From the Principal

Don’t Panic: Careers

47% of Jobs Will Disappear in the next 25 Years, According to Oxford University.

Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.”


  • 1902 —> Women will take men’s jobs
  • 2017 —> Robots will take our jobs

Being worried about change and the future is nothing new:

“This planet has—or rather had—a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much all of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy. Many were increasingly of the opinion that they’d all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans.” The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy 1997.

In regard to a career, I am one of the lucky ones who dreamed of being in a particular job and found a career. Research (over 20000 recipients) shows that the only career that young children envisioned or wished for and regularly achieved is teaching. For the other children, aspirations or dreams to be a fireman, doctor, astronaut etc usually morphed into something else. That variation of career choices and options will most likely be ongoing as we march further into the 21st century.

Our new world (remember we are already well into the 21st century, so let’s stop talking about preparing for it) and the way we prepare our students for success must change or we condemn them to lesser lives.

Our school must acknowledge the world into which our graduates will emerge. What is this world going to look like?

  • Our children will emerge from school into an increasingly competitive global work market. There are 4.3 million young people (12-26) in Australia at the moment. Three hours north of Australia there are 750 million young people. They all want jobs, careers and success. Competition for jobs will be greater than we adults can imagine.
  • The linear (job for life etc) world of work is dying. We may be buffered from this in some ways by our geography (regional, significantly mono cultural, etc) but our children will often have to leave this regional bubble and enter a world where work is increasingly casualised and insecure. (Note: In Australia at this moment 31.5% of young graduates are underemployed.)
  • It might take up to 4.7 years after graduation for a graduate to obtain full time work in the industry/profession they have trained for.

The least safe jobs

Chance of automation 99%
Loan officer
Chance of automation 98%
Chance of automation 97%
Paralegal and legal assistant
Chance of automation 94%
Taxi driver
Chance of automation 89%
Fast food cook
Chance of automation 81%

A real world example: Meet “Cal”

Cal left school around 15 to become a pro skateboarder. Unlike many other young males, he was, for some time, successful nationally and even internationally (there are videos!!).  Saw the limits of his career closing in (injuries and age), followed a family tradition to become a vehicle mechanic, made it through an apprenticeship and achieved employment. He is now studying physics at university. He probably has no idea how typical he is of the career trajectory young Australians are facing.

 Warning: Volvo has predicted that driverless cars will become commercially available in the next five years, a prospect that would make taxi and Uber drivers redundant. Being an Uber driver may go from being an on trend job to unemployed – a very short career life.

What in the world is coming?

  • Professional apprenticeships becoming more common.
  • A return to requiring foundational skills (literacy and numeracy) to be employable.
  • People holding down multiple jobs —> Combining working for someone, working in partnership with someone or being the boss of a small start up company possibly all at the same time.
  • Knowing how to operate in a complex and culturally diverse world will be a key skill.
  • If any job or role can be standardised, AI can systematise it and find a way to do it cheaper. Then the people who own the systems will get rich and richer.
  • Ongoing learning and transition become the norm. Recognising that working in one job may give you the skills to work in up to 13 other related jobs.

Emerging Careers:

Although mostly unheard of today, the following careers are expected to be in high demand in the years to come:

  • information broker
  • job developer
  • leisure consultant
  • bionic electron technician
  • computational linguist
  • fibre optic technician
  • fusion engineer
  • image consultant
  • myotherapist
  • relocation counselor
  • retirement counselor
  • robot technician
  • space mechanic
  • underwater archaeologist

“Since February 2000 most job growth in Australia has been delivered into healthcare and social assistance (up 730,000 jobs), professional services (up 440,000), education (up 330,000) and construction (up 410,000) sectors. These are mostly skilled and/or knowledge worker jobs. Knowledge worker jobs in Australia are largely concentrated in the CBD and inner city in corporate head offices, professional services firms, government administration and in large hospitals and universities. These job generators attract knowledge workers who prefer not to commute, underpinning demand for apartments”. Bernard Salt. Demographer.

So, what is SCAS doing to prepare our students for this world?

  • A strong, data-based approach to ensuring strong literacy and numeracy skills are developed in all our students.
  • Increasingly using teaching and learning techniques that mirror and develop the skills and strengths that will make our students more employable —> problem solving, creative thinking.
  • Providing support in developing skills and attitudes (e.g. flexibility and agility) that will allow our students to be able to career manage rather than providing information that provides a simple roadmap for a single job/position.
  • Increasing student engagement in learning and offering life enhancing opportunities through our various programs.
  • Maintaining a questioning eye on changes in the world and the world of work to improve our teaching and learning models.

We will be prepared

Mr Terry Muldoon
Principal, St Columba Anglican School
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