Morris: Pick a career that will be high in demand
March 18, 2011
Morris: Pick a career that will be high in demand

If you are in one of the following professions, it might be time to consider a career change: Bank tellers, cashiers, mail men, librarians, file clerks and travel agents.{{more}}

These occupations, among others, were placed on the ‘endangered species’ list by Girls’ High School alumna Narissa Morris, as she delivered the eleventh lecture in the school’s anniversary lecture series.

Morris delivered her lecture entitled “Careers for the 21 Century” last Thursday, March 10, at a packed Frenches House in Kingstown, on a night when the school’s former Headmistress and the current Cabinet Secretary Susan Dougan was honored.

Morris, a New York based attorney-at-law, among other accolades, pointed out that some of the products and services that we are accustomed to may soon fade from existence because of the advancement of technology, which has already made a number of jobs extinct.

She said that unless persons and companies are willing to reinvent themselves in order to remain relevant in these challenging times, they may soon be left by the wayside.

“We have email, we have voicemail… so that’s the way of the letter (and the mailman)…. Librarians are being challenged as well. More and more books are not even tangible anymore…. Pretty soon children are not going to need those big book bags with big text books; you going to have a little tablet and all your books are in there…. You probably won’t need pens anymore.”

“The lesson is clear: no career is immune from the advances of technology in the 21st century. We have to pick a career that will be high in demand and constantly reinvent ourselves in order to remain relevant.”

Morris touched on a number of jobs that will remain relevant in the future. These include health care workers, lawyers, Information Technology specialists, carpenters, plumbers, and electricians, among others.

She insisted that these workers must upgrade their education in order to fill the jobs, and must be flexible to respond to the changing knowledge and skills required.

“A better educated worker is more productive and ultimately that means better profits for their employers. A better educated worker as well earns 77 per cent more than somebody with lesser education, and after ‘dislocation’, a better educated worker could more easily find new employment.”

According to Morris, the United States Department of Labor predicts that through 2014, jobs with the fastest growth rate will be found in the areas of health care, computer related services, the environment and education.

Computer related jobs include software engineers, database administrators, and data communications analysts, while environmental fields consist of forensic science technicians, hazardous material removal, and environment engineers.

In the education and health fields: pre- school teachers, post secondary school teachers, home health aides, medical assistants, physical therapists, dental hygienists, cardio-vascular technologists, veterinary technicians and registered nurses.

“Here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, we train a lot of nurses. They are guaranteed a career for life, and with an advanced degree, they can probably become a physician’s assistant or a nurse anesthesiologist.”

“They are not doctors and work under the supervision of doctors, but they can do a lot of routine work that doctors do….”

“Just about any area in the health field is growing.”

Looking ahead, Morris touched on a number of ‘future jobs’ that she said will be made available with the changing times and technology, and noted that a number of them may not be completely new, but will have to be ‘retrofitted’ in order to blend into the 21st century.

“The 9/11 attacks also created a lot of (security) positions; you have security engineers and experts who are trying to see and prevent future problems.”

“Digital archeologist: We are living in a world of email and texting and Facebook and Twitter, so privacy and security are vulnerable.”

“There will also be positions as exo- botonists and exo-zoologists (study of interplanetary life) because space exploration is going to be a big deal in the future.”

Other future jobs include linguistics experts, as well as animal and plant psychologists.

“In looking at these high tech jobs, I don’t want you to forget the skilled positions; these are valuable jobs, and they can earn a good living.”

“It’s always good when you can create your own business and live off that. It creates a lot of flexibility; always look for opportunities and try to build on that.”

Although these job opportunities may seem far fetched to and for Vincentians, Morris stated that countries around the world are looking for persons who have the skills to fill these positions, and are even granting privileges to persons with special careers; but persons seeking these opportunities must be able to fulfill the duties, and sell themselves successfully if they are to get the positions.

“The job search is a campaign, and you really have to own it, you have to present the right looks and the right skills, and you do this through your education, and you have to become visible and you have to convince the prospective employer that you are the person who should be hired for the position.”

“Now everybody is educated. Your resume is an area where you can differentiate yourself.”

Last week’s lecture was chaired by GHS alumna and Health Educator Celoy Culzac Nichols. Kimberley Prescott, a present student of the school, received this month’s 100th Anniversary Achievement Award.

The lecture series continues on April 7 with a presentation from alumna Louise Bowman on the topic “The Universe is Your Classroom; New Technology and Education”.