FutureWith applications for enrolment in 2013 due by 10 December for limited entry courses and programmes and by 10 January 213 for all other courses and programmes, staff at Vic Careers have been getting quite a lot of queries about what courses to study, what jobs are out there and how much these jobs pay.  If only we had a crystal ball!

For students starting their studies in 2013, the world in 4-5 years’ time may paint quite a different picture from today.  Jobs will be created that do not exist today, and many jobs which do exist today may well be obsolete by the time students graduate.  Technology is changing the way we work and that change is happening much more rapidly than at any other time in our history.

In a recent article by North & South’s Deputy Editor Joanna Wane, great emphasis was placed on the need to be prepared for the unknown.   Houses and furniture being built by 3D printing technology, fashion designers using 3D printers to make shoes and entire runway collections, the use of 3D technology in printing a titanium jaw, digital dental crowns, shells for hearing aids, and even printed edible cupcakes are truly extraordinary developments.  Can you believe that at Amazon customer orders are filled by an automated army of bright-orange robots?  It’s true!

Futurist Thomas Frey, Google’s top-rated futurist speaker, predicts more than two billion jobs will disappear by 2030.  Economist Jeremy Rifkin, author of the international bestseller The End of Work, says “just as the steam engine replaced slave labour in the 19th century, the new intelligent technologies of the IT, biotech and nanotechnology revolutions are fast replacing mass wage labour in the 21st century.”

The key to the future will rest in remaining upskilled – in a rapidly changing world influenced by globalisation and technology, most people will have to keep learning as they go along. Your study will not end when you complete your degree.  However, highly developed communication skills, problem solving and strategic thinking obtained through your studies will prove critical to success.  Taking the initiative, being entrepreneurial and identifying niche markets are increasingly becoming highly sought after skills.

So, what are the futurists and economists predicting over the next decade?  Medicine, consulting and the e-conomy are tipped to be the hottest job markets.  Retiring ‘Baby Boomers’ will need cheap medicine, age-related medical surgery, hands-on nursing care, preventative dental care and personal financial advisers.  Civil engineers will be needed in areas of population growth and in fact, are already being snapped up now. The job market for computer programmers and software engineers continues to grow in the age of the mobile app and cloud computing.  Changing financial laws and increased accountability will ensure a strong demand for auditors and general accounting services will continue.

So where to from here?  Keep an open mind, cast your net wide, explore a wide range of opportunities, keep up to date with future trends and don’t forget to dream….there is an amazing world unfurling as you read this!

For a really interesting read, get a hold of the North & South October 2012 issue and read Joanna Wane’s article on ‘The Futures Market’.

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