The global economic downturn continues to make headlines. As difficult as these times are for individuals who have lost their jobs, the credit crunch has highlighted the importance for young people to make sure they are ready for whatever the future might have in store.
Future-proofing yourself means being a step ahead of the game. It means making sure you understand local, national and international employment market conditions, and how your skills and qualifications will serve you in the future.
This is not as hard and complicated as it sounds. When planning your studies, try to strike a balance between studying what you love and are passionate about, and what will make you a highly desirable employee in the future.
The Internet offers a vast array of information on what careers will provide job security over the short to long term, as well as industries that are recession-proof right now and poised for dramatic growth.
Being good at languages is an international passport to employability worldwide. Fluency in a language other than your own won’t imprison you to a lifetime of interpreting work. It will make you someone who is sought after by employers big and small across almost every industry who desperately need your skills.
Computers are here to stay
The globalisation and digitisation of the world means that IT continues to be a booming industry and a massive employer worldwide. Love them or hate them, computers are here to stay. With each passing year, they become more user-friendly, and more seamlessly integrated into our lives, on a personal and professional level.
While there are no guarantees in life, keeping up-to-date with what’s happening in the digital world could give you an advantage in the employment market.
Healthcare in many parts of the world is becoming more sophisticated. People are living longer. This means there is a world of opportunity for those with qualifications, skills and experience in medicine and in many associated fields. Consider adding a physical education or a psychology qualification to your portfolio.
The past 10 years have seen a dramatic increase in environmental awareness on a global scale, and with global warming on everyone’s lips, a career as an environmental scientist is unlikely to fall out of favour. Think about a qualification in environmental management.
Whatever exam board you study with, and whatever your talents and skills, remember finding subjects you are good at and enjoying them is crucial in making sure you stay the distance.
Once you’ve gained your qualifications at school and university, only you can decide what career you will choose.
Make sure all your hard work and dedication to study is worth it in the end, by protecting your future with some planning right now.
The global downturn won’t last forever, but by making sure you’re studying subjects that protect your employability in the future, you won’t have to worry when the next credit crunch appears on the horizon.
The author is Regional Manager - South Asia, University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE)