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Preparing for Jobs of the Future

Have you ever heard of a Bot Lobbyist, a Big Data Doctor, a Corporate Disrupter or a Meme Agent? At a recent presentation, Tanglin Trust School’s Careers and Development Team listed these professions as the ‘Future Jobs’ of our children.

If these are the jobs of the future, what skills are 21st century employers going to be looking for? Zoe Williams, Head of Careers and University Guidance, suggests the following:

  • Critical thinking and problem-solving
  • Collaboration across networks and leading by influence
  • Agility, adaptability and resilience
  • Initiative and entrepreneurialism
  • Ability to communicate effectively
  • Ability to access and analyse information
  • Curiosity, creativity and imagination

Finding out about potential careers

Discussions about potential careers get fully under way in the Senior School through Q&As, 1-1s, information sessions, as well as parent-teacher-student consultations.

Students are supported on a case-by-case basis meaning that we know our students very well and can support them towards achieving whatever university course or career they choose. For those students who have a specific career in mind, the University and Careers team helps them to find out more about the field they wish to enter and the types of jobs that exist. Others are encouraged to keep their options open and to use opportunities such as work experience to explore different interests.

Zoe Williams explained that the university and careers team keep informed as to the changing landscape through staying on top of trends in the growth rates of different job categories, for example, ageing populations and progress in technology is already causing a shift in the nature of jobs and skills required such as occupational therapists and wind turbine technicians. The team also maintains invaluable links with university reps; networks with other counsellors around the world; listens to inspirational speakers; and remains persistent when researching a new course or profession.

Skills employers require are developed across all three schools

The skills that employers require are developed across all three schools through the Tanglin Learner Profile. This is a holistic set of attributes and qualities firmly embedded in learning, to support our children to become productive global citizens, which starts as early as Infant School.

Knowing ‘the world is your oyster’

Jo Osman, Deputy Head of Infant School, explained that challenging stereotypes of what jobs are and who might do them is important to address at a young age, “a scientist isn’t always a man who wears a white lab coat and goggles and works with Bunsen burners”.

The school invites parents to come in and talk to the children about what they do, showcasing the variety of careers out there. In addition, Senior School students collaborate with their younger peers to share their skills and ideas. One of the children’s favourite visitors was a Year 13 student who received his pilot’s licence. The children listened in awe and asked him lots of interesting questions, with many of them inspired to become a pilot when they’re older.

Being able to collaborate and contribute as a dynamic team member

In the Junior School, Rebecca Morse, Deputy Head says: “Our children need to be flexible and able to adapt to changes in the types of jobs they do and the range of people that they will work with – it will be essential to work collaboratively even if they’re not physically in the same place”. As such, it is vital for children to be able to communicate effectively, responsibly and respectfully, whether that be written, oral or digital.

The Junior School’s new Future Learning room, equipped with tablets and interactive tables and whiteboards, ensures our teaching practice is pushing new boundaries to promote collaborative learning by challenging traditional teaching methods and reconfiguring the traditional classroom. Having spaces to experiment with different approaches to learning will help our students be more ready for jobs of the future.

What does this journey prepare students to go on to do?

Tanglin students go on to study a diverse range of university courses across the globe.

Below, four alumni tell us about their journey towards their dream job of the future.

Isak Osman – Cyber Security (with Ethical Hacking), Staffordshire University, UK

I studied A Level Computer Science at Tanglin where I developed advanced computer and problem-solving skills. During my lessons I found the security aspect very interesting and after some online research decided it was what I definitely wanted to do.

Both Tanglin and Staffordshire University have shown me what it’s like to really immerse yourself in what you’re studying, to ask questions, do your research and practice things – a mind set I feel is needed to become an ethical hacker.

Miranda Wyeth – Environmental Science and Law, Queensland University of Technology, Australia

After graduating from Tanglin with the IB Diploma in 2013, I applied to Queensland University to read Environmental Management. Once I started my course I realised it was quite different from what I had expected. There was much emphasis on sustainable development in terms of town planning and eco-building, but it wasn’t until I did an assignment related to the Australian fishing industry that I realised how important the connection with the natural world is to me. After some agonising soul searching I decided to switch not only my course but also my university.

Environmental law is a relatively new field and I hope that the combination will enable me to influence the future of our planet. At the end of it all, in a nutshell, my plan is to save the world – yes really! As an environmental lawyer or an environmental government policy maker I would like to make a real difference to sustainability goals. 

Chris Overtveld – Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Holland

Aerospace Engineering as a course only came into light when I was considering my university applications. As such I decided to write my Extended Essay for the IB Diploma on an “Investigation into the Basic Aerodynamics of Flight”.

My course includes modules on rocket science and orbital mechanics and requires a lot of research. I use the skills gained from researching my own project every day in technical reports and project sessions at university.

When I graduate, I would like to get involved with the European Space Agency and gain experience in companies such as Airbus and SpaceX which are often at the forefront of new technology.

Omar Chaudhuri – Economics at University of Warwick. Currently working as a Football Analyst, UK

At Sixth Form I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do so I decided to keep my options open and studied A Level Maths, Further Maths, English Literature and Economics, with an AS in Chinese.

I went on to study Economics at the University of Warwick as a means to understand different things that happen in the world and found that the modules that covered econometrics were the invaluable ones. Volunteering for the student radio developed my interest in the media, specifically sports, so I started writing a blog. I quickly realised that I was able to apply the knowledge of statistics to football and that the real demand for this type of analysis was at professional clubs. I now work for a company which provides data to football clubs.

Public speaking at Tanglin was something I enjoyed and it has helped a lot in my current job where I have to present often complex ideas using data and statistics. I advise club boardrooms on how to run more efficiently, including identifying through data which players are undervalued or predicting likely league positions to forecast costs and changes in the squad.

It’s my dream job as I not only work with big football clubs, but I also get the opportunity to influence major decisions.


It’s impossible to know for definite what other new jobs there will be in 10 years time, but at Tanglin we are confident that our students have the skills to remain lifelong learners, to thrive in the world around them and to succeed in jobs not yet created.