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Initially published on Medium — March 22, 2017

10 years ago, I distinctly remember telling my parents that I wanted to be a professional gamer. Unlike most kids in my town, I wasn’t focused on becoming better at traditional sports. Instead, I was obsessed with climbing the ranks in video games. Typical of any parent at the time, mine laughed at the idea and told me to focus on going to college. I can’t hold it against them though, professional gaming was not a feasible or stable job, but…it was my childhood dream.

My dream was formed out of a deep love for video games, and my envy of those few players who got paid to play video games all day.

If we fast forward to today, millions of kids are now chasing the aforementioned dream job of mine, which is now in a ‘bucket’ that includes: professional gamersocial media starYouTuber, or streamer.

More specifically, they are aspiring to follow in the footsteps of the likes of: Casey Neistatsummit1GPewDiePieCameron DallasZach KingHuda Kattan, and Faker.

These success stories prove that what was once crazy and irresponsible to pursue — now makes for both fame and fortune.


KSI, a 23 year-old YouTuber known for his gaming videos, standing with his brand new Lamborghini Aventador

Becoming a professional gamer, YouTuber, social media influencer, or streamer feels achievable.

In 2014, after surveying 1,500 respondents, Variety uncovered that the five most influential figures among Americans ages 13–18 were all YouTubers. These YouTubers ranked ahead of even the biggest traditional celebrities like Seth Rogan and Jennifer Lawrence.

A major component of this influence shift is tied to how relatable these emerging stars are. This new generation of celebrities is coming about right before our eyes, and we are watching new stars being born from first view to millionth view every day.

We are able to watch their first cringe-worthy videos on YouTube or posts on Instagram, and instead of making fun of them for it — we laugh alongside of them. We see a little bit of ourselves in their journey. By following someone throughout their road to success, it naturally feels more obtainable.

A perfect example of this is Michelle Phan, who is very well-known for her make-up and beauty tutorials. Ten years ago, Michelle recorded her first make-up tutorial. The audio and video quality are terrible, but you can tell she was a natural at creating content.

Today, Michelle Phan has amassed almost 8.8M subscribers and over 675M total views on her videos. She has earned several millions of dollars by doing what she loves.

Another great example is the extremely famous videographer, Casey Neistat. Casey has vlogged over 200 days of his life. Over the course of several-hundred videos Casey quickly became one of the biggest celebrities on YouTube. In my opinion, Casey’s success can be explained by his authenticity and approachability. Casey is fundamentally genuine, and relatable. Despite never meeting Casey in real-life, I feel like I know him and his story intimately.

With every new influencer, YouTube becomes more and more robust. Recently, YouTube announced that on average a billion hours of YouTube content is watched every single day. Influence over the masses is not only confined to YouTube. Professional gamers, social media stars, and streamers ****have similar appeal and they have platforms that have proven to be extremely lucrative.

Getting rich is typically the motive behind a child’s dream job. However, I’d argue that the main driver behind these new dream jobs is actually passion. Even though the motives might be different, it turns out that you can still make a lot of money doing what you love.

It’s important to break down the economics of these 4 new dream jobs: