Emerging field: Online dating
Online dating used to be taboo, to the point that you'd quickly close the web browser if a co-worker walked by your desk while you were checking your eHarmony messages. Times have changed, though. Online dating is now as common as a cloudy day in Seattle.
According to research compiled by Statistic Brain, the online dating industry reels in $1.049 billion a year, with 40 million people having tried online dating and 20 percent of current committed relationships beginning online. That's one in five, as Match.com likes to point out in its advertising. Online Dating Magazine estimates that there are approximately 2,500 online dating sites in the United States alone, with some of the largest being Match.com, eHarmony and OkCupid.
With the success of any industry, job openings often follow. Here are two jobs you may want to consider if you want to join the growing online dating industry.
For online dating users who need help managing their online dating presence, there are online dating consultants who can help. Some online dating consultants deal primarily with writing, whereas others take on the entire process.
Jason Feifer wrote about dating ghostwriters and consultants, "For as much as $1,500, these self-appointed experts offer everything from profile critiques to whole-hog outsourcing, whereby they write or rewrite ads, shoot and upload photos, send flirty e-mails to prospective matches, make date plans, and do everything short of showing up to dinner."
Since the job is so new, it's hard to pinpoint a way to attain it. You could do what successful online dating coach and CEO Laurie Davis of eFlirt Expert did when she first started out, which is help friends with online dating and advertise your services via social media. Or you can take another route, perhaps by applying for ghostwriting jobs with online dating consultancy firms.
To become any kind of writer, even a dating ghostwriter, employers may prefer to hire someone with a bachelor's degree in English, journalism or communications, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Starting out by writing for a school publication or interning for a magazine or PR firm is another great way to build up your resume and gain experience. The writing occupation is projected to grow by 6 percent between 2010 and 2020, the BLS reports.
Web designer for an online dating company
There are a number of jobs that online dating sites hire for that aren't exclusive to the online dating industry. One of these jobs is a web designer.
In a recent job posting for a senior web designer, eHarmony listed an undergraduate degree in graphic design or experience in a related field (like web development) as a job qualification. Keep in mind that all companies are different in their job requirements and having a degree doesn't guarantee you a job in web design.
According to the BLS, employment of web designers (as categorized with information security analysts, web developers and computer network architects) is projected to grow by 22 percent between 2010 and 2020, which is faster than the average for all other occupations.
There are many other kinds of jobs in the online dating industry, including project management, software engineering, and much more. And there's no need to hide your employment details from family and friends, because online dating is now as respectable as a beautiful, sunny Seattle day.