Should You Try to Help Your Teen Choose a Career Path?
Between the COVID-19 crisis, the economic downturn and the growing numbers of available automation technologies, jobs are currently hard to find.
No doubt, it’s a distressing time to be mum to a recent graduate or a teenager who’s nearing graduation. It’s natural to worry about your child’s future, and also to wonder if you shouldn’t try to help your child with choosing a career path. We invite you to consider some important caveats before you attempt to help.
The Top Reasons People Choose the Wrong Career Path
Let’s take a look at several common reasons that people end up hating their jobs:
- Their parents push them into a career that isn’t an ideal fit for their talents or passions.
- They don’t have all the information they need to choose a fulfilling career.
- They choose a career that they think will pay well rather than one that will be personally satisfying to them.
If you attempt to help your child with a career choice, you definitely don’t want to make the mistake of steering them towards the wrong career. You also don’t want to see your child make an ill-informed decision or choose a career based on salary alone. Mums who are sensitive in their approach can help their children to steer clear of all of these problems.
Technology has always played a role in creating change in the job market; but, lately, the rate of change has massively accelerated.
Most industries are being affected to some degree. Here’s how some industries are changing:
The Finance Industry
The finance industry is currently in a state of rapid transformation. Because of the growing trend towards automation, some sorts of finance industry jobs that were once considered stable job prospects are no longer secure. This includes bookkeepers and tax preparers. According to Kathleen Elkins at the World Economic Forum, there is a 97.6 percent chance that bookkeeping will be fully automated in the future and a 98.7 percent chance that automation technologies will prepare tax returns. Knowing this, it would be unwise to encourage your child to become a bookkeeper, although this has historically been viewed as a reliable job.
However, finance industry workers aren’t all totally doomed to obsolescence. Australia is currently experiencing shortages of workers with certain finance industry skills. In particular, finance technology (commonly called “FinTech”) is a growing niche within this sector.
According to the experts at UNSW Sydney, professionals with FinTech expertise are in extremely high demand in Australia and around the world. Their university offers an online Master of Financial Technology degree program designed to produce graduates who are equipped to succeed in the technologically advanced finance industry job market of the future.
Retail had already lost sizable numbers of jobs to automation before COVID-19 became an issue. However, more change is on the horizon. There has been a push to automate even more of these jobs as a result of the virus crisis.
The New Daily reports on a senior Cole’s executive’s revelation that, in the future, checkouts will be completely eliminated. Indeed, Amazon is already testing a no-checkout technology powered by a phone app. More than 150,000 cashier’s jobs are apparently at stake in Australia if this technology becomes widespread. Between that and all the shopping that is now taking place online, it seems likely that large numbers of cashiers will need to retrain for other jobs shortly.
There’s been much hype about autonomous vehicles and how they will eliminate transport jobs for human drivers. So far there have been trials of the technology, but this is an area where humans have mostly managed to retain their jobs so far. However, it’s probably not wise to count on transport jobs as being reliable sources of income in the long term.
While technology will be responsible for destroying countless jobs, it will also create many more jobs. However, the net result is likely to be that education and skill will become much more important because it is the low-skilled jobs that will largely be eliminated. The jobs that are being created tend to be ones that involve higher levels of skill, education and knowledge. This partially explains the growing global skills shortages in the high tech sector. It is likely that university credentials will be even more highly valued in the future as low-skilled jobs disappear.
So What Are the Best Ways to Help Your Child Prepare for the Future?
- Assist your child with discovering and developing his or her areas of interest and expertise.
- Help your child understand the importance of acquiring soft skills that robots do not possess.
- Encourage your child to build lasting relationships with other people, because successful careers develop through networking relationships.
- Make your child aware of the current skills shortages in Australia, but do not pressure him or her to choose a career based solely on employer demand.
- Don’t impose your own career aspirations on your child.
- Help your child to choose high school subjects that will provide a solid foundation for future academic success.
- Encourage your child to learn high-value skills that will be likely to retain their worth in the future job market.
Taking these steps can help to make your child aware of important considerations while also empowering them to make their own choices.