You are on page 1of 4

My Tomorrow: Towards a Smart Career Option By Anjum Malik It is a great pleasure to be here with all of you in Al Khobar.

As someone involved with international education for a long time, I am very excited by the Dunes International School project. My current involvement with international educations takes two forms: First, I am co-founder and managing partner of the Alhambra-US Chamber of Commerce, established by the former US Special Envoy to Organization of the Islamic Conference to promote educational and cultural interaction between the Muslim World and the West. Second, I am co-founder and vice-president of House of Tutors Learning Centers, which provides fully accredited, internationally-recognized intensive English language training, multi-subject tutoring at all educational levels, student mentoring, college advising, and standardized testing preparation. Education is the single most important factor in determining an individuals future professional and financial success. Those of you here today understand that. As parents, you know the value of investing in your childrens education. As students, you see the importance of working and studying hard to secure a bright future. Education is the gateway to success. Every profession has its advantages and disadvantages. That being said, not all professions are created equal. While I am not here to say that one profession is fundamentally better than another. When it comes to future demand and the possibilities for a good salary today or ten years down the road, however, some professions do offer better prospects than others. Students are never too young to be aware of this. And, if a given career path interests a student, it is never too soon to begin the appropriate educational preparation. Certain careers and professions have an especially promising future in our world. This evening, I want to talk with you about five different professional fields which are already important in the world of 2011 and where demand is likely to explode dramatically by 2020. The result will

be competitive salaries and high levels of respect for individuals within those fields. When I say professional fields, I am not talking about a single occupation, but rather a bundle of closely related professions that, collectively, meet an important economic or societal need. Each of the five fields I will discuss tmeets three criteria: Salary and/or other benefits that make them very competitive compared to other employment opportunities in a society. Demand for these professions will increase dramatically in the coming decade. The increased demand for the professional will be global: whether youre in Mumbai, Riyadh, Los Angeles, or London these skills will be highly marketable today and in 2020. 1) Medicine: No matter where you are in the world, the medical profession has a bright future. In the developed world, the existing population is ageing and the median age is increasing meaning the need for healthcare is increasing as well. In nations such as India and many places in the Middle East, rapid economic development means people will want, demand, and be able to afford increasingly elaborate medical care. In both cases the effect is the same a greater demand for medical employees and an accompanying rise in salaries. When you say medicine, the first occupation people think of is physician, but there are many other in-demand medical careers that offer good salaries and personally rewarding careers: pharmacist, nurse, physicians assistant, medical assistant, dental hygienist, and so on. Physicians, of course, are at the top of the medical ladder both in salary and prestige. They are in demand almost everywhere in the world. But nursing also merits a very serious look. This is a profession that has changed dramatically in the past decade including a significant increase in both salary and respect. The average registered nurse in the US now earns $65,000 a year, plus bonuses. Highly trained or specialized nurses can earn considerably more. Nursing is also less female-dominated than was once the case. In the US, 30% of nurses under the age of 40 are male. Becoming

a registered nurse requires significantly less (and less expensive) schooling that becoming a physician. It also has another attractive advantage: because there is a dire shortage of nurses in the developed world, the US and many other Western nations often fast-track registered nurses when it comes to immigration. 2) Technology: Over the past two decades, technology, especially computers and information technology, have become intertwined with every aspect of our lives. Technology is an essential part of the infrastructure of the world as we know it and becomes more essential every year. For this reason, the need for all varieties of technology professional will continue to increase in the coming decade. A short list of vital occupations includes software engineer, programmer, network systems analyst, web designer, and other IT specialties. Because of the considerable standardization of systems and skills globally, these jobs are highly portable. 3) Support Services: Making the global economy function, from the largest multinational corporation to a smallest family business, requires a wide range of support services. For this reason, the business of helping businesses do business is one of the futures most promising career options. Fields as diverse as human resources, real estate, and financial advising are vital for businesses and individuals to function in the modern world ensuring that members of those professions will be both in demand and well compensated. 4) Education: As we have discussed, education is valuable commodity and the single most reliable indicator of an individuals future professional and financial success. Therefore, from pre-primary teachers to postgraduate professors, highly-qualified educators are almost universally in demand. As a profession, teachers are highly regarded, often have very good benefits and, depending on your location, are generally compensated well in comparison to the local average. Much like healthcare, the growth of demand for educators in rapidly developing nations like India is explosive. In developed nations, where the vast majority of good jobs require significant education, they are an already an essential part of the economic infrastructure.

5) Future Technologies: Even as we speak, there are a number of technologies that are reshaping our world as dramatically as computers and information technology have done over the past 30 years. We will see exponential increases in the demand for individuals in these fields over the coming decades and, much like information technology, those who become involved in these fields at the beginning will have incredible opportunities. Three of the most promising such areas include: Nanotechnology the emerging field of manipulating matter on the molecular level has incredible potential to revolutionize manufacturing and information technology. Biotechnology a fusion of biology and manufacturing, is already transforming medicine and has long-term potential in industry and construction. Green Jobs: Emerging economic giants like India and China have learned from the mistakes of the West. They understand that they cannot put off exploring the potential of environmental technologies, clean power, and other green jobs. In my remarks today, I have tried to provide a short summary of five professional fields that are likely to grow and prosper dramatically in the coming decade. It is not my intention to dissuade anyone from an occupation or career path on which their heart may already be set or to say that these professions are inherently better than others. Many young people, however, still do not know what they want to do with their lives. I feel it is important for them to be aware of opportunities like the ones I have highlighted that will allow them to help meet a vital need while also enjoying a good salary and the respect of their community because that, in turn, is a foundation for a well-balanced and satisfying life. Thank you.