Leadership skills
MyTutor for Parents

The skills and jobs of the future: what you need to know

· February 15, 2023

With the stress of school work and exams, it can be hard to find time to help your teen plan for the long-term. When you can get the headspace, helping them come up with a career plan (even if it ends up changing) can help to motivate them day-to-day, and help them make decisions along the way. 

Of course, the world of work looks very different now compared to when you were starting out – ever heard of a DevOps Engineer or a Data Architect? With jobs ever-changing, the challenge is to make a plan that excites them now and sets them up for later.

We’ve pulled together the key skills that employers are looking for and a snapshot of some of the jobs of the future. So you can help to link your teen’s passions and interests to the future roles they might be interested in. 

8 key skills that employers look for

As a start, sit down with your teen and discuss their skills and interests. What do they enjoy, what are they good at, what are their favourite subjects at school and what things do they really dislike?

Then have a go at matching them up with some of the below skills, which are very desirable right now…

1. Creativity

  • Creative thinkers are often artistic, but can be creative in science, business and almost any other field
  • They can think of new ideas and innovative solutions to different sorts of problems
  • They’re good at using their imagination

2. Problem-solving

  • They have the ability to solve problems in groups of people or find their way around an emotional challenge 
  • They’re good at working out logical solutions to complex problems
  • This could be a mathematical or scientific problem

3. Speaking

  • This could apply to public speaking, but also one-to-one or in small groups
  • Communicates ideas and information in a way that makes sense to the person or people you’re with
  • They have the ability to express themself well when talking to others
  • They can rephrase things if someone doesn’t understand

4. Leadership

  • They can help others resolve problems and disagreements
  • They help and encourage others to achieve a shared goal
  • They’re good at dividing up tasks and recognising talent in others
  • They have strong empathy skills

5. Teamwork

  • They can work well with other people toward a shared goal
  • They take responsibility and are reliable to others
  • They embrace different people’s varied skills, talents and personalities
  • They can resolve differences with others

6. Listening

  • They’re great at understanding what people try to communicate with you
  • They show that they’re listening using body language and facial expression
  • They let people finish – and don’t interrupt
  • They can be objective and work out where people are coming from
  • They can take in complex ideas and information and take action as necessary

7. Staying positive

  • They use strategies and tactics to overcome challenges and achieve goals
  • They see opportunities in difficult situations
  • They help others do the same by supporting and encouraging them

8. Aiming high

  • They’re good at setting clear goals and building plans to achieve them
  • They can plan both short-term and long-term
  • They take pride in doing well
  • They don’t get intimidated by new challenges

15 jobs of the future (that it might be handy to know)

Once your teen has had a think about their personality and skills, you can then begin to explore jobs, industries and paths that excite them. 

Here are 15 jobs of the future that are likely to have long-term security as the industries change and grow. Have a look and see if there are any that fit your teen’s skills or the things they’re passionate about.

First up, here are 9 relatively new jobs that might be less familiar:

1. Graphic designer

Key skills: Creativity, problem-solving, teamwork, listening

Graphic designers make visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate people. They create the visuals for everything from advertisements, brochures, magazines, books and signs.

2. App developer

Key skills: Problem-solving, teamwork

Mobile and computer applications have already dominated the world, and they will probably be playing an even bigger part in lives as technology grows. App developers are the ones who code the software that puts them into existence, working in a tech team to create ones that solve people’s problems and make their lives easier.

3. DevOps engineer

Key skills: Problem-solving, teamwork, listening

Perhaps one of the least-known jobs of the future – this is a role within a development team in a tech or computer software company. Problem-solving is at the core of their job, and they work with the other people on their team to build and maintain the infrastructure of their digital products.

4. Business analyst 

Key skills: Problem-solving, speaking, teamwork, listening

As more and more businesses go digital, the key way that they understand their customers is through data. Analysts are brought in to gather and interpret customer data, and then translate this to the wider business so they can make decisions on what to do next.

