The Difficulties for Youth in Choosing the Right Career in a Digital Age

Introduction on Difficulties for Youth in Choosing the Right Career

In today’s day and age, there are a lot of difficulties for youth in choosing the right career in a digital age. You need to decide whether you will grind out a 9-5 corporate job, work as a contractor and jump quickly between positions, build your own business from the ground up, or join a startup that may or may not provide for your future.

You also need to decide what kind of job you’re going to go after; a lot of work nowadays is specialised. So, if you start down a career path and decide you don’t like it or have other issues, you may not be able to jump across to something else. You and the pay you receive may end up starting from the bottom if you have to switch.

The other decision you may face is whether you stay in the safety of your country with your family and friends. You could venture out into other parts of the world to make more money in a place like America or the United Kingdom.


A.  What Type of Job Should You Pursue?

You have the power to choose whatever career path you want. However, if you decide to jump between types of jobs, you may have setbacks, so deciding early what career type is best for you will mean you can just push forward without taking any steps back.


1. Corporate Job

Starting as a junior in a large corporation gives you several advantages. First, large corporations have been around for a long time. Second, they have a lot of money and always have customers available. These advantages mean that your position will be relatively secure, and your pay may start higher than in a smaller business or if you’re trying to build your own business.

The downsides of a corporate job are that pay increases don’t jump. Your pay will likely start at a specific level and then slowly move up. The salary may increase more if you move positions within the same company or similar types of companies. So, as you move from a junior to intermediate to senior, your pay should have small jumps. You’ll also have pay increases if you take on team leader or manager positions if that is something, you’re good at and want to move towards. However, the pay won’t increase significantly with each year that moves on.

You’ll also likely have heavy oversight from a lot of management. The type of work you will do is likely to be very specialised. Because there are many employees, they can set tasks that you’re good with and keep giving those specific types of tasks to you.

So, if security is a significant factor in what you want out of a job, then a corporate job is the way to go. Your pay rate will be secure, there will be little change in your day-to-day work life, and the company is likely to stay around for as long as you need to work.

Pros: Job security, higher starting pay

Cons: Slower career advancement, pay increases are small


2.   Join a Startup or Small Business


Joining a startup or working with a smaller business may give you more say in how the company is run and give you more opportunities to do various tasks every day. As a result, your options for making money are potentially higher than with a corporate job.

Your pay could start lower; however, if the business does well, and you end up with equity in the company, you can make a lot more money, especially if the company goes public.

You’ll also become a senior team member faster than if you were with a larger company, with more prestigious titles in your job description.

The downsides to this type of company would be that it may fail. It’s a new company trying to break into a new market. They’re either competing with more prominent players or have a brand-new product that may not end up working well enough to sustain a company. You’ll also likely be working more, making less money initially, and having to take on a variety of different tasks that you may not know how to do.

So, if you’re willing to take risks, want to progress in a company faster, and want more say in how the company is run, then joining a startup, or smaller business would be a better option for you.

Pros: More say in how things are done, the potential for higher pay later, faster career advancement, more variety in your job.

Cons: Limited job security, lower starting pay, longer hours.


3.   Contracting (Freelancing)

Being a contractor or freelancer means that you’ve picked a specific skill and are willing to sell it to different companies for a period of time, without the fallback of the company perks or guarantee of a job.

You can set your own pay, and the limit on how much you can make is really just how much each company thinks you’re worth and what you can sell yourself for. You’ll also be paid more than your full-time peers because the company is not paying for anything else. For example, you do not get health care, holiday time, or other perks that the full-time employees get.

As a contractor, you may work for one or more companies at the same time, you are paid an hourly rate but get no perks, no holiday time, and your position is not guaranteed. So, if a company starts having issues, then contractors are likely the fastest and easiest members of a team to let go. That being said, if you’re in a critical position or can do the work of multiple low-level employees, then you may be kept on.

So, contracting can be a highly profitable area to get into. But, first, make sure that your actual skill is in high demand. You can contract all you want, but if nobody needs your skills, then you’re not going to be hired.

Suppose you’re looking for flexibility, high pay, low overhead but aren’t concerned with job security. In that case, being a contractor is a great approach.


Pros: Much higher pay, work for multiple companies at once

Cons: Lower job security, no added company perks


4.   Build Your Own Business

Building your own business is a little different than being a contractor. When building a business, you’re not just selling yourself but potentially a specific product you’re making or a service that your team provides. So, it’s not all about you and your skill, it’s about marketing whatever you’re selling to other companies.

When you build a business, you’re starting from scratch. You likely have no customers yet, your product may just be an idea, your pay is not guaranteed, and in fact, you might not be getting paid for some time.

