Artificial intelligence and ecological transition are shaking up the nature and content of professions. Approximately 7000 high school students are preparing for their higher education. And after? Whether they are going for short or long studies, young people all ask themselves the same question! What occupations are recruiting and what skills do they need to have to get the job?
Study options and job opportunities
At this time of career choices, many young people and their parents wonder if the degree they are going to choose will have an opening. We identified major trends in the evolution of professions over 10 or 15 years. In particular, we have highlighted two factors that have a significant impact on recruitment prospects. First of all, the aging of the Mauritian population which leads to a strong need for manpower in the care and personal assistance professions and the pursuit of the tertiarisation of the economy which calls for more jobs with strong technical skills: study and research staff, architects and building executives, or banking jobs.
21st century skills
Today, a degree remains a very important qualification on the labour market in Mauritius. Employers are very attached to it. But for the same level of qualification, they are ever more sensitive and receptive to skills, especially soft skills. Employers expect their future employees to have basic soft skills such as computer literacy, correct oral and written expression, as well as more complex skills. For example, the ability to work in a group or in a team, comply with company rules, be creative, manage and resolve incidents and know how to adapt to hazards, and emergency situations. These soft skills are important not only to meet the expectations of a position, but also because they are real tools for building one’s professional career throughout life. People are by choice or by constraint more and more mobile. They are required to change jobs or professions regularly. The fact of having and being able to develop these soft skills, common to many professions and in great demand by employers, is therefore an asset in securing one’s professional career.
Beyond that, a quick look at digital technology and artificial intelligence industry shows that there are many openings in these field as we are moving towards a digitalised world. Not only on the core digital professions, but professions which do not exist today and which will emerge in the coming years. To anticipate the nature of the skills that companies and organisations will need tomorrow, we must look at how the content of jobs and tasks will be impacted by digital technology. Adoption of automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will accelerate the skill shifts. Soft skills are becoming more crucial as intelligent machines take over more physical, repetitive, and basic cognitive tasks.
And then there is the ecological transition. For future jobs, it becomes decisive, especially since there are very few green jobs in terms of volume in Mauritius. The environment will infuse into many sectors: waste recovery, building, automobile or even cleaning. Digital technology also represents an energy chasm, which means that digital transition and ecological transition will have to be combined. The horizon for college students today may therefore be this: inventing the world that will think of these two transitions together.