Careers related to online dating

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Online datingBy Jon Fortenbury, freelancer writer for Schools.com

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, according to advertising from Match.com. Online Dating Magazine estimates that there are approximately 2,500 online dating sites in the U.S. 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.

Dating ghostwriter
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 emails 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, employers may prefer to hire someone with a bachelor’s degree in English, journalism or communications, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Starting out by writing for a school publication or interning for a magazine or public relations firm is another way to build up your résumé 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.

The BLS categorizes the job of Web designer under the umbrella of security analysts, Web developers and computer architects. According to the BLS, Web designers are responsible for the website’s appearance, creating the site’s layout and integrating graphics, applications and other content into the site. Web designers also write Web-design programs in HTML, JavaScript and a variety of other computer languages. While the BLS doesn’t mention if a college degree is required to become a Web designer, there’s a debate in some circles about whether people interested in Web design should get a degree in the field or just start designing. It depends on many factors, including whom you want to work for and if you want to be a freelancer.

In a recent job posting for a senior Web designer, eHarmony listed an undergraduate degree in graphic design or experience in a related field (such as 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.

Jon Fortenbury is an Austin-based freelance writer who specializes in higher education. He’s written for many publications, ranging from the Huffington Post to USA Today College and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He blogs regularly at jonfortenbury.com. This article was originally published on Schools.com.

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