Preparing your children for the careers of the future

Have you ever sat back and thought about whether your current job will still exist in a few years? With the rapid speed of global digitalization and automation, we are probably all at risk of becoming redundant, unless we proactively take actions to stay relevant. Can you then imagine how our children’s lives and their future careers will affected?

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know that my day-job is in the Talent Management and Human Resources space, hence my passion about staying abreast of developments around various careers. I have been fortunate to collaborate with Liberty to delve deeper into this topic and give you some guidelines around what the future may hold. I believe that if we have the open dialogue now, it will enable us to face the future confidently and prepare our children adequately.

I guess the first bit of reality dawned on me when I had to buy Lesedi a tablet for school this year, instead of leasing textbooks. We will be downloading all the relevant study material onto it for him and he will use it at home and during class. Parents do have the option of using the textbooks, but in a year or two, this will no longer be available. And of course, this new development had a direct financial impact. Argh!




Careers of the future

So what are some of the careers of the future?

This is the part where it gets complicated, because many of these careers of the future are unknown to us and literally don’t exist yet, but there are some common themes/skills which will unsurprisingly thrive, as technology grows and those are:

Information technology – skills such as designing, software development, app development and coding will be in high demand. Think about how almost every brand you use is on social media and has an App that allows you to instantly engage and access your profile. This is definitely an industry that will boom; as a start to build these skills, you could download some coding Apps for your children to start exploring on.

Robotics, mechanics and engineering – robots will become smaller and will be used more frequently in our offices and homes. Most repetitive tasks will become automated – it is almost unimaginable that we may one day have tiny robots doing our groceries and laundry. Right?!

Technicians – the devices we will use will require specialist knowledge be developed and repaired; our homes and office buildings will be “greener” and printing will be done via 3D technology.

Healthcare – the demand for medical care, services, products and research will increase, as humans live longer, fall ill with new sicknesses and increase their need for individual, customized medical attention.

Entrepreneurship – naturally many new opportunities will arise and your child may choose to run their own business. All of the above careers will offer lucrative gaps.


careers of the future

What do I recommend for parents?

Savings and investments – Planning, Preparing and Protecting your child’s educational journey 

• You may not know exactly what the future holds, but you need to have a solid long-term plan, in the form of educational investments. Education is soooo expensive and the cost will continue to rise, regardless of the career path your child will follow.
• Have back-up savings, case in point, that tablet that replaced the textbook hire.
• Chat to your financial advisor about the best cover for your future – look at life cover and income protection options.

Visit Liberty’s educational website here to get assistance (


At home and school

• Look for practical ways to teach your child to be adaptable, like changing your routine from time to time. Their ability to adapt will be one of the top skills for managing the changes to come.
• Allow your child to experiment and be creative whenever the opportunity comes up. Don’t freak out at all the Lego lying around – encourage that imaginative and critical thinking wherever possible.
• Chat to your child’s principal/Parent-Teacher-Association to understand how their school is planning to adapt their curriculum to prepare students for the future world or work.
• Encourage your child to start their own business, it will be fun while helping them to build critical skills such as communication, budgeting and time management.


Overall, I think that in the future, there will be a shift and greater responsibility on parents to take on a lot of the teaching at home. There is no doubt that our mainstream educational system is lagging faaar behind, with gaps that will not even begin to address the required competencies and skills of the future.

Tough conversations, I did warn you!


Now that you are in deep thought, let me energize you with details of my latest giveaway:
To stand a chance to win a R2 000 Woolworths voucher to boost your back-to-school budget, leave me a comment with your thoughts on this topic. Would love to hear from you!


  • Giveaway will close on 30 January 2018
  • Winners will be notified by email
  • Prizes are not transferable/negotiable and may not be exchanged for cash
  • This giveaway is open to South African residents only


Good luck Mamas!

Modern Zulu Mom

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  1. Hi Thando

    It is very scary the way technology is taking over in a womens conference I attended one of the speakers urged girls to learn coding.

    Can you force your child into a career path they dont want? That remains the question though.

