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Career Trends Of The 21st Century You Should Know

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By Dr. Srividya
10 Mar'22  8 min read
Career Trends Of The 21st Century You Should Know

The career landscape is dynamic and ever-changing. With Covid-19 having struck almost every part of the world, it can certainly be considered one of the main catalysts of change in the career panorama. In this article, we shall talk about some of the major visible and predicted career trends of the coming few years. We shall touch upon how careers like YouTubing, social media management, and the like, are likely to gain more popularity, how entrepreneurship skills are likely to become a major area of focus, and how we would be required to see a career as an extensive learning process. 

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Career Trends Of The 21st Century You Should Know

The career landscape is dynamic and ever-changing. With Covid-19 having struck almost every part of the world, it can certainly be considered one of the main catalysts of change in the career panorama. In this article, we shall talk about some of the major visible and predicted career trends of the coming few years. We shall touch upon how careers like YouTubing, social media management, and the like, are likely to gain more popularity, how entrepreneurship skills are likely to become a major area of focus, and how we would be required to see a career as an extensive learning process. 

Read more

When people talk of a career, they think of money, job security, lifetime employment and recognition as important criteria. In these changing times, to what extent are these criteria valid for careers of the future? What are the emerging trends and the mindsets needed to garner and strengthen yourself for the future? This article highlights some key aspects.

Emergence Of New Age Careers

The workplace and careers have witnessed some critical shifts in the last few years. For one, there have been an increasing number of careers that people are taking up, that were unheard of in the past. Professions like YouTubing, political journalism, content writing, social media management, drone pilots, and many more, are some recent additions. Any search in any career database reveals over a thousand careers, rather than the limited twenty to thirty white-collar roles of the past. Alongside this, many older clerical and administrative roles are getting redundant due to the influx of technology and artificial intelligence (AI). This addition of new professions, with older professions becoming obsolete, has been the norm always. However, the speed and intensity with which this is happening in the 21st century is noteworthy. Additionally, some professions like agriculture are getting a new avatar, with many professionals making organic farming, micronutrient farming, pearl oyster farming their entrepreneurial ventures. Clearly, there are going to be significant and unimaginable shifts in the 21st century with respect to careers.

Careers As Portfolios Of Services

If there is so much dynamism in the market and workplace, how do students develop skills and gain degrees that help them respond effectively? Here, it would help you to seriously consider shifting perspectives regarding careers for a lifetime, and embrace the notion of nurturing varied strengths, so you can bring different talents to the fore as the need arises.

For example, students of hospitality courses were very upset with the pandemic and the dearth of jobs and opportunities post Covid in 2021. Now, if a student is fixated on only a career with hotels, it is likely to lead to a state of despair and frustration. However, if he were to look at his other skills that were strengthened by his training in hospitality courses, he would have a wider breadth of career options to choose from. Many graduates of hospitality courses have good interpersonal skills, pleasing personalities, good customer service etiquette, and an excellent sense of aesthetics and structure. If you note, these strengths are assets in many industries and roles, like sales, business development, customer service, interior design etc. A little additional training, or maybe an internship, would facilitate remoulding oneself into a new role. Alternatively, instead of working for a 5-star hotel, one may also look at the more recent and popular home resorts that offer staycations, and partner with homeowners, who want to reach out to clients in the city. So, one useful tip would be to truly do a SWOT analysis, understand your strengths, and see how you could create a portfolio of services you could offer. This approach will be far more empowering than preparing for a specific role or degree.

Generic Degrees May Gain Popularity

Given the dynamism in the workplace and the multiple talents and interests that most individuals are born with, it may be prudent to take on generic degrees that cover a broad range of topics. This way a student is given more time to hone multiple strengths and explore before settling in a niche. While this may seem circuitous at first, it will provide a more solid foundation if there is a need to shift gears or switch careers. So, integrated courses in humanities, general courses in sciences, etc. may gain popularity as it permits the student more choices of suitable careers and future courses.

Career As A Continuous Learning Process

Gone are the days when what you learned in your college degrees was all the knowledge and skills you needed to get a job and grow in the same. It is time now for careers to be seen as a continuous learning process. This has always been true in cutting edge fields like medicine, research, technology, and many other streams where constant innovation is the norm. However, now this has become true for all professions. You need to continuously engage, read, and learn content related to your job, as well as those that are related to your other interests. This means that professionals who truly enjoy what they are doing, and who want to grow themselves as individuals and make the most out of this learning process, will emerge stronger than those who focus solely on what is to be done for the day, or to gain a promotion.