The upside to this is that you are in total control of where you and your business go. As a result, your growth potential is immense, and as long as you have a good idea and an excellent way to market what you’re selling. There should be no reason you can’t scale your business and increase your profits even higher than as a contractor and certainly higher than that as a corporate worker.

The downside to building your business is that you are in total control, so if you don’t have the drive, don’t have a skill, or don’t have a good product, it will be challenging to make money and do well. Failure in this arena will likely have you back in a corporate position in a lower-level job than your peers.

So, this is another job type that requires risk but has a potential high reward if you can make it work.

Pros: Huge potential for growth in pay, complete control of the company

Cons: Extremely low job security


Side by Side Job Type Comparison

Corporate Job Startup Contracting Build A Business
Starting Pay High Medium Highest None
Pay Growth Low Low - High High High
Job Security Highest Medium Low Lowest
Control Low - Medium Medium Low Highest
Career Advancement Medium High Lowest High - Highest


B.  What Industries Have the Most Growth Potential for Youth?

You need to decide what industry you want to be involved with. Of course, you may already have an idea based on your interests or current skills. Still, it’s essential to look at your potential industries to see if there will be growth and whether you can make the money you want and be happy.

If you can’t support your family, live a good life, and be happy, then what’s the point in selling your time to somebody.

The top industries to move into nowadays are:


1.   Information Technology

Information Technology professionals are highly sought after in all businesses. There are no limits on where you can go, either type of industry, type of job, or even country you work in. Recently, we’ve even seen that companies are willing to let you work remotely, which opens up even more opportunities.

If you have any type of specialized skills, development, operations, and even industry-specific software skills, then you will be in high demand and could work remotely.

The top paid position in this field is generally full stack developer. However, any type of developer will have a high-paying job and will be able to jump between companies often to increase their pay much quicker than other professions. Generally, developers will stay with a company for 1-2 years, build their skills and then move to a new company for much higher pay than if they stayed with the same company for many years.

Top Paying Information Technology Jobs

  • Data Scientist
  • Big Data Engineer
  • Cloud Architect
  • Software Architect
  • DevOps Engineer
  • Blockchain Engineer
  • IoT Solutions Engineer
  • Full-stack developer
  • Artificial Intelligence Engineer
  • Product Manager


2.   Banking & Finance (BFSI)

Banking and Finance is a broad area. Having general experience here will open up opportunities in general banking, broking, consulting, funds management, insurance, and a host of others.

If your area of expertise is in working with money, you have the potential to work for a large banking organisation. But, on the other hand, you could end up working for any different number of companies, not specifically in the finance world, but in their finance departments.

It’s also an area with easy mobility. Money is money, and the skills you learn will allow you to move to different organisations and even other countries easily.

Top Paying Banking & Finance (BFSI) Jobs

  • Financial Analyst
  • Compliance Officer
  • Financial Advisor
  • Senior Accountant
  • Load Officer
  • Investment Banker
  • Hedge Fund Manager
  • Private Equity Associate
  • Personal Finance Advisor

3.   Healthcare

Healthcare is another broad term. However, the most paid positions here are as Doctors and Surgeons.

Whether you plan to work as a GP or specialist for somebody else or start your own practice, or whether you plan to work as a surgeon, there will always be a job available to you. However, your earning potential is limited to how much time you can spend treating patients. Therefore, to really progress, you would need to create your own practice with other Doctors working for you.

Most healthcare positions will take longer to complete schooling than many other jobs. So,  you’re committing to a long-term career that you really shouldn’t change or give up on.

Top Paying Healthcare Jobs:

  • Physician & Surgeon
  • Anaesthesiologist
  • Gynaecologist
  • Paediatrician
  • Oncologist
  • Radiation Therapists
  • Ophthalmologists
  • Physician Assistant
  • Orthopaedic Doctor


4.   Marketing

Marketing is an industry with a lot of money. Companies need somebody to help them bring customers in the door, and that’s your job as a marketer. Suppose you learn the industry and have great ideas for getting consumers into a business. In that case, companies will flock to you.

Your earnings in this type of position are really only limited by your ideas and which companies you can retain as customers.

Top Paying Marketing Jobs:

  • Marketing Consultant
  • Digital Marketing
  • Content Market Strategist
  • Social Media Marketing Manager
  • Product Marketing Manager

Other Industries

If you plan to move into another industry, it’s essential to investigate whether that industry has the potential to make you money. Many jobs are being replaced either by automation or outsourcing. So, if you don’t want to get outsourced, you need to ensure your industry and career have good growth potential.

Final Thoughts

Picking the right career early is critical to having a successful and rewarding life. If you go down the wrong track, then you may be wasting your time and have to start again.

Even consider where you want to live, how much money you want, and how much free time you want. These are going to help you decide what path is best for you.

Make sure you know what you want and then go after that goal.

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