Adaptability the key to survival in jobs market
With university graduation ceremonies coming up in the next couple of weeks in Saudi Arabia and all over the world, all recent graduates’ eyes and thoughts are on career days, CV writing and getting prepared for anxiety-provoking job interviews. Are our beloved fresh graduates prepared for all of this? Well, I can’t answer for all of them, but I am sure the ones that did their homework and set themselves goals and a plan to achieve them will no doubt be in a better position than their colleagues who are relying solely on their degree to land them a job. Will the courses and majors the graduates studied at university be enough to get them a good job these days? Will a degree alone help them get ahead in the fast-paced world we are living in?
A study by Singularity University shows 45 percent of today’s jobs won’t exist 10 years from now. We are starting to see this happen with the automation of a number of sectors: Transportation, customer service, and retail with the introduction of Amazon Go, for example. We have to face the inconvenient truth — that the future of jobs is changing. So ask yourself, does your job involve repetitive tasks? If it does, then I am sad to say that you might soon be replaced with a robot that can do your job more efficiently and a lot faster than us humans can.
Graduates these days must be proactive and complement their academic education with training and workshops to expand their knowledge and prepare themselves to become lifelong learners.
Dr. Taghreed AlSaraj
Some people might suggest we need to look at what academic majors we currently offer at the university level and develop what looks promising while closing down majors that are considered obsolete. I couldn’t agree more with this thought, but I still say it would be too little, too late. I think what we really need to develop our educational system with a team consisting of educators, trend analysts and risk managers to come up with new interdisciplinary majors fields. We need to start combining two or more academic disciplines into one. This will help train our students to think across boundaries and understand diverse subjects in order to solve complex problems, which will be an asset both now and in the future.
Not everyone will agree with me, but what I do know is that we need to adapt to changes around us and in our jobs or careers, even if the majors we studied at university did not provide us with such skills. Employers now want employees that can adapt quickly to new changes, so people must be ready to learn fast and implement faster. Graduates these days must be proactive and complement their academic education with training and workshops to expand their knowledge and prepare themselves to become lifelong learners. So get ready to continue learning.
• Dr. Taghreed AlSaraj is a best-selling Saudi author, an international public speaker and an entrepreneurship mentor.