5. Digital marketing manager

Key skills: Creativity, speaking, leadership, teamwork

Most people spend a chunk of their day online, and advertising products, businesses, events (you name it) is a really important way that companies communicate and sell to customers. Digital Marketing Managers are in charge of what ads say, who they show ads to, when they show them and more. They’ll have a say in the creative stuff, as well as the more analytic side.

6. Data architect

Key skills: Problem-solving, teamwork, listening

Working closely with Business Analysts, Data Architects are in charge of managing how bigger businesses gather and access the information they store. People in this role are great problem solvers, and they know how to communicate complex information in a way that people across a company can understand and use. Nope, nothing to do with building houses!

7. Eco-home architect

Key skills: Creativity, teamwork, listening, leadership

As the world becomes more eco-friendly, there will be more of a demand for architects (house-building ones!) who can design environmentally sustainable homes. From the sorts of electricity they use to the material they’re made of, someone in this role will be creating homes and helping save the planet at the same time.

8. Operations manager

Key skills: Teamwork, problem-solving, speaking, leadership

Nope, this one has nothing to do with hospitals! Operations is the term used to describe the organisation and day-to-day running of a company. People in leadership roles tend to have amazing people skills and a strong sense of responsibility, as they make sure tasks are divided up well and completed across a team. 

9. Sustainable energy engineer 

Key skills: Problem-solving, leadership

As countries move towards sustainable electricity, we’ll need lots of skilled people who can help switch energy sources for households and businesses. They’ll be trained experts in the latest technology, with strong logic skills and the ability to lead others.

And here are 6 jobs of the future, which you’ve probably heard of but are still in high demand:

10. TV producer

Key skills: Creativity, leadership, teamwork, staying positive

Producers are the ones who organise the production of any show. They’ll make sure the right actors get cast in the right roles, source the staff for the whole crew, find funding and manage the budget. They’ll have amazing people skills and be unphased by things sometimes (or often) going a bit wrong.

11. Research scientist

Key skills: Problem-solving, teamwork

Science is always on to solving the next problem. Whether it’s a vaccine or a treatment for a disease, a new way to produce electricity or a new piece of medical technology, research scientists work together to find solutions that will improve people’s lives.

12. Journalist

Key skills: Listening, leadership

If you like writing, researching and getting to the truth behind any story, this could be the job for you. Journalism plays a really important role in any society – making sure people are informed about what’s going on in the world (at home and abroad). In the future, even more newspapers and magazines will be based online, but there’s still plenty of need for reporters and analysts to tell us what’s happening.

13. Psychotherapist

Key skills: Listening, speaking, staying positive

Society is much more aware of good mental health than it used to be, and the need for therapists to help people overcome their problems will stay absolutely crucial. Psychotherapists are experts in listening to their patients, making them feel safe in doing so, and offering the right verbal support to help them long-term.

14. Advertising director

Key skills: Creativity, teamwork, speaking

As long as businesses sell products, there’s a need for eye-catching, memorable and effective advertising. People in these roles come up with ideas for ad campaigns, help others have ideas too and lead a creative team to make the final product.

15. Pharmacist

Key skills: Listening, speaking, problem-solving

The role of the pharmacist is becoming more important as the pressure on GPs increases. As well as interpreting prescriptions correctly, Pharmacists play an important role in the health of any community. They communicate with people how to take their medicines correctly, in the right amounts and at the right times. They also help people find the right treatments for minor injuries and other health problems day-to-day.

For more information about any of these roles, and the qualifications your teen will need to work towards them, visit the National Careers Service and search for any of these roles (there are hundreds more on there to browse too!).

Final thought

Having these conversations and helping to open up future possibilities will help them start making decisions for themself now – is university for them? Would they prefer an apprenticeship or going straight into work? Would they like a job that’s hands-on and practical or do they love researching or solving numeric problems? 

It’s never too early to ask, even if things change – as they often do in life. This way, you know that you’ve helped to empower them with the big stuff and they’ll likely feel more satisfied and fulfilled later on in life. And who wouldn’t want that?

Read more in the MyTutor World of Work e-book.

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