I have been asked to talk to a group of 15 year old students as part of a series of talks on the subject of careers. They are looking for someone to give an alternative view to the “You must go to university and get a degree” message.
My point of view will be that the Job for life has now gone, and I suspect the full time job with workers rights is under threat certainly for those with less qualifications. However a degree whilst desirable is not necessary, but you will need some other form of qualification. Further gaining those qualifications is only a stepping stone now more than ever before there is a need for life long learning, as technologies change, and new industries emerge to replace those that decline.
For example the motor trade which in the past has consumed so many school leavers, with driverless cars on the horizon is due to collapse. Cleverer people than me have set out the future, no longer will we own cars, but instead will just hail one when we need them, therefore car show rooms wont exist getting rid of salesmen at a stroke, Mechanics will still exist but they are more likely to be electricians. Body shops will decline as there will be less accidents, as will paint sprayers and so the list goes on. We wont need car parks, as they will be fewer cars and those that there are wont be parked up for long hours whilst we go about our daily business.
The same can be said for so many other traditional industries. I spoke to someone the other day who was the first person to have their hip replaced by robot. If they can replace a hip then a robot to cut your hair is easy.
Its not all doom there will always be a motor trade, there will always be people who hold out, and as some one who as a wheelwright earns his crust from those seeking to preserve a long gone form of transport I will encourage them. However there are approx. 30 wheelwrights in the country, I suspect about 1000 worldwide that’s not great prospects when it comes to paying a mortgage, which is why most wheelwrights don’t work at it full time.
My premise will therefore be – take the long view, and keep looking ahead. Whichever job you start with is not the one you will finish with, its a series of stepping stones.
I heard on the Radio the other day there are three vital key skills for getting a job and progressing in employment.
- Get there early
- Work Hard
- Make tea
As an ex employer I would consider that to be excellent advice.
So what advice would you give a 15 year old now?