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Careers in the 21st Century 2

Careers in the 21st Century

Lori Fairbairn
Lori Fairbairn (1 post) University Guidance Counsellor View Profile

Thank you to all of the students and parents who were able to attend our recent talk on Careers in the 21st Century talk by Dr. Shanton Chang. It was a great opportunity to get a better picture of what skills and knowledge our students will need in the future. For those of you not able to attend we have summarized his talk as well as provided his presentation below.

Many of us have heard that we are preparing our students for careers that do not even exist yet, but it was especially powerful when Dr. Chang put a percentage on it, and discussed the fact that 30% of the careers we are currently doing will not exist in ten years and 30% of the careers our students will be doing do not even exist yet. 

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The skills students learn will be with them for the rest of their lives – so what skills do they have? Are they good communicators and strong at handling conflict – those skills could be used in everything from government to non-profit organizations, to being the CEO of a company. Transferable skills are the reason that all of us will have 5-6 careers in our lifetime. This doesn't mean jobs where you move from one company to another doing the same thing, but careers where a whole new industry will need to be learned. Training for a cluster of skills could open students up to at least 13 different careers!

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Some job clusters have stronger future prospects than others. The slide below shows 7 new job clusters in Australia. The informers is a cluster that is largely new but operating behind all others and continually growing. This comprises of jobs that involve providing information, education or business services, largely based on the data that is being constantly collected. As Dr. Chang mentioned, we shed three things every day: skin, hair & data. We are providing companies with data every day – even while we sleep. The careers that are now collecting and deciding how to disseminate that data is one of the fastest growing areas with so many new avenues. In this area alone you would need the computer programmers, project managers, cyber and data ethics specialists and scientists just to name a few. As you can see, not all of those would need to understand computers.

The designers is another growing and exciting area as it allows for the artists amongst us to flourish. As people’s disposable income increases there is more demand for items that are not only functional but attractive as well. Engineers and artists are working hand in hand, which is also letting us know that going forward with STEAM as opposed to STEM as a school really is the right way forward for equipping our students with the skills they will need.

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Gone are the days when a person says they want to work for a bank and that means they have to study business. All industries are realizing they need skills from all sorts of different disciplines. From the four colors below which one best describes you? Which one do you think Google would hire?

If you answered all you are exactly right! If you chose grey, then a bachelor of science or commerce and business might be best for you. Red would be a Bachelor of Arts, Social Science or Education, yellow would be design and engineering and green digital literacy and IT solution-focused people. 

When asking "what should my child study?" – the answer has to be “whatever my child is best at.” If they are fantastic communicators a bank will need them, don’t force them to go into finance and study maths if they do not enjoy it as they will be mediocre at it and it will not lead to success.  Studying communications, or media and marketing could still lead them to business, but in an area they will thrive. 

Job security is no longer staying at one job forever – job security is when you have great transferable skills. It’s being excellent and disciplined at your skill set and poised to use it. In the past we said if you want to be a CEO then you need a Masters in Business (MBA), now you can have a Bachelor in Creative Writing and still become a CEO.  See the slides below for where some University of Melbourne Alumnae are at now and what they studied to get there.

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Advise your child that when they pick a course to study that they also choose courses outside their area so as to expand their skill set. Art students should take some commerce classes and engineering students - some communication classes. Our students will need to be flexible in order to be successful. It’s an exciting time for students but they need to be excited and passionate about what they are studying or they will not thrive in the fast-changing future. 

Starting in Year 10 we really focus on how to get to that next stage in terms of discovering what their skills and interests are, all the way to Year 13 when they start applying to universities all over the world. 

Here at BIS Hanoi, we are excited to be on this journey with our students and their families and trust that the skills they are learning in the IB Diploma and the well-rounded nature of the program will mean they are prepared when they get to the next stage of their life.

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