The one certainty facing you as a school leaver in the next year or two is that the future will be, well, ……..uncertain.
We keep hearing about climate change (happening), robots taking jobs (happening), new technology causing more change (happening), the population getting older and needing more care and more help (happening), less work for unskilled people (happening) and dreams like jobs for life and houses to own looking more and more like just dreams (happening).
From a school leaver’s point of view, the future is confusing, a little scary, but happening anyway. How can we be sure the next steps we take actually help us into the future, not leave us behind?
New skills will be vital in the careers of the future. Flash words like entrepreneurialism, disruptive technologies, connectivity and empathy will be all over job advertisements. But it is the words we’re starting to get familiar with - the cloud, big data, climate change, artificial intelligence - that could help our job prospects in the next few years.
Here’s what plenty of experts predict will be features of the workplace in 2020.
Technology will make jobs, but will also make us vulnerable
This year has seen a number of global cyber-attacks in the news, with some having an impact here in New Zealand. The demand for cyber security experts is growing all over the world.
And this demand is coming from a really broad range of industries including technology, telecommunications, banking, finance and accounting, entertainment and even health (think hacking into someone’s pacemaker and killing them).
A cyber/network security qualification can open the door to a wide range of really interesting and rewarding careers - think medical implants, electronic vehicle controls, and smart buildings. The opportunities for an valuable career in this field are vast.
Maths is a good base for many growing roles
Demand for accounting and finance professionals is growing and MBIE estimates the number of accountants will grow by almost a third between 2013 and 2020.
Meet this demand and set yourself up by studying a finance or accounting course.
Ageing populations mean health professionals will be in high demand
Our population is getting older and living longer. This means there will be an estimated 50-75% more jobs created in the health and community sector to look after our oldest citizens in the next 10 years.
Demand for creativity will grow
Robots may help us get to where we want to be faster, but they can’t be as creative as humans (yet). Creativity will become one of the top three skills workers will need. With so many new products, new technologies and new ways of working, workers are going to have to become more creative in order to cope with and benefit from these changes.
We’re going to need more designers (of all varieties), more marketing, advertising and communication professionals and more thinkers in general. Society will always need artists to colour our world, and making art is majorly satisfying, but in the future as now, art by itself is unlikely to make you rich.
The world will still need engineers, lawyers and teachers
Teachers we will always need, and engineers too, but more lawyers will come as a surprise to all but the thousands of students currently in law schools up and down NZ. MBIE predicts a near 40% jump in lawyer numbers between 2013 and 2020, and a huge 67% climb from 2013 to 2025. Who would have thought?
Are you planning to get future-ready? Will the courses you are thinking about, or the training you’re looking at, set you up for the next 40 or 50 years, or at least give you a good start? Before you commit to any pathway, make sure you can see your future in it.