What did you want to be when you grew up? A doctor, teacher, dancer or astronaut? Maybe a nurse, a lawyer, a princess or a professional athlete? What about a writer or a pilot? You probably considered a whole heap of different jobs, maybe even sticking with one throughout high school; just waiting for the day when you could actually start fighting crime or looking after kids or helping sick people. Here’s the thing though, the workforce is changing, and chances are a lot of the jobs you’ve spent your whole life thinking about won’t exist anymore- at least, not in a way we can imagine.
Don’t freak out- I’m not saying all the jobs are completely disappearing but, what research is telling us is that thanks to new tech, changes in the way we think about the world and a growing population, there’s a new culture of work emerging. One that relies on small business, app design, high tech start-ups and any other bright ideas that could take over the world.
Luckily, places like The University of Queensland (UQ) know that the future is pretty confusing and that we can’t just prepare for one job anymore- we need to get ready for a lifetime of opportunities. So, it’s time to start sussing out what you’re planning on doing career wise, and what options you have.
To help you out, we’ve broken down what’s looking pretty good now and into the future.
These are jobs like social workers, child care workers, GPs, counsellors, beauty therapists and fitness instructors. Basically, anything where you’re looking after people or providing care and support. With the population increasing and machines still not able to beat us at looking after people (can you imagine a robot trying to do everything a nurse can do?), working in these sorts of jobs is looking pretty damn good.
These are those who are highly educated and specifically skilled like electrical engineers, medical researchers and business entrepreneurs. Thanks to changing technology, jobs in this area are looking to continue to grow so if you’ve got skills in things like communication, planning, detail-orientation and teamwork, it’s worth looking at a career based around this. While there’s predicted to be a threat of automation for technologists, it’s also thought that as tech evolves, so will jobs in this area and skills will be transferrable.
This involves professionals providing information, education or business services. Think jobs like teachers, economists, intelligence officers, accountants, policy analysts, solicitors, organisational psychologists, museum curators and HR advisers. Again, these sorts of jobs are predicted to grow into the future so if any of these gigs look interesting to you, or you think you’d be good at anything that involves communication skills, problem solving, teaching, creativity, research or project management then a career in this area could be for you.
If your dream job isn’t in any of these categories (and we’ve really only listed a few- there’s heaps more), it doesn’t mean that you can’t chase a career in what you’re passionate about. It also doesn’t mean the job you’ve been dreaming of since kindy is going to completely disappear- while we can make predictions about what the future is going to be like, the whole point is that everything is constantly changing (and no doubt you’ll change your mind at some point as well).
Instead of freaking out, you should be asking yourself how you’re going to deal with such an unpredictable future of work and suss out who’s out there to help you prepare for it (UQ is a pretty good place to start).
Plus, on the bright side, regardless of what you’re doing, nowadays skills are pretty portable, so you’ll be able to carry a lot of them into different jobs. This is perfect for those of us who suck at making decisions, because it means we can educate or train ourselves for a range of jobs instead of just one. This is exactly what uni’s like UQ are trying to do- instead of trying to sell you on their degrees with a promise of a job at the end of it, they’re actually figuring out how you’re going to be employable when you graduate. Which, if you ask us, is pretty damn important.