How megatrends are impacting on careers

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My grandfather worked for one company all his life and my father worked for two or three firms in the same sector. I have already worked for six companies across at least four seemingly unconnected industries and I expect my children to build a CV that focuses on skills and experiences drawn from working for dozens of companies and in multiple sectors. 

Career pathways are becoming increasingly more skills-driven and less traditional. In the past, a student might follow one specific route in terms of their career, but we are now seeing the arrival of “portfolio careers”, where people are moving between seemingly unrelated jobs in different industries, all the time gathering a range of transferable skills that eventually coalesce into a headline role.

At the same time, careers are lengthening and where “early” retirement in your 50s may still be an option for some, the next generations will need to be working for much longer. They will have more time to “find their way” before “settling down”, allowing them to explore options and opportunities that will be invaluable to them down the line.

Traditional careers such as doctor, accountant, lawyer and engineer will always exist, but we are now seeing businesses being far more creative when it comes to defining roles for people to allow them to develop themselves personally and professionally. These opportunities are being driven by the “megatrends” that society is facing and these are opening up a world of possibilities that will make traditional careers a thing of the past for many of our students.

Megatrends such as AI, Sustainability, Mental Health and Migration are already affecting businesses in terms of the way they function and who they employ. Students who focus on developing a transferable skill-set will find themselves in great demand as new opportunities arise. Exactly how these megatrends will impact on future career pathways is difficult to predict but there is no denying that they are already changing the way we work and will continue to do so.

The younger members of our workforce have no qualms about loyalty and switch jobs regularly, gaining the benefits of a broad experience as they develop a range of skills. They do not have the same concerns as previous generations about having a “solid CV” with a number of jobs tightly linked to each other. Employers are agreeing with this approach. They value diversity of thought and experience in their employees, as this regular flow of new minds, different experiences and creative ideas allows businesses to remain competitive.

It is for this reason that we are repositioning our provision for Careers to focus on employability and ensuring that our students are work-ready. Whether it is via the more traditional university route or taking advantage to get on the career pathway earlier by applying for degree level apprenticeships, the opportunities in the future are very broad and very exciting for the next generation. In the coming weeks we will be releasing more information about what we will be doing but, in summary, it will mean providing personalised support and guidance to each and every student, as we do all we can to prepare them for the next steps of their pathway through life and into a world of work they will be helping to shape.

Charles Lovibond, Head of Careers and Futures


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