Technological development and the popularity of social media have helped in the emergence of many jobs unknown to previous generations, such as social networking specialists and content industry workers, in addition to what is known as “influencers.” It is no longer strange to see 14-year-old children followed by millions and having verified accounts that generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue.
Morning Consult, a research company, defines an “influencer” as a person who provides digital content of value to a number of people, influencing their ideas, convictions, or purchasing tendencies, provided that the number of his followers is not less than 10,000.
Career ambition for Generation Z
According to a study conducted by the company Specialized in online survey research this year, 57% of Generation Z Born between 1997 and 2012, they aspire to work as influencers on social media, and 53% of them are ready to leave their jobs and work in the electronic content industry if it guarantees them an income that meets their needs and turns their presence on the Internet into a successful professional life.
The survey included more than 2,200 social networking users between the ages of 13 and 26 years. When asked about the nature of the content they would like to provide, they answered as follows:
- 22%: They will provide commentary on the games.
- 13%: They will provide nutritional content.
- 10%: They will talk about fashion, beauty and skin care.
- 8%: They will focus their content on music.
- 20%: They have not yet decided what type of content they want to provide.
What is noteworthy is that social and political issues did not receive attention among the participants.
Ellen Briggs, a brand expert at Morning Consult, said that Generation Z has brought about radical changes in work mechanisms, as their traditional dreams and desire to study medicine, engineering, law, and other similar professions have changed, and their ambition has shifted to achieving fame online.
Briggs indicated that 63% of those who follow influencers on social media said that they seek to become influencers, explaining that this generation’s desire to work in the field of influence has not changed in 4 years, as a similar survey in 2019 showed almost the same results, and she confirmed that profit Fast pace and freedom from traditional work obligations have strengthened the generation’s love for this field.
University study in Ireland
The number of digital influencers and publishers around the world is estimated at more than 200 million. As the content creation market grows, many countries are seeking to legalize this profession, including what Southeast University of Technology in Ireland did, by offering a new university major that grants its graduates a Bachelor of Arts in content creation and social media. The university is scheduled to receive the first batch of students in September 2024.
Eliano O’Leary, a lecturer in media and communication at the university, said that the study in this department lasts for 4 years, during which the student studies public relations, photography, and how to create and edit video clips professionally, adding that graduates of this department will be qualified to work for themselves or for companies or institutions. And turn their hobby into a well-known job title.
Why is Generation Z turning to the “influencing” profession?
- the fame: Internet influencers achieve great popularity, perhaps due to the familiarity that is created between the influencer and his or her followers.
- Quick profit: The profession has become a means of getting rich quickly in the digital age. According to the “Influencer Marketing” website, the value of the content industry market reached more than $21 billion this year, after it was $16.4 billion in the year 2022, and economic analysts expect it to reach $480 billion by the year 2027. According to the figures, many influencers achieve financial gains of more than $100,000 annually.
- Flexibility of working hours: Content creation provides flexible working hours, away from the traditional professional life and sitting at work desks for hours on end.
- Attractiveness of influencers: Influencers, with their rapid fame, have become a role model for others. Titania Jordan, co-author of the book “Parenting in the Age of Technology” for the Parents website, says that many from Generation Z want to imitate and emulate the influencers that social media algorithms recommend and sometimes impose on them. .
Jordan adds that it only takes a few clicks to see a list of the best influential figures at this age, and to follow their growing popularity on a daily basis, which enhances the chances of emulating them.
- The marketing power of influencers: The survey revealed the marketing power that influencers have, with 61% expressing their confidence in the products they promote.
- Priority for mental health: This ambition may conflict with what many scientific studies have revealed about the dangers of social media on mental health, which is why Dr. Andrew Monasterio, a mental health specialist at the Isla Vista Center in California, advises the need to give priority to mental health and says, “The pressure that the influencer is exposed to “In order to maintain a public image, deal with criticism and meet the audience’s expectations, it can negatively impact their well-being and mental health, just like the psychological challenges artists face and the spotlight imposes.”
Andrew explains that despite the financial independence that work in the field of influence brings, it may cause additional burdens, especially if the influencer is involved in deals with brands that have their own “agendas” that conflict with his convictions and principles.