My work, coaching 17/18 years olds who are leaving school, and planning to attend University, stems from the fact that they really don’t know what their options are. Their catch cry response when asked by well-meaning adults what they want to do is almost always, “I don’t know.” They feel this way for a number of reasons.

Firstly, they haven’t put a great deal of thought into it. Getting through Year 12 is challenging enough and while students can see the light at the end of the tunnel, that light is blocked by the exams and assessments they have to complete before they get there. Add to that what was (once) a hectic social life and the general angst of growing up, there is little time to undertake the self examination that is necessary to make a good study choice. Thirdly, there are multiple options. It takes time for them to wend their way through the website, to find the information that they need, to match their skills and aspiration with the course outline, and assumed knowledge required. Finally, it’s just not real for them yet.

I was interested in what changes are likely for Year 12 students as they make choices for study during and post COVID so I did some idle Googling and came up with this article from Macquarie University – What will the hottest jobs be in 2020? It was written in 2017.

I thought it would be worthwhile taking the time to read it, to cross reference what might have changed by 2021 – 2024.

https://www.topuniversities.com/student-info/careers-advice/what-will-hottest-jobs-be-2020

So what jobs will be in demand POST COVID? This is what they said, combined with my thoughts.

  1. The first career option listed is ICT professional and I can’t see this changing with so many working from home, with a strong likelihood that this will become the preferred dynamic.
  2. Mathematical careers such as Accounting and Economics will remain as popular as today if not becoming more so. Entrepreneurship and creativity paired with these degrees will be desirable and necessary in the future.
  3. One thing is for sure is that Health Professionals ( doctors, nurses, mental health specialists etc) will not only continue to be in high demand but they will be highly respected professions, a positive aspect emerging from the pandemic.
  4. The demand for digital marketing experts will be strong as we continue to spend most of our work life on our devices, so a degree in Marketing and Commerce would support these aspirations. Shopping on line is now second nature for most now as well. There will continue to be an appetite for on-line entertainment (movies, digital graphics/animation and games) so that opens options for the creatives types.
  5. Importantly, there will always be careers for teachers – particularity those who include digital literacy as one of their key skills.
  6. Law and Engineering will continue to be reliable career pathways.

This is a very superficial response to this 2017 article but it might give some reassurance for our youth that though their overseas travel has been curtailed (no Gap Year in 2021), their choice of study and career options may not have changed too significantly because of COVID.