e-commerce and self-checkout on the rise, the nature of retail has shifted, and in-store salespeople simply aren’t required. This has led to an increase in demand for warehouse staff and packers, but far less job security for traditional shop workers.
Mail volume has steadily declined since the advent of e-mail and other digital alternatives (the United States Government Accountability Office). Low rates of pay, early mornings, and reduced demand have all contributed to declines in postal workers over the past 30 years, prompting many young people to consider alternative careers.
While still a vital industry, the challenges of agriculture have deterred many prospective farmers. Unpredictable weather, economic pressures, and the threat of plant/animal disease have significantly reduced the number of small, family-run farms. Modern agriculture now leans toward factory farming using machines, GMOs, and pesticides.
Modern call-blocking technology and a growing public dislike for sales calls have seen a (perhaps welcome) decline in telemarketers. Consumers often view unsolicited telemarketing calls as intrusive and annoying, prompting them to end the call and block the number immediately—making a telemarketer’s job difficult, to say the least!
With labor costs in the U.S. higher than in many other countries, textile manufacturers have begun outsourcing such jobs to Asian countries like China and India. With automation and technological advancements in manufacturing further reducing the need for human staff, this career path has terrible prospects for the average worker.
Fast Food Worker
Although the fast-food industry remains popular, job satisfaction is exceptionally high amongst its employees, according to The Guardian. Minimum wage, poor working conditions, questionable safety, and long hours have all been cited as issues for workers, who often complain they struggle to live on their low wages and have limited employment benefits.
Automated banking services and online banking apps have considerably reduced the need for bank tellers. Many routine banking transactions can now be quickly and easily completed online in the comfort of the customer’s own home. Physical banks simply cannot compete with such 24-hour convenience and efficiency.
There has been a significant decline in mining-related careers due to environmental concerns, safety issues, and a fluctuating market that can impact job stability. As with oil rigs, such factors compound a career path that is already physically challenging and hazardous. Long-term health risks (like lung problems and back complaints) are also a deterrent.
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