Mapping the modern career: When is a good time for students to start?

Shubhdarshani Mitra
Mar 4, 2022
Career counselling

Today's workforce is global instead of local, and it requires nothing less than 21st century competencies to get ready for jobs that don’t exist yet. Students today face unusual challenges as they prepare for their future careers. They may feel overwhelmed by the many career choices available. 

However, a common concern for many children involves not knowing exactly when to begin preparing for a career in earnest. 


Career awareness is beginning early on

As a parent, you may learn that schooling in Singapore can begin preparing students for their future careers early on. Students, as early as in primary grades, are encouraged to explore their interest areas and the subjects they enjoy the most.

It could be something as simple as a dress-up day that encourages students to dress as they would for their choice of career. This gives students a chance to think about being in that profession. Or it may feature an assembly, where alumni return to talk about the work they're doing.

The objective is to show the student the many possibilities that exist so they have a wealth of information before they enter university and make a career decision.

Back in the day, choices were limited and making a career decision, as a parent, may not have included:

● The ability to adapt and change direction quickly

● The ability to travel on short notice

● Flexible availability for work

● Knowledge of different cultures, traditions and languages

● Strong foundations in technology

At an international school in Singapore like GIIS, our educators introduce students to what the future could hold. Twenty-first century learning includes introducing students to  the world as one big global community, waiting to be experienced. Consequently, students are encouraged to question, investigate and explore as many career opportunities as possible.

Effective career guidance is vital

Career guidance is much more than just attending a college fair or spending a day shadowing someone on a job. Educators can be your child's most enthusiastic career coaches. They can expose students to the unlimited possibilities available with the intention of expanding their worlds. They can introduce ideas such as dual degrees to specialise in two different areas and encourage students to envision what they want their lives to look like ten years in the future. They can help students with career preparation in multiple ways, including:

● Encouraging them to consider a diverse sampling of careers

● Helping them narrow down where their interests and talents lie

● Guiding them to take classes that align with their interests and talents

● Helping them to broaden their career focus

● Giving them the skills they need to succeed in a global workforce

At GIIS, our career guidance counsellors place a significant emphasis on career exploration and job readiness. As a result, your child may very well enter high school with a clear career path already mapped out.

At GIIS, our students are encouraged to explore and ask questions to help them broaden their knowledge 

The modern career map looks vastly different

The modern career map rarely depicts a lifetime spent with a single corporation, unlike in the past. The vertical ladder of yesterday has evolved to commonly include lateral moves. Today's job market is dynamic with new situations popping up every day — from remote, work-from-home conditions to jobs that require employees to travel and work out of their car or briefcase. 

The emphasis is more on adaptability. Modern companies expect employees to make more frequent moves. For these reasons, it benefits your child to learn to be flexible, to embrace change, and to be able to adapt to new situations and new people without faltering. 

GIIS educators emphasise these skills, starting as early as the primary years. They guide students through the secondary school years to help them enhance their strengths and identify interest areas.

Soft skills are here to stay

Soft skills, those skills that need higher emotional intelligence, are highly regarded by modern employers. Being communicative and personable, having empathy for others, being able to work well in a team, and being respectful and tolerant of others are vital career skills to possess in today's global society. 

At GIIS, we begin fostering these beneficial skills early on. In fact, GIIS specialises in creating a diverse environment where all students are treated equally and they learn to respect and value each other. Kindness is rewarded, so are good deeds. Students are encouraged to help one another from the first day of school and throughout each grade progression.

How you can help your child for their future career

As a parent, you are your child's biggest advocate. Teach them resilience at a young age and then encourage this trait as they grow. Don't allow your dreams to interfere with their own. And when they show interest in a career field, help them explore it in depth.

Be supportive, and encourage them to be flexible and adaptable. Work with your child's school and educators to broaden their horizons and increase their knowledge of the world. 

Young people today are more educated and tech-savvy than ever before. Students are staying in school longer, exploring more degree options and making more difficult career choices than at any time in the past. They're also looking for much more satisfaction from the careers they ultimately choose. 

Our ultimate goal at GIIS is to prepare our students for an unseen future, well-armoured with their knowledge, skills, strengths and passions. We believe this will gear them towards success in the future. Our holistic 9Gems educational framework enables students to explore and identify their interest areas and skills, ultimately helping them to decide which career will be most fulfilling for them.

Also read: How do Smart Schools lead to better learning outcomes?

Help your child find a job they'll love by beginning with the best schooling in Singapore. If you would like to know more about holistic learning and multiple international curricula options (like IB curriculum, IGCSE curriculum and more) at GIIS, please do not hesitate to reach out to our friendly admissions counsellors.

This blog is based on SMART+ Webinar Series - Mapping the Career: Reimagining Careers in the 21st Century

Shubhdarshani Mitra

Shubhdarshani has over 10 years of experience in content creation, curation and editing. She has worked for Indian newspapers, school magazines and international news websites where she worked closely with the leadership on the execution and communication of the content strategy. Aside from work, she’s a passionate B&W photographer and storyteller.

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