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You’re celebrating finally FINALLY finishing another major stage in your education. Now you’ve decided to continue your studies in Uni but you have NO IDEA what you’re going to study! Don’t worry because I’m pretty sure there are many many of us out there who went through the same process of being confused.

You’ll turn to friends and family who will all have their own opinions on what industry to get into, thinking it’ll be stable (and make you a lot of money). Unfortunately… they might not always be right! Here are 4 career paths that were once “bulletproof” but are not anymore.

1. “Lawyers Are Always Needed And They Make A LOT Of Money!”

Once upon a time, lawyers were (and still are) considered the cream of crop. Only the brightest could get a law degree which is why getting a law degree would guarantee you a spot in a law firm and on the fast track to being a partner (and making SO MUCH money).

What People Think:

USA Network

Once you pass the bar, you’ll clinch a spot in a law firm. You’ll work long hours but you’ll be rolling in dough and you’ll look so cool arguing in court. #WIN


Nanyang Chronicle

In 2014, Law Minister K. Shanmugam highlighted the increasing numbers of fresh law graduates entering the job market. Come 2015, around 100 fresh law graduates did not receive contracts and this compounded with that fact that firms retain only one-third to half of their original intake of trainees point towards a “situation can be grim for many aspiring lawyers”.

About the future of the law industry in Singapore, Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon states plainly ‘situation for fresh graduates and job seekers is likely to remain difficult before it gets better.’

TL;DR: There are way too many fresh lawyers and not enough vacancies to fill!

2. “Real Estate. People Always Need Housing And You’ll Make A Lot Of Money If You Sell A Lot!”

Everyone needs a home right? And who better to facilitate this transaction then becoming a real estate agent? People are constantly buying and selling homes so your job is going to be really secure!

What People Think: 

Happy Asian family greeting real estate agent
The Balance

The housing market has its up and downs but for the most part here in Singapore it’s pretty stable. Selling a few homes a month and you’ll be sitting on a pile of cash!


Jamie Stewart

At the recent 9th PropertyGuru Agent Summit, NTUC Secretary-General Chan Chun Sing met with over 600 agents and shared his observations on the disruptions happening in the property market where new digital platforms are being used to handle transactions and cutting out the middlemen.

At the start of 2016, the number of registered real estate agents were at a low of 29,262 (compared to 2014 and 2015). With property prices on the downward trend, it’s no wonder that in 2015, 3,573 agents also left the industry, while 3,959 chose to not renew their registration.

TL;DR: Property agents need to upskill and embrace technology, turning the threat of disruption into opportunity!

3. “Become You Own Boss! F&B Is ALWAYS BOOMING!”

In a era of startups and young bosses, it can be pretty tempting to quit your current job (where the pay isn’t great and your boss hates you) to start your own business! With 75% of Singapore millennial wanting to become entrepreneurs, it’s no surprise you see startups flourishing everywhere you look.

What People Think:


You’ll be working long hours, but that’s okay! You’ll get to set your own rules and you’ll actually be the head of a company at 25! Food and beverages might seem like the ideal choice, everyone needs to eat right? And small quaint cafes are so popular amongst local Singaporeans!


Shoppers walk past a closing down sign in a shop window in Cardiff, Wales, September 9 , 2009. REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRITAIN BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT)
Business Insider

According to Spring, a study carried out in 2015 found that only 6 in 10 smaller F&B businesses make it past the five-year mark. This translates to almost half of the 369 cafes registered in 2011 closing down.

If you think you’ll be breaking even the moment customers start walking through the door, that simply isn’t true. Unfortunately, the average business runs at an annual loss of 8% and it takes an average of two and half years to recoup the initial investment.

Smaller F&B businesses make up 85% of the enterprises in the F&B industry yet they only earn 21% of industry revenues.

TL;DR: It isn’t just about good food and service! More than half of small F&B businesses in Singapore close. It’ll generally take you two and a half years to regain your initial investment!

4. “Finance. It’s Where The Money’s At!”

For a long while now, studying finance, economics and banking were considered the smart thing to do. You would land yourself a job right out of school, that’s going to have you working long hours but the payoff would be worth it! You would make your way up the career ladder and be cashing in all the hard work!

What People Think:


You’ll join a bank or financial investment firm, it’ll be hell for awhile you’ll work long hours and you’ll meet clients who are so filthy rich you’ll wish you were them. But then you’ll close a deal and your commission comes in and suddenly it’s all worth it!



2016 hasn’t been a good year for financial services. A long-time pillar of growth for Singapore’s economy. The finance sector suffered a 14.2% nosedive in the first three months of this year.

This year, foreign banks such as Barclays, Standard Chartered and the Royal Bank of Scotland have moved to slash jobs worldwide and here in Singapore.

According to Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), ‘fees and commission received by banks turned in a dismal performance alongside the dampened demand for banking services such as portfolio management’

Recruitment consultants expect banks to be cautious in hiring new talent as well as seek flexible hiring solutions such as contract work.

Tech advancement such as mobile banking has increased connivence for customers but has put a strain on those working in financial services. With fewer customers choosing to walk-in and clients taking longer to consider products, this has affected commissions for financial advisors.

TL;DR: Financial services jobs are being cut due to the volatile market and disruption.

Future Job Security 

Moral of the story? Job industries we once thought were iron-clad are now facing job cuts and fewer hires. For someone who’s been studying hard in a particular field for the past couple of years and now facing a volatile market that can be really demoralising.

The truth of the matter is, tech advancements have made it convenient for us to work and play but it has also resulted in a lot of job redundancies. While we can sit and worry about how long it’ll take before disruption catches up to us it’s not going to help us out in the long run.


National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) assistant secretary-general Patrick Tay announcing launch of FJST

Instead we should be taking a more active role, like they say if you can’t beat them join them! With the help of NTUC and its newest capability, Future Jobs, Skills and Training (FJST), millennials and those out of work will be able to further develop skills that will prepare them for jobs of tomorrow.

By leveraging on its expanded Labour Movement network consisting of union clusters, ministries and consultancy companies NTUC will be able to identify job sectors which are hiring “tomorrow” and the skills needed to fill this job vacancies. . This will culminate in the development of targeted courses and aid in seeing tomorrow’s job positions being filled and a decrease in overall job unemployment.

The new FJST capability will be targeting sectors that have been identified with high growth potential and high projected expansionary needs, such as healthcare, precision engineering and education(early childhood and private education).

For more information on FJST and how NTUC will be kickstarting this capability check out NTUC’s article: Connecting Tomorrow’s Unemployed With Tomorrow’s Jobs

(feature image: TodayOnline)