    Upgrading ourselves to meet the demand of change in careers is the only way indeed. I would love my daughter to do something in the technology field.

  2. Hi Thando,

    What a great blog!
    As a mother of 2 (beautiful) daughters, I always thinks (and worry) about the skills that they will need for the world of “WORK”. The digital world really scares me, so I worry sometimes as to whether I am not putting them at a disadvantage when it comes to technology, e.g. only last week my 11 yo received her first cell phone AND she’s not even allowed to use it during the week.

    My advise for is to be THE BEST THEY CAN BE and my advise for them will be to choose a highly skilled industry in which the workers need to do the job in person (e.g. doctors, psychologist, dentists….trade jobs like electricians and plumbers). Luckily my eldest wants to be a doctor but we know ofcos that by the time she’s in grade 10 (currently in Grade 6) she would have wanted to be every profession under the sun (hairdresser, pilot, teacher, etc)!!!

  3. Its a scary thing to know that my child’s future and education is my responsibility. If you make the wrong decision or dont make the necessary provision or right decisions regarding their eductaion, then they could be affected by all of that… thats why you need to plan and make sound decisions regarding this to ensure they are sorted no matter what happens…

  4. Hi there Thando,
    I don’t know if parents can prepare their children for specific future jobs. We don’t know who they will be or what kind of world they’re going to live in.

    I think all we can do is encourage them to be inquisitive and adaptable. Encourage them to read, ask questions and to look for answers. Encourage an entrepreneurial spirit and teach them financial responsibility, how to be good citizens and good friends and partners. In other words, teach them life skills. That’s, in my opinion, the job of a parent.

    The rest is up to the child as they grow up. We should allow them space and freedom to create their own futures free from our expectations and fears.

  5. As moms we have the intuition about our kids strengths & weakness, so I encourage her passion and whats she good at, feeding on that passion with words of encouragement, kids need guidance and as mums we thrive on doing what we feel is good for their emotional wellbeing as well teaching them to be independent & become the shining stars they are…#LibertyBack2School

  6. This topic has been so insightful for me.

    I’m currently pregnant and all I can think about is my baby’s future. With all these changes happening in our world, you tend to be overwhelmed as a new mom.

    Thank you for sparking thoughts


  7. This post is actually echoing my thoughts. So scary and sad at the same time at the rate of how technology is taking over our lives.It definitely has its pros and cons and adjusting to something we didn’t do(like using a tablet instead of books at school)does take time. Oh well I guess change is good.

  8. I love this post. The week before my daughter started school i has such anxiety. the night before i was nauseous and shes only in Grade 1.
    Its so scary at the moment will all the decisions being made and sometimes we just have to follow. Im trying to raise her to be bold, confident and independent. To make decisions based on sound advice and to question everything around her. As parents we can everythingwebelieve we can for our kids and much more too

  9. Hey Mama.

    Thank you so much for this blog post very informative and educational.

    My little boy started Grade R this year and we taught him a few things on being independent and to respect and learn new things from his peers at school. We encourage him on pursuing his dreams even though he is only 5years . He loves drawing and we always tell him he is going to be a great artist in future.

  10. Hi Thandi,

    Yoh! The career topic has always been the most challenging of topics, with the rapid growth in technology, it’s always difficult to make career choices.

    Being an Educator by profession and a mom to a 5 year old in Grade R, had opened my eyes any ears a lot. We can’t force children into any career path, my son is very tech savvy and wants anything and everything to do with a gadget, and when I try and teach him about different careers he always tells me he wants to become an F1 race car driver ( I know right) or someone who designs PS3’s lol.
    I guess his answers somehow show us at home what career path he likes.
    I teach Grade 12, I see many students struggle at career exhibitions with their choice of careers and choose the easy way out come January, because they are afraid of challenges.

    As parents & mentors or career guidance counselors, we should allow children to decide their own career choices because ultimately they’ll be stuck in a career that doesn’t fulfill them

  11. This is a great topic that parents should be focusing on as soon as you start family planning.

    Investing in your child’s future is important so that you are able to support any dreams they have without worry.

