When choosing an Ausbildung, or even a study course at the University, you have to look at a few things. Other than your passion and your interests, you also have to look at how that profession fits into the scheme of things. Here’s a compilation of a few things to think about before taking the plunge.
Can it be done by an untrained person
Stay away from professions ANYONE can do. As a trained person, you’ll be entitled to a higher salary than someone who is untrained BUT most employers want to increase their profit thus will prefer to employ an untrained person at a lower cost. Studying/Training for professions that can easily be done by untrained people is setting yourself up for perpetual unemployment. Some of these professions include: cashier, cleaning, delivery person, warehouse worker, bar tender, etc
Can it be automated
Bill Gates: “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”
In most cases, the easy way of doing it usually involves automation. The University of Oxford, in a study entitled “The Future of Employment” recently made a bold prediction: nearly half of all current US jobs will be automated away by 2033.
If you have been to Saturn, Real or IKEA, you might have noticed that most of their cashiers have been replaced by self service stations. Most of these shops only have 2-3 cashiers whereas a few years ago they had 8-9. Been to the airports, all EU and local flights no longer have check-in counters. If your job can be done by a machine, then most probably it’s not worth taking time to go to school for it.
Is it a luxury
Is the service you will be offering a necessity or a luxury? There are many ways to look at this, some think a hairdresser is a necessity while others think it’s a luxury. Is the service you are offering going to be within people’s reach by the time you graduate? Currently, activists in Germany are rooting for minimum wage. A hairdresser in Germany already earns too little, force employers to pay more and hair salons might become history in Germany in the next couple of years. Another profession that has been classified as a luxury is secretaries and even waiters. Most offices today have no secretaries/assistants, and those who do have one assistant per 5-10 people. How many restaurants still have waiters? Mostly high end ones who in most cases also double as the cashier as well.
Is it a distraction for clients to use your service?
Planning for a trip? If you have a 9-5 job and your weekends are spent running errands, which is easier for you: to make time in your week to visit a travel agent or simply visit one of those sites which will find you the best deal within seconds? If a client will have to rearrange their life in order to enjoy your services, then most probably that is a profession that will die away soon. Look at bank tellers, would you prefer to force yourself to make time to visit the bank and queue or simply walk to an ATM and withdraw or deposit your cash at any given time?
Where do you see yourself in a couple of years?
This is important because it will give you an idea of what will be hot in that market in a few years. It’s more strategic to be a geriatric nurse in Germany now than in Kenya. If you’re not sure which country you’d like to settle in, then take up a profession that is relevant in both countries.
What is the demand, supply ratio?
How many people are in that field? And how many students sign up for that course each year?
If everyone is taking that course, the saturation of applicants means employers get a chance to pick candidates on very superficial reasons, thus reducing your chances of penetrating such a market.
In Germany currently, being a hairdresser means you earn as little as an euro an hour with unpaid overtime. While being an Engineer for example or even a nurse means you tend to have more job offers than applicants.