Thursday, 14 January 2016

Top careers for the future

Many people who are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to study further after school have known for a while what careers they want to follow. Then there are those who are not yet quite sure. Still others have the luxury of being able to take a gap year in which to think about what they want to do with their lives.

For those who aren’t quite sure of their career choices, we’ve done some of the legwork for you and compiled a list of the best careers to pursue if you’re looking those that are flourishing, and that are about to become increasingly relevant to our society.

Like any list, this one is of course open to debate and adjustment, so let’s use it to start a conversation too.

As you might expect in this day and age, a lot of these careers are in the broad field of IT, which is easily understandable, given the modern world’s reliance on it. However, there are plenty that as are important, but overlooked.

Community services manager

Particularly in a country like ours, caring for communities, especially impoverished rural ones, is an important area of endeavour. It will remain so for a long time, given the scope of our challenges – and also given our need to keep these services running into the foreseeable future.

Computer systems analyst

Everything is being digitised in our modern society. It could be argued that we stand on the brink of yet another technology “revolution”, with the so-called “Internet of Things”. This means that many, more everyday items that we use are going to be interacting intelligently with global Internet networks. So we will need people who can build and programme them.

App developer

A short while ago mobile phone and device use surpassed laptop and desktop use as the way that African connects to the Internet. These smartphones are able to use more and more, increasingly sophisticated apps that we use in our everyday lives. Which creates massive demand for those who can create them. Some other good news for learners is that much of what you need to know to create apps can be learned on the Internet.

Nurse and paramedic
By the same token, some of the more traditional careers will remain just as important as they ever were. No matter how much we evolve in our technology, we will still need specialists like these to care for us when the unexpected happens.

Information security analyst

The more the world relies on technology and digital data, the more the demand will be for people who can make sure that all of it is secure. For those interested in a hard core IT career, this will be highly rewarding.

Health services manager

Health services at the most basic level are absolutely crucial to our population. The sheer number of people who need these services in far-flung places ensures that there will always be a need for those who can manage processes and people in this sector.

School teacher

Education is of course at the top of the agenda in any developing country like ours, and we could almost never have enough teachers. It will remain one of the most important careers in South Africa for many years to come.

Food scientist

Food is expected to become an endangered resource that will need to be carefully managed worldwide. Those specialising in helping to solve the world’s food problems will be in great demand.

Epidemiologist

Some of the most threatening scenarios for our planet, but particularly for Africa, is that of a disastrous disease outbreak. This career helps to prevent this, and also involves lot of research, community education and formulation of health policies. These are exceptionally necessary activities in Africa.

Natural energy specialist

As our planet faces environmental challenges we all know that energy provision is going to continue to be one of the single biggest problems that we have to solve. Those who choose careers that involve alternative energy sources have bright futures.

Cloud computing

Cloud computing is becoming the dominant technology and business model in modern enterprises. There are many different aspects to the Cloud, all of which present excellent career opportunities.


Let’s start a conversation. Let me know what you think here or connect with me on Twitter (@EduloanSA)

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