They say life is an education and through your career, you’ll naturally develop a wide range of skills learned through the jobs you’re performing. However, while experience is most certainly a good thing, often employers will look for qualifications to prove your knowledge in particular areas and study will always be hugely beneficial to your chances of promotion.
With the massive increase of automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the workplace, it’s now more important than ever for staff to broaden the range of skills they can offer employers and to widen their knowledge-base – not just in their industry but also in others.
Whether you’re just starting your journey into employment and are looking for which subjects are most in-demand or are looking to hone extra skills while you work for a possible career change, here are just a few qualifications you should consider that will widen your employment opportunities.
Study the established, hands-on trades
While computers, autonomous robots and AI are putting some professions at considerable risk of becoming obsolete in the coming years, we’re still a long way off from having machines capable of filling the roles of traditional tradesmen. Indeed, laborers with skills in plumbing, electrical work, mechanics and construction are more in demand today than ever from both building companies and private clients. People are always going to have household or vehicle problems that need fixed making these jobs some of the most secure available.
Get into teaching
Teachers will permanently be in demand to educate the workforce of the future and, while computers are making in-roads to aid the profession, there won’t be autonomous teachers anytime soon. Getting into teaching could see you branch sideways out of your current career into a more education-related role.
Also, with the growth of online learning, there are now considerable opportunities to work remotely, at a location of your choosing and at hours that suit you. Moreover, taking a teaching qualification will also involve other valuable skills such as leadership and organizational abilities, which are highly valuable in other professions.
Dive into the world of data science
As mentioned, computers and AI are set to have a transformative effect in all walks of life making a qualification in computer-related studies a valued commodity, especially in the workplace. In particular, one area expected to grow exponentially in the coming years is data science. Data analysis is now used across all company sectors to study business productivity and predict possible outcomes of action. The latest trend for studying big data is now big business and having a real impact on company efficiency.
There is a massive array of data science masters programs available these days with options to study both online and offline. With so much integration expected with computers in all markets, you could do a lot worse than having a data science degree to improve your career prospects.
Understand the planet better with a qualification in geology
Geologists are in great demand the world over working on construction and surveying projects, making a qualification in geology a prized asset for many careers. Jobs include working for governments and private companies and, with the expansion of overseas markets, finding work abroad is a very real prospect.
Take a job in the healthcare sector
People around the world are living longer than ever and an aging population is putting considerable strain on the healthcare industry. Better yet, a qualification in healthcare is generally accepted in nations around the world and, while you may sometimes have to do a little extra training on a per-country basis, career prospects in the industry remain high globally. As professions in healthcare are so hands-on and people-oriented, it will be a very long time before we see these types of role usurped by robots and AI.
Jump into marketing, communications and design
Although AI has improved massively in recent years, computers are still relatively formulaic in terms of original thought and struggle with tasks involving any form of imagination. A job in the creative industry typically involves working with complex ideas, text, video and images to convey a cohesive branding message – exactly the type of work that computers fail at miserably.
As more and more of our lives move online and e-commerce continues to thrive, having a solid grounding in internet marketing, communications and design will be very useful for all roles in the future and will give you a considerable head-start in your search for employment – or increase your value in an existing role. Understanding the power of branding and being able to improve a website’s Search Engine Optimization (the deeply-involved process of getting a site to the top of the search engines) will also make you stand out in a firm.
Study a course in Human Relations (HR)
HR is another highly people-oriented role that is unlikely to fall victim to the rise of the machines and automation. A qualification in HR will also stand you in very good stead in your existing profession and make you an invaluable member of your company. HR practitioners deal with every stage of the employment journey, from hiring to firing and everything in between.
While AI is starting to be used to help HR workers perform their jobs better, there will never be a substitute for the human touch required in handling sensitive staff issues. Indeed, the best HR managers these days combine their soft skills and emotional understanding with analytics tools and software. HR is also useful for finding the best staff and building the most effective teams in companies – another skill that will be highly treasured by your employers.
Extend your hobby of cooking and become a chef
People will always choose to eat out rather than cook at home and while working as a chef must surely be one of the oldest professions, its future prospects remain bright. Also, as cooking is such a creative and complex process, this is another career that should be relatively future-proof, despite the increase of tech in our lives.
While the restaurant industry is undoubtedly in the doldrums right now due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, when normality returns, a career in professional cooking will once again offer good prospects.