Choosing a future career
Not all immigrants who come to Canada are able to continue working in the same profession they used to have in their first countries. As a result, some may choose to go back to college or university and get a second higher education.
There are many important questions that you (and/or your children) should ask before choosing a career. And there is one question that may come as a surprise:
“Will this job exist ten-fifteen years from now?”
You can also ask: “How will this job change ten-fifteen years from now?”
The world is changing very fast and the reason number one for it is TECHNOLOGY. Technology will eliminate certain jobs in the future. It is already happening – machines are replacing humans.
When you (or your child) have an idea of a job you want to go back to school for, start by thinking: Are there any parts of this job that can be automated? Any assembly/conveyor type of jobs can be automated. Most physical jobs involving repetitive tasks can be automated.
According to the article in ‘Toronto Star’ (by Sunny Freeman, April 25, 2016) these jobs have 95% – 99% chance of getting automated:
- tax accountants
- bank tellers
- real estate brokers
- restaurant cooks
- manicurists / pedicurists
- farm workers
One easy example to keep in mind would be a cashier’s job – those are being replaced now by self-check out machines. Another example of a job that might not exist in the future is delivery. Deliveries will most likely be done by drones (see picture).
Have you heard of 3D Printers? These are machines that will revolutionize manufacturing industry. If this technology develops successfully, any job in manufacturing will not be a smart career choice.
Do you know that there are driverless cars already built and being tested on the roads right now? Choosing to become a driver (taxi, bus, truck, etc.) may not be a smart choice if you want to keep doing this job ten or twenty years from now.
Before deciding to go back to school, ask yourself: “How could technology change this job ten years from now?”
Which jobs are safe?
Jobs that involve any element of creativity and design (often done with the help of a computer) are a safer choice. Examples of such jobs would be graphic designer, media (including social media), video game designer/developer, multimedia artist and animator, interior designer, architect, film director, sound engineer, etc.
Also, jobs that require providing emotional care are a safer choice since machines cannot provide that. Becoming a nurse or a PSW (Personal Support Worker), a daycare worker, a teacher (which involves both creativity and care) is a smart decision if it appeals to you. Healthcare sector is growing and a big part of it is care for the elderly since Canadian population is aging.
Do market research
There are many websites and articles online about which jobs have good projected growth in the future. It is absolutely necessary to do some market research before deciding on a future career. If you are not sure how to do it, it’s a good idea to talk to an employment counsellor – you can make an appointment for free at one of the many centres in Canada.
Improve your computer skills
Having computer skills is not an option – it’s something you must have. If you feel that you don’t have enough computer skills, there are two ways to go about it: a) you can teach yourself by using youtube videos and other online resources; b) you can register for computer courses – you can find less expensive ones provided by libraries and community centres.
Read technology and science news
Keeping up to date with the newest developments in science and technology will help you make the right career choice for yourself and understand the career choices of your children. There are magazines and online magazines available – if you prefer to read. There are also videos on youtube – you could search for technology TED Talks for example.