    Great topic, gets you asing yourself the necessary questions

  12. Hi, thank you for this very informative article. My daughter started grade R and she is not in a big primary school. At the moment I am in a hunt to find a her a school for Grade 1 next year. The cost of primary education is so expensive that it made me realise that I need to start saving for her tertiary education. It’s so easy to say I don’t have any extra money to save but I think if you make that decision that saving is one of the first things on your budget list it becomes easy. I have a Liberty EduCator Risk benefit for my daughter to take care of her education should anything happen to me, this year I aim to take the Liberty’s Education Builder for her so I can ensure that her tertiary education is taken care off.

  13. Wow such an informative blog post and quite shocking to me as a parent because i havent really thought that far yet. I do worry if I will be financially equipped as a single parent to pay for my childs higher education and that does stress me out a lot.

  14. HiThando : )

    My daughter will be going into grade 1 next year, So you can just imagine the panic, I think its really sinking in, the reality of her starting “big” school.

    I really do believe that we are at a much better position then our parents were in terms of preparing our kids for the real world.

    I remember when i told my parents I wanted to be a professional chef after being accepted into law school. I will never forget my moms disappointment : ( However i will forever be greatfull to my late Dad who believed in my dreams. Years later i am a qualified chef, who majored in consumer science and am now working in corporate as a training and development specialist in the hospitality industry.

    To cut a long story short, since my daughter started school, I have encouraged her to do as many extra mural activities as her little body can take. So she does ballet, Build Em Brix which is maths, science and architectural principals being taught to kids using lego. She also does swimming and recently just joined the Experiment Club, which teaches them about science experiments… yes yes i do sound like a chinese mom : ) These extra murals all come at an extra cost but I made a decision when i had my daughter, I want her to one day choose a career that meets her full potential, I want her to believe that nothing is impossible where hard work has been invested. So my partner and I have made some sacrifices to make sure that we give our daughter thee best foundation. The extra mural activities have taught her discipline as well, a skill she will later use in any career. I always use Bonang, Chad le Clos and Lynette Ntuli as my perfect examples of parents who invested in their kids dreams and passions, not only with money, but with support as well. These three individuals are all doing sooo well in their respective fields. So buy more books,educational dvds, take more educational trips, invest in that good tutor, invest in that brilliant sports coach! Save to pay for that training weekend and always do better!

    I want my daughter to know and believe that hard work pays off in the end and that Rome was not built over night. I want her to know that whether she wants to be a scientist, professional swimmer, Chef or own her own furniture making company, She needs to work hard for all of that to be a success.

    So moms lets invest more, read more, educate ourselves, educate our kids and motivate them to be future leaders. Never has the future looked so bright with all this technology and doors that are constantly opening for our young people. We are at a much better space than where are parents were, We have all the resources to produce all these future leaders

    Thank you so much Thando for this wonderfull topic, I just went on the Liberty site: ) Yep Chinese mom tendencies

  15. It’s delightful to see kids work or play together. Watching their group dynamics, how they work and communicate within the team, are all so fascinating, especially when they’re still quite young.

    In fact, a study1 revealed that children with strong social skills as early as when they’re in kindergarten are more likely to thrive as adults. Children who are able to collaborate learn how to share and give credit where it is due.

    Being able to work well with others also opens up your child’s world. It teaches them to move away from “me” thinking to “we” thinking.

  16. Hi Thando. What a great blogpost. I love these kind of posts which are informative and add value. Education is something that is so close to my heart. My parents literally put everything into our education. We didn’t have much money but the way that they saved and planned for the future was so smart. We really need to be doing this early. My son is only 2 years old and we set up an education fund for him and future siblings from pregnancy. Any amount that parents can save and investment makes a big difference for the future.

  17. Hey Thando

    Great post. This is such an important topic. We were so anxious and careful when looking for a school for my lil girl trying to see which school is “ahead” and as you say most of our South African mainstream schools aren’t there yet.

