5 Most Overrated Career Opportunities in the World today

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What are some of the most overrated career opportunities today? You’ll often hear people talking about huge opportunities to profit in some novel careers and industries. We have published posts about such careers on this blog, and many of them hold enormous opportunities. But the hype around some of these careers is often exaggerated. Although these careers do offer huge opportunities for people who understand and can deploy the right tools and resources to make them work. On a large scale, often due to the low entry barrier, these careers are often overrated. You want to know the truth about what’s really going on in these fields to decide if you really want to put up with it. I’ll be sharing 5 career opportunities I believe are highly overrated.

  1. Self Published Book author

It’s one of the most fulfilling things you can do; publishing a book with your name on it. Back in the days, authors had to deal with too many rejections before they had their books published. The gatekeepers of the publishing industry solely decided who to get published and who no to. It took a lot of self determination for a writer to remain persistent to have their book published. Chinua Achebe almost lost the manuscript of Things Fall Apart while trying to have the manuscript polished to be more appealing to publishers. In his words, “if I didn’t get back the manuscript that would have been the end of my writing career”.

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Today, all these barriers have been removed. Anybody from anywhere, at any given time, can publish a book without restriction. There are tools to proofread your book, format it, create a cover, upload it online and start selling the soft and hard copy of your book. And this is great progress in the publishing industry.

Publishing a book is a good strategy for branding and positioning in your field. A few people also make a lot of money from publishing books. If you want to get your idea, story or career out there, publishing a book is a great way to a position as a thought-leader in your industry.

But self-publishing as a full-time career is overrated. Yes, you can easily publish your books on Amazon, Apple ebook store and many other alternatives and sell a few copies. But for every person who succeeds as an author, there are millions of unknown authors who only sell 10 copies. Also when you don’t have an audience or fan base, nobody knows your name, you are not already successful with something else and want to self publish as a career, well I can only wish you good luck because you will need a lot of it.

Instead, if you have something to share with the world, and want to put your writing skill into commercial value, you‘ll have a better chance putting your knowledge in public where you can reach as many people as possible and can monetize your content. You can start a blog and convert your written content to video like this one. When you have grown an audience, you can decide to put your knowledge in a book format and sell it. That’s a better strategy with a higher chance of success.

  1. Journalist

The formal news outlets will continue to hire journalists. But this profession is an endangered species. Not so long ago, the responsibility of getting information through the media rested solely on the shoulders of journalists. If a citizen, or foreigner, wanted to get the news out, they had to go through a journalist. The journalist reported all the news, documentaries and stories on the media. The competition, if there was any was negligible. Today, guess who the journalist is competing with – everyone. On social media, people no longer rely on professional journalists to get information. Citizen takes the responsibility of getting information out there without minimum censorship. Also, many independent news websites have flooded the internet. Most of these platforms don’t have to go out to get news; they simply curate news on the internet from the comfort of their device. This has created too many sources of information. And this increased competition and low entry barrier have significantly diminished the monetary value of professional journalists.

  1. Website designer

There is a difference between a website designer and a web developer. If websites were buildings, a web developer would be the architect and engineer who builds the house while the web designer handles the finishing and interiors. Web designers make websites appealing to look at and to use.

Website designing was once very lucrative career. Businesses were ready to pay big checks to have their websites designed. And the big businesses and governments still do.  But today, promoting yourself as a website designer is almost like saying you help people create an email address. Thanks, or no thanks, to web themes and templates, anyone can create beautiful websites today. Themes and templates are already made web design. There are millions of themes in the market. Depending on the type of website you want to create, with a little search, you can find a variety of themes to choose from. With basic knowledge, you can set up a website, download a free or $5o theme and have a ready, professional website with 6 hours. In fact, what most web designers do is download a theme that closely resembles what the client wants and tweak the design to meet the clients need. Since what needs to be on a website often falls within defined categories, it’s possible to find a theme that fit exactly what you want. This innovation has greatly diminished the opportunities for professional web designers and what they can charge.

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  1. Motivational speaking and Life coach

In the United States alone, the self-help industry was worth $9.9 billion in 2016. As much as we need to take out the bath, we need to be motivated every single day. You will simply drag through the day if you get out of bed unmotivated. So there is a very important place for people who motivate other people. We genuinely want to listen to them.

But you don’t go to a group of young people out of school and say, “10 career opportunities for you. Number one; become a motivational speaker or a life coach”. You don’t motivate people from a vacuum, neither do you coach people about life without significant life experience. The opportunities in the self-help career are mostly at the top because you need reputation and experience to take on these careers. Good luck with building a successful career as a newbie motivational speaker or life coach.

  1. Blogging

Blogging offers huge career and business opportunities. In 2010, I was sitting in a room of 15 people at Google office with the top higher education consulting organizations in my country simply because I have a blog. You can make way for yourself just from blogging. But the opportunity in blogging is no longer what it used to be.

People read blogs to learn something, get informed or get entertained. Today, the rise of social media and video platforms like YouTube have created a huge competition for blogs. Not just that, the blogosphere is also saturated with over 600 million blogs in the world. If we divide this by the number of people with internet access in the world – that is 4.57 billion people – we’ll get an average of 7.6 visitors per blog. Well, you already know you need thousands to millions of visitors to have a successful blog. There are statistics going around that only about 5% of blogs actually make enough to support a family.

You see why the blogging-to-paradise crusade is a major hype. Am I trying to discourage you from blogging? Absolutely not. In fact, I have good news for you. Most of the blogs on the internet are either inconsistent or updated haphazardly. Because blogging takes investing a lot of time, effort and resources to grow, not many people have the resolve to make it work. If you are a persistent person and can stick around long enough, with the right strategy you can succeed as a content creator, not just a blogger.

Blogging is just one of many content publishing avenues. If you can effectively synergize blogging, video, Search engine, social media and email marketing, you can succeed as a content creator. These five careers offer huge opportunities for people who understand and can deploy the right tools and resources to make them work. But on a large scale, the hype around these careers are often exaggerated.

If you want to self publish a book, go for it. If you want to become a professional journalist, a website designer, a motivational speaker or life coach or a blogger, it’s your choice. You can still be among the few who succeed. It’s just important that you know what you are up against


  • Ikenna Odinaka C. is a Writer, Career Development Professional, Entrepreneur, Educator and Investor. He is the founder of AfterschoolAfrica.com, AfterSchoolMedia.com and Edxtra.com. He has also co-founded other businesses in Education, technology and media industry. He is passionate about the future of work, entrepreneurship and helping young people explore opportunities to develop their financial capability. You can read his best content on AfterSchoolMedia.com and watch his insightful videos on YouTube