Careers that Travel: take your job with you

The world is changing rapidly. Training, opportunities, locations with regard to work are all on shifting sands. There is uncertainty, but also a keen excitement – because the job you end up doing could morph in several ways, and take on responsibilities that could see you as a valuable employee anywhere in the world, depending on what you plan to learn today.

That choice is key if you want to travel. And we’re not talking about travel jobs – but jobs that are offered by companies worldwide. Travel jobs are easy enough: air hostess; ship’s crew; au pair; waitroning, etc. These are all available jobs you can undertake if you want to see other countries and have enough cash on hand to see you through. But these are not necessarily careers where you would be personally in demand, where you could command the salary and lifestyle that would keep you comfortably in another country for an indeterminate length of time.

Daily, the world is becoming more technical – and most of that technology is shared, so what is happening in one country moves like a process of osmosis to another country. If you follow the progress of tech careers, you are bound to find yourself employed wherever you go – albeit a career sector that feeds on change and ongoing development. Keeping yourself abreast of what is hot in the tech field is key to describing a career that will travel in this discipline. Making those study choices early is your ticket to ride.

However, in a changing world, some things stay the same. And that will always be the human need to connect and communicate – and not necessarily only by technological methods. Humanity will remain part of a huge network of personal interaction, problem-solving, and the human desire to talk to others, to feel the need for attention and satisfaction with regard to products and services. And in this regard, a host of alternative jobs arise requiring the right qualified people with career focus, energy and application, no matter the country or the environment.

Let’s look at the people-jobs that can get you employed in interesting places

Teaching English: This field in general travels well. Teachers are always in demand everywhere in the world, especial Maths and Science teachers. But probably the best career move as a teacher is to equip yourself to teach English as a foreign language. There are plenty of courses you can consider beyond your primary teaching qualification that will set you right in the path of opportunity to live and work in another country. Taking a TEFL course, along with a first aid course, would make you a very desirable employee in a foreign school in many countries where English is not the first language.

Journalist: Making your way with words is another option. Either studying Journalism or Communications can put you in line for a variety of jobs where good communication in the written word is required. Bringing in the news is the same process wherever you go in the world, likewise moving information internationally is becoming more important as the world becomes a greater global village. Transparency and honesty is valued in communications across all cultures. If you can tell a story in a compelling and accurate way, and have the power and influence to liaise with people at all levels, then making the communications industry your driving goal will see you welcomed in many countries.

The Health Industry: From doctors to nurses, to administrative staff, to clinic managers, to radiologists and physiotherapists, the health industry is booming worldwide. More people are able to access health care and facilities are ever-expanding. The demand for good medical care is growing everywhere – and enabling your particular interest to take you all over the world means ensuring you have the right courses and qualifications under your belt. Being called to serve and help others is not a field diminished by technology, but rather enhanced. You can find many sectors within the industry that will allow you to further your studies in more specialised areas – all of which can provide you with a job for decades to come anywhere in the world.

Hotel Management: Good hotels are always looking for good staff. There’s a host of favourable careers here, wherever you go: chefs, receptionists, guest managers, catering management, supplies management, housekeeping – the list is broad. Tourism is a major industry worldwide. If you have the right background in hospitality, plus English and usefully one other language, you are good to go. And you can go anywhere…from the United States to Ireland to Greenland to South America. Generally, hotel staff love the challenge of change, and are keen to travel from country to country, eventually finding the place where they’d like to settle. With hotel management the world is certainly your oyster!

Sales/Marketing Management: Here’s a career choice that might be a bit more tricky, because it’s a field with a lot of competition wherever you go. That’s why if it’s your choice, then building up an impressive track record will be vital. Over and above your qualifications, you’ll need much proof of success on your CV. Your creativity must be artful and different, and your people skills well above-average. Sometimes when you change countries, you may have to prove yourself from the bottom all over again, but if you’re where you want to be, then the challenge should prove motivating. Trend-spotting and setting should become part of your package.

Trucker: Yes! You don’t necessarily need top qualifications in unpronounceable disciplines, you just need the right licences and experience to land yourself a vital role in the transport industry. Worldwide goods are on the move, and there’s no better way to see a country than from the cab of a truck rolling majestically across the highways and byways of an open landscape. It’s a solid job with wide scope, and usually good pay. High responsibility, focus and good attitude will certainly pave the way to fresh avenues.

Let’s look at the techy side of things

Software developer, Web developer, Industrial engineer, etc. These are the current flavours of the year, and any one of these would be a valuable bargaining chip when seeking to broaden your horizons. But there are some specialist trends worth considering.
For instance, the trend toward extracting business value from large data has spawned demand for new skills, spinning off emerging areas of opportunities for IT professionals ready to take on those skills.

Cognitive computing/machine learning specialist: This is such a new area of employment that not everybody is sure where it is going. But it seems the step before Artificial Intelligence really takes hold. Getting machines to ‘think’ for themselves is going to be one of the biggest areas of growth and engagement this century. Surrounding the birth and development of thinking machines, an entire ecosystem of smaller companies have come to the fore to take up the sidespin opportunities. The demand for cognitive computing skills is gaining enough steam that institutions of higher education are paying attention. So keep an eye on course materials being developed. Getting in on the ground floor with sound knowledge will relate to a healthy travel ticket in your back pocket.

Blockchain engineer: Yes, and we’re not talking about Bitcoin, but about the core technology which is seen as uniquely valuable to applications such as trading platforms, secure identification cards, self-executing contracts, and many applications in financial services. It’s currently difficult to find these engineers who are a kind of cross between software architect and cryptography expert. The technology is in some ways more like advanced math than programming. This kind of training and knowledge will take you anywhere this vital new technology is beginning to grow.

Internet of things architect: Devices everywhere are connecting. Making this a reality is a daily industry. Some estimations of how far things will go may be far-fetched. But maybe not. Keeping abreast of how things are changing and what is required to succeed in the hustle of new innovations, is a good idea if you want to travel and find yourself a pioneer in a growth industry. What you need to know: experience in managing delivery of complex solutions involving IoT, M2M (machine to machine), cloud, security, professional services, and SaaS, in addition to strong marketing, analytical and communication skills. It’s worth noting that IT is becoming a powerful business tool, adding both business expansion and growth to the bottom line. If you can wrap your head around the new criteria – then it’s