    We let our girl be as independent as possible and think out of the box as much as possible. I don’t stress anymore when she builds something else with he Lego as opposed to what is on the Lego box (lol).

    The future is scary but we as parents we have to embrace it otherwise our kids will be the ones teachings us like we had to teach our grandparents about whatsapp :). I have started attending small Robotics and AI training sessions at work just to understand because we can’t run away from all these technological changes.

    Most importantly is investing in their future. I have one education policy and God willing this year I add on unit trusts just to make sure there’s no stress come tertiary time.

  18. Yho. Nna I’m scared of the future, especially as a South African citizen because jobs are so scarce. I feel this responsibility to create jobs through entrepeneurship but heyi, my dreams scare the hell out of chosen field of study chemistry and biochemistry seems like it will be a sustainable and still relevant one in the future as u said for medication as people live longer, diseases etc mara when more immediate things like school fees delaying your education and progression, its hard to be optimistic and look foward to a better society you know. Mara I’m really interested in the voice of the coming generation. Ours was feesmustfall, the previous brought us democracy. . .

    Mvumikazi | Urban Mnguni

  19. Hello, For me it would be,firstly would my child be happy, comfortable and safe in the school I chose for him, Financially can I afford to send my child to the school I chose and did I plan and save enough for his future. #LibertyBack2School

  20. Everyone is so focused on making sure their child does coding and anything related to tech oft and the sciences. I’m totally fine with it. But aim encouraging my children to develop their talents in the creative arts. A robot won’t ever be able to tell a joke, write music or paint. The human mind was built for problem solving and that won’t happen without creative thinking. (I’m hoping I can steer my children down another path -think: the artist, stand up comedian – musician, etc then they will always have a job)

    I have met with many teachers and schools. Unfortunately, our education system is lacking and hasn’t evolved much since I was in primary school. Children are being over assessed and over tested. Not enough time is given for children to play and master skills.

    Education is expensive. And it’s stressful paying for 3 children’s school fees each month.

  21. Loved this post it was certainly enlightening and informative.
    I was widowed at a young age and left to raise our little girl on my own.
    Being a single parent finances are a struggle but I will ensure my daughter has the best education and will encourage her to be the best she can be and follow her dreams.
    Its a very challenging journey raising a daughter on my own but with hope and faith I continue to.

  22. Thanks for your post, it is so relevant! I have 3 children. My oldest is in matric this year…time goes by so fast! I remember her first day at Primary School and how emotional it was to say goodbye to her. Fast forward 12 years and here I am wishing time would just slow down. She will apply to study IT. In your post you mention the technological advancements and the need to keep up, so I’m confident she is making the right decision and I know she enjoys it. My second child is now in High School this year! She was just a baby a few years ago! And my youngest is starting nursery soon! My heart can’t take it! I just want them to be happy and do what they like, if they are happy, I am happy 🙂

  23. Lovely topic for every parent… i have 3 kids going to school. I try my best to listen to their day at school. Being at stay at home mom i realized how expensive school stuff are.i do struggle at some days but hey we not perfect. I love my boys n will do my best to help them

  24. Ok.. this post just made my brain dive into overdrive.. sjoe.. my kids are in Grade 1 and 2 and they are just really at the beginning of a long school career. Its so scary that they are going this route with no text books.. kids love technology so perhaps this will be great for them – still scary to me nonetheless. School fees and aftercare fees not to mention all the other things during the year, stationary and school uniforms, are huge, and it will keep going up. I worry about further education like university fees, jobs are scarce and the kids need to go study. Here’s to hoping I find that pot of gold or that hitting the lottery jackpot 🙂

  25. Scary but informative post. I have a grandson whose education I definitely worry about. Choosing the best school on a budget is a concern so saving for education from the start is a must

  26. The future is becoming more scary by the day. As a parent it’s such a struggle to be hands-on with school work, especially when working shifts. I try my utmost to read up and stay in the know as to better assist my girls. Also saving for from day one has become essential especially with the rising cost of living.

  27. Prepare as best you can by trying to invest in a future savings plan for you children’s education because cost of living is so high.

