Of course, no one can look into a magical glass ball and make accurate predictions.But the following four questions are a good start if you want to find out if a particular profession has good or bad prospects for the future:
What is the risk of automation?Each profession is made up of different activities.The more activities that can be automated in a profession, the higher the risk of automation.
As a rule, you should not take up highly endangered professions.Instead, you can focus on professions that are largely based on jobs that we will continue to do for decades to come. This answer deals in detail with the problem.
Examples of occupations with a low risk of automation: Consultant, Entrepreneur, Surgeon, Manager, Therapist, Fitness Trainer.
Am I moving in a growing or shrinking industry?
In shrinking industries, sales are falling and employees are being laid off.There you often develop skills that will become obsolete in the future.
Growing industries, on the other hand, offer you a promising future: companies are finding more and more customers and their sales are increasing.More and more employees are being hired. You have a better chance of being promoted while building valuable skills that are sought in other industries as well as competing companies.
Examples of growing areas: Genetics, cybersecurity, application of artificial intelligence, fintech, care for the elderly.
Do I have flexible skills?
When you decide to go to an apprenticeship or a course of study, you often decide on a particular profession.This is not a problem at all, if you are sure that you want to work in this area.
But once you’re unsure what you want to do, flexibility suddenly becomes valuable.Then you don’t want to commit to a particular profession from day one. Instead, you want to acquire flexible skills that you can use in different professions.
For example, with a maths degree, you can enter all industries as a sought-after force, while training as an air traffic controller prepares you for exactly one profession.
Examples of flexible skills and courses: Writing, talking & negotiating, marketing and sales, programming, mathematics, business administration, computerscience.
How strong is the competition in this area?
It basically makes sense to compete with others in order to work their way up in a hierarchy.But not every competition is a meaningful competition. Often, the costs in a competition exceed the expected benefits.
If a person is selected for a job in a group of five people, you have a 20 percent chance of getting a job if you make a random decision.But if you compete for a job in a group of 500 people instead, you only have a 0.2 percent chance of a commitment. This is roughly equivalent to the ratio of job offers to applications at Google.
The higher the competition in a particular area, the more energy and time you need to spend on it to work your way up.And the less likely it is that, even if you’re struggling, you’ll achieve your goal (because many other talented and dedicated people have the same goal).
Examples of constellations with higher or higherweaker competition: Large corporation vs. family business, Google/Facebook/Apple vs. young startups, “announced” vs. “boring” city.
Only in the rarest of cases will all these points be met.
For example, in some of the “safe havens” (which people will increasingly specialize in to avoid automation risks), competition will inevitably increase. Choosing a career with strong competition can also be a good decision if you rate your chances particularly well.
In the end, you should know first and foremost what you got into and what the pros and cons of your decision are.