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Career Day 2022: Taking a Pulse on the Future of Work

January 20, 2022

What will the post-COVID labour force in Canada look like?

It is a question being rigorously researched, analyzed, and asked by governments, think tanks, academia, working professionals, and many high school students.

Career Day 2022 at St. Michael's College School (SMCS) may help provide Grade 11 students with some food for thought on what the most sought-after jobs of the future could be, and what it might be like working in them.

Classroom at SMCS

The Grade 11 class of more than 190 students will hear directly from nine professionals currently working in an array of industries.

"Our goal with this annual event is to encourage students to follow their passion, know that it is possible if they think it is, and to think outside the box to non-traditional opportunities that will make a difference," says John Walsh '73, one of the organizers of Career Day and Manager of Community and Learning Partnerships at SMCS.

As technology continues to redefine job descriptions across the workforce, the ability of future employees to adapt, think critically, collaborate, be creative, and communicate effectively — core 21st century global skills — becomes even more critical.

SMCS students writing a solution on the whiteboard.

A recent study by The Conference Board of Canada, an independent applied research organization, found that by 2026, more than 20 per cent of the work force in Canada will be eligible to retire.

This comes on top of existing, deepening, pandemic-fuelled labour shortages in sectors including health care, the skilled trades, and construction, to name a few.

Some of these professions will be represented during the 18th Career Day event at SMCS, the second consecutive one to be held entirely virtually.

Students will hear from a roster of five men and four women, representing professions from acting and directing, foodservice and hospitality, to artificial intelligence, business, internal medicine, engineering, and construction.

A two-time Olympian and an accountant-turned-academic round out the planned lineup.

“We aim to have the students feel inspired about what opportunities they could pursue — not necessarily within the confines of particular industries or organizations, but rather by the path(s) they can choose to explore and fulfill their own sense of belonging in the world,” says Luciano Volpe ’93, Career Day organizer and current parent. “I don’t think that this is a lofty goal.”

Student on a computer at SMCS - Career Day 2022

Students will have the opportunity to hear directly from each guest speaker and ask questions during 40-minute break-out sessions.

The half-day event is poised to provide plenty of food for thought and perhaps inspire further discovery for students as they prepare to select courses for their Grade 12 year and begin to consider post-secondary plans.

Career Day 2022 at St. Michael's College School for Grade 11 students will be held Tuesday, January 25, 2022.

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