  28. Hi Thando! Gr8 blog but so scary indeed. We all wish the best for our kids but external factors always play a role in what ultimately happens. As parents we need to be as involved in our kids lives as possible. Keep in touch with educators regularly and advise and teach our kids to the best of our ability. My 6 year old had a birthday yesterday and asked me to buy him a doctor set, which I did, he also downloaded a hospital game a few months ago which he loves and asks to visit him aunt in hospital as she is a doctor. So I’m hoping to build in his fascination with all things medical and hopefully he can dedicate his life to helping people.

  29. totally true that technology is a big factor in education and the types of jobs for the future. Do we not see how tech savvy the young ones are these days.
    You totally got all the points right on this article.

  30. Was just thinking about this the other day. I think more than anything we should be preaching ‘entrepreneurship’ because it seems like the only way our kids will ever live comfortably, even if it’s something on the side. There is no guarantee that you will find your dream job that pays all your bills and leaves you with a fair amount to invest in all the things that matter to you. Whilst not all our kids will be entrepreneurs but let that be an option for them as opposed to advising them to being employed by someone else. It’s important to help them discover what their strengths and weaknesses are from an early age so that they can easily choose the field they want to specialise in, whether they decide to be the employer or employee.

  31. I do not have children of my own, but I have two younger sisters, and I want the absolute best for them. Apart from the financial worries, which can be very daunting at times, eg: school fees, transport, uniform, stationary, extra activities etc.
    I worry most about their emotional well being. Schools have become such hostile environments, with bullying on the increase, and with the workload steadily increasing as they become older, I worry about the stressful impact it will have on them. You constantly worry about weather or not you’ve done enough in supporting them, and providing them with the advice and encouragement that they need.


  32. Putting your kids in private schools and sending them off to extra muruals all good but not been involved in the whole process becomes a big stumbling block in your kids future. Although my two girls attend afterschool i make sure im 110% involved in everything. I want them to know im more invested in they future. I am an open book, before supper we sit down one on one and discuss they day, they teachers, they friends, who did what, how was they lunch, did they make someone feel special today at school, was there a subject or essay or lesson they did not understand, I ask them to read to me everyday, I put up new words on our chalkboard in the kitchen and ask them to find the meaning then use that word the whole week in new and different ways, im on the school board and opt for the school fundraiser as I want to invest in my child receiving a good education, I dont want to put pressure on them as your school years should be memorable and enjoyable. By spending that time with your kids really makes a huge difference in they home and school enviroment. I should say im like a single parent, they dad works away from home and they see him every six months for two weeks, i know it has a huge impact in my life and in my two girls especially when there are activities or meeting at school or functions, getting to see both parents and then just me attend, but I make sure I dont miss a single function, parents meeting ect, children emotions are all over the place especially as they grow up, dont ignore the signs, dont push then away, or shut them up, when they asking 100 of the same questions, give them those unexpected hugs, and always uplift them telling them they doing a good job ect.
    My kids both own cellphones and tablets, and have access to the internet and Wi-Fi its not a luxury but I feel with today kids they need to be savy and independent I monitor the games and apps they download, my eldest loves to draw and we got her a doodle pen for christmas, it something she loves and it brings her joy creating art, I would love for her become a lawyer or doctor, but I can only guide her but will always support her in her own choices, maybe she will be the next amazing artist who knows, my youngest whos 6 tells us she wants to be a mommy like me, caring, so I tell her a good choice would ne a nurse or caregiver but as she grows up the choice is hers to make and as a parent i will guide and support her. I dont want to be the one putting and directing them in a field of work where they are not happy.

  33. There is so much to consider as your kids grow older… Im constantly stressing on whether we are doing enough to save for our kids schooling and all the extras which come along with it! Now days its not just the education you have to consider, its all the extra murals which we feel our kids have to do, otherwise they will be missing out on something! The shift in careers is also a big one! I just hope that when the time comes, we as parents are prepared!

  34. Start with naming saving an every month necessity and then inculcate a love for reading. These are pillars of the foundation for educational success.

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