Feeling stuck in your career? Worried about the future of your industry? Or are you just looking for a more meaningful job? The discovery that our career paths aren’t as straight as we thought they’d be when we were kids is always a tough pill to swallow. But the good news is that it’s never too late to explore a new career path. Mid-career switches are possible.
You just have to choose the right industry — one that’s growing and in need of workers, rather than a sunset industry that’s contracting.
Here are five sectors that we think have a promising future in Singapore and are excellent choices for a mid-career change.
Singapore’s population continues to grow and age, and the healthcare needs of the nation are going to rise sharply over the next few decades.
This means that demand for healthcare workers is going to be ever stronger. Over the next three years alone, an estimated 9,000 jobs in the healthcare sector will be created.
Working in healthcare doesn’t just mean becoming a doctor or a nurse. There are applied healthcare roles such as that of physiotherapist or diagnostic radiographer that enable you to have an impact on people’s lives without going through five years of medical school.
The main stumbling block for many people is that entering the medical field usually requires a fair bit of retraining.
The government’s Professional Conversion Programmes alleviate the cost of this retraining by sponsoring course fees for certain disciplines, such as the PCP for diagnostic radiographers or enrolled nurses, and paying training allowances over the duration of the course.
This means you could pursue a new career in healthcare with low opportunity cost. One great example is Ong Teng Teng, a former air stewardess who decided to pursue a career in nursing after being inspired by the nurses who had taken care of her son when he was only a few months old and needed surgery.
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Under the Professional Conversion Programme for Enrolled Nurses offered by the Ministry of Health and Workforce Singapore, she took up a nursing course in 2008 at the Institute of Technical Education and was subsequently attached to Ang Mo Kio Thye Hua Kwan Hospital. She then completed her Diploma of Nursing at Nanyang Polytechnic in 2013 under the sponsorship of the hospital.
In 2016, she decided to continue her learning journey and enrolled into the Bachelor of Science (Nursing) programme at NUS Nursing, with the aid of the SkillsFuture Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy, which offers Singaporeans aged 40 and above up to 90 per cent course fee subsidies for over 8,000 SSG-supported courses.
Ong is definitely a great example of how you can proactively pursue a new career direction, especially given the numerous government initiatives in place to assist you pursuit.