Development Of Entrepreneurship Skills

These days, almost every university or business school is talking about starting a business or becoming an entrepreneur. Why is this happening? Clearly, the lure of working in large corporate organisations with the fat pay packages and brands is losing some of its charm. Alternately, the youth today want more freedom and flexibility than their parents enjoy/ed at their workplace, hence, there is visibly more focus on developing entrepreneurship skills. The reasons may be numerous, however, there is a distinct increase in solopreneurs, partnerships, and new business ideas. Alongside this, reality shows like Shark Tank are influencing the youth to think about how they can hone their entrepreneurship skills and fund their own start-ups and entrepreneurial setups. The coming decade is going to see a marked rise in focus on entrepreneurship skills, as well as a surge in start-ups and entrepreneurial ventures.

Basic Business Skills Would Become Essential For All!

Aspects like marketing management, managing finances, networking, and so on, are essential to all businesses. The different careers and trends reveal that all professionals will need to network, collaborate, learn marketing management, and sell their services. No longer can professionals think in silos, and focus only on financials at the cost of customer service, or vice versa. Basic or working knowledge of the key fundamentals of running a business unit will become critical for many.

Entrepreneurship skills, 21st century jobs, trends in 21st century, work in 21st century, Business skills for the 21st century

Emergence Of Un-Academic Careers!

Areas like arts, theatre, music, dance, sport, fitness, etc. are making a clear mark in the lives of people going through the pandemic. Most people have faced challenges that made them realise that life is not worth living without a fit body, a calm mind, and a hobby we love to pursue.

This means that vocations related to the arts and sports are going to be more respect-worthy and valued in the times to come. The number of instances of people dropping these areas will decrease. There will be a slow and significant re-emergence of arts, heritage, culture and sports in our lives and the workplace too.

Rise In Technology-Based Career Paths!

With the focus on artificial intelligence and technology, one of the obvious trends is that more positions in these careers will mushroom and grow in the years to come. Demand for robot designers, drone pilots, bioinformatics professionals, coders, data scientists, data analysts, big data specialists, etc. has risen visibly in recent years. Additionally, automation of all clerical and repetitive tasks is going to reduce the number of positions in customer service, retail, factory workers, project managers, as technology and robotics will take over these repetitive and monitoring roles.

Rise In Mental Health Professionals!

While bigger industrialists and businessmen are capitalising on technology and robotics, the genuine human need for companionship, connection and mindful working are being ignored, as they do not lend easily to the scale of operations and profitability. This drive characterised by mindless automation, and a desire to turn the planet into one ruled by AI and robots is controversial, and impacts basic human needs and well-being. It is evidently leading to higher instances of mental health issues, and in turn, greater mental health awareness. So, while there is an increase in technology workers and automation, there will be a parallel increase in the need for wellness officers, mental health professionals, mindfulness practitioners, counsellors, and other caring professions, thereby complementing, and adding to the rise in mental health awareness.

Rise In Spirituality Quotient At The Workplace!

Uncertainty and challenges always draw out the need for seeking higher purpose and clarity in life. Today, even the common Indian tries to tap into spiritual circles and readings, to develop a deeper understanding of life and its complexities. It has become a common trend to invite spiritual gurus and motivational speakers to help ground and centre professionals who find the workplace stressful. This will slowly impact the organisational culture and working style of workplaces, and hopefully become more purpose, rather than profit-driven.

Rise In Demand For Coaches!

Professional coaches in areas of finance, careers, relationships, parenting, investments, diversity & inclusion, spirituality, sustainability, etc. are gaining precedence and popularity. Some who are veterans in their field, have a large following and client base and provide vital guidance in times of uncertainty and fear. This trend is likely to continue in the years to come.

Overall, there have been massive shifts in the structure, mindsets, relationships and demands at the workplace. It would be imperative for all parents and students to take responsibility for their individual lives and careers, and mindfully pave their path ahead.

Dr. Srividya is an Organisational Psychologist, Career and Personal growth coach. She works with teens, parents, adults, and returning professionals, to help them align their personal and professional needs, desires, and overcome personal and professional challenges. She can be reached at www.lifevidya.in.

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