In demand and hard to fill: Jobs to consider and prepare for

By June 2016, many high schoolers will be entering their final high school years. More than just two years of schooling, senior high school signals the official start of the career journey of every student.

The journey begins with the selection of the senior high track where they choose between the Academic, Tech-Voc, Arts and Sports tracks. To help senior high schoolers select the right track that fits what they want to be when they grow up, we have highlighted 10 of the in-demand yet hard-to-fill occupations from 2013-2020 according to the Department of Labor and Employment.*

These careers are in-demand because of the high number of job vacancies while ‘hard-to-fill occupations’ are occupations that companies find difficult to fill up due to the lack of applicants and proper qualifications.

Doctors

Students have to take a four year pre-medical degree. After which they must accomplish their Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) and a one year postgraduate internship to qualify them for the licensure exam for medical doctors. A doctor who passes the board exam is classified as a ‘general medical practitioner.’

In order to gain a medical specialization, a doctor has to take another 3 to 6 years of residency training at the related clinics and hospitals before taking the related board exams for that specialization.

Senior high school specialized track to consider:  Academic Track: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) strand

Engineers

From government agencies, NGOs, to corporations, all of them need engineers to design solutions for business needs. Engineers that are currently in demand include ones from the following fields: sanitary, materials, mechanical, industrial, chemical, electrical, civil, and geodetic.

Engineers have to graduate from a 5-year bachelor degree in a chosen engineering field. They need to pass the associated engineering board exam to gain an engineering license.

Senior high school specialized track to consider:  Academic track: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

Accountants 

Accountants ensure that individuals, businesses and organizations keep an accurate record of their financial transactions through financial statements, annual reports, and audit reports. They provide advice to their clients on complicated tax laws and investment opportunities. Accountants can be part of auditing firms, a large company or even maintain their own practice.

Accountants spend an average of 5 years of bachelor degree study in accounting. They need to pass the accountancy board exam to be a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA). 

Senior high school specialized track to consider:  Academic Track: Accountancy, Business and Management (ABM) track or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) tracks. 

Computer programmers

Computer programmers, also known as ‘software engineers, make sure that software are able to execute their functions smoothly. They understand the languages of computers such as C, C++, Java, PHP, .NET, and others in order to be able to code, test, and debug computer programs.

In the age where everything is now digitized, computer programmers are needed by businesses who want to stay ahead of the game. They may work for other companies or start their own software development businesses as well. Taking up further study in Computer Science or Computer programming can take anywhere from two to 4 years of study.

Senior high school specialized track to consider:  Technical-Vocational-Livelihood Track : Computer Programming (NC IV)

Web developers 

Web developers are akin to computer programmers but they are focused on the development of applications on the web. They help create the visual elements that users see on webpages by using programming languages such as HTML, JavaScript, CSS, etc.

Small to large sized companies need web developers in creating their websites and smartphone applications as well. Web developers can be employed full time, as consultants, or even do freelance work.

As with the Computer Programmers, senior high school graduates with Computer Programming (NC IV) as their specialized study can already apply for employment. Taking up further studies in Computer Science, Information Technology, Computer Programming or Web Development can take anywhere from less than one year to 4 years and varies from certificate courses to a bachelor degrees. 

Senior high school specialized track to consider:  Technical-Vocational-Livelihood Track : Computer Programming (NC IV)

Draftsman 

Draftsmen create drawings that become the basis for technical details and specifications. Draftsmen are normally associated to architecture and construction but their skills are applied to many other areas.

Lesser known fields of expertise for draftsmen are: aeronautics, mechanics, and electronics. Draftsmen use computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) tools and software to create drawings that illustrate technical details and specifications. They also use tables, technical handbooks, and calculators in creating their drawings.

Senior high school students can take Technical Drafting (NCII) and apply for employment after graduation. Further study to become a draftsman can entail anywhere from less than one year to two years for certificate courses. A warning though, the type of drafting training received matters a lot with employers.

Senior high school specialized track to consider:  Technical-Vocational-Livelihood Track : Technical Drafting (NCII)

Animators

Many kids are familiar with animators through their favorite Disney or Pixar movies. They are able to create an illusion of movement through digital or hand-drawn pictures, models, or puppets.

Recently, computer generated animation has become mainstream with television, the internet and in gaming industries. Animators need to have both artistic ability and technical know-how. Animators can be employed by entertainment or television companies but they can also create their own animation companies for outsourced work.

Animation (NC II) can be taken in senior high school and thus can lead to employment. Further animation studies can take from less than a year up to four years of study ranging from certificate courses to bachelor degrees. 

Senior high school specialized track to consider:  Technical-Vocational-Livelihood Track : Animation (NC II)

Agriculturists

Agriculturists are more like scientists who delve into the complicated science of growing crops, cultivating soil, and raising livestock. From the study of the soil to studying the production and yield of crops; agriculturists are needed in food and crop related industries, NGOs, or government. Agriculture studies normally take at least 4 years for bachelor degrees after which you can become a licensed agriculturist by taking the board exam.

Senior high school specialized track to consider: Academic track: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) , Technical-Vocational-Livelihood Track : Anything under Agri-Fishery Arts

Electricians

Electricians are those who install electric wiring systems for lighting, security, fire, and other equipment. They may work for construction, electric, telecom, or service companies or have their own electric maintenance servicing business.

Senior high school students can take up any of the following Technical Vocational Livelihood specializations: Broadband Installation (Fixed Wireless Systems) (NC II), Telecom OSP and Subscriber Line Installation (Copper Cable/POTS and DSL) (NC II), Telecom OSP Installation (Fiber Optic Cable) (NC II). Further studies to become an electrician can take less than a year. 

Senior high school specialized track to consider:  Technical-Vocational-Livelihood Track : Broadband Installation (Fixed Wireless Systems) (NC II), Telecom OSP and Subscriber Line Installation (Copper Cable/POTS and DSL) (NC II), Telecom OSP Installation (Fiber Optic Cable) (NC II).

Teachers

With the shift to K to 12, the Department of Education and private schools nationwide are looking for more teachers who have the right qualifications and licensing.

To become a teacher, one must first choose which education level they would like to teach: early childhood, elementary, secondary, Special Education (SPED) or Technical education. They need to complete a 4-year bachelor degree in education and pass the Licensure examination for Teachers (LET) to gain a professional teacher license.

Senior high school specialized track to consider:  A student can select any of the four tracks depending on what subject area he/she wants to teach. 

With the fast changing trends in the world of work today, its important that parents have the right information on career possibilities their children can take advantage of. 

Finding the track that can best support one’s career goals can be extremely daunting for every teenager. But with proper research online on the different career tracks and consulting the school guidance counsellors on inclinations of their kids, parents will be able to guide kids to the right career path that can ensure them far greater futures. – Rappler.com 

The author is the founder of the social enterprise edukasyon.ph, a website that provides information on senior high schools, courses, colleges and scholarships all over the Philippines. They conduct regular career clinics nationwide in public and private schools to help students discover their dream careers and the education fit for their dreams. For parents, they conduct info sessions at companies to help their employees find the right career tracks for their kids.