A willingness to embrace lifelong education and training, together with a mix of technical and interpersonal skills, is the best way to build an enduring career, according to a CSIRO report released this year.
Post-school qualifications and an adaptable mindset will be of an increasing importance to handle the dynamic future labour market, while a set of megatrends including a growth in computing power, connectivity, data volumes and artificial intelligence imply digital literacy will be a basic requirement for most jobs, the report (Tomorrow’s digitally enabled workforce — megatrends and scenarios for jobs and employment in Australia over the next 20 years) showed.
People looking for a rewarding career, however, should still be influenced by their own passions.
The Good Universities Guide Editor, Aaron Matthews, said school leavers trying to decide what to study should start by considering any personal skills, hobbies and interests that could align with a particular career.
“Start by thinking about the career goal you’ve identified, and move on to exploring the options available, including the level of study required and which institution you’d like to attend,” he said.
“While a university degree is considered a valuable asset when applying for a job, students still need to consider the right education to suit their ambitions, which can mean VET, an apprenticeship or university.
“The job market is more competitive than ever and while university isn’t necessarily for everyone, the chances of employment are greater if the applicant has some qualification beyond high school.”
One student who has taken advantage of both university and vocational study options is Ashley Brown, who was recently a finalist for the Australian Apprentice of the Year Award.
The 26-year-old initially completed a Bachelor of Design (Architecture) at Queensland University of Technology before broadening his skill set with a Certificate III in Carpentry and Certificate IV in Building and Construction at Blue Dog Training.
The change in direction stemmed from a volunteer project where he helped to build new campsite facilities for the Bicentennial National Trail at Murphy’s Creek near Toowoomba — a flood recovery project after the devastating floods of 2011.
“Camping on site and working dawn to dusk was an amazing experience, and it made me realise I wanted to do both architecture and building,” Mr Brown, who is studying a Masters in Architecture, said.
“My carpentry apprenticeship has allowed me to focus on a niche market and diversify my skills to become more employable in either field or both simultaneously.
“My story is also testament to the idea that nothing has to happen in a particular order; there is never one correct path.”
To explore vocational and higher education study options, visit www.gooduniversitiesguide.com.au.
This article originally appeared in the Courier Mail’s QWeekend Magazine – Diversify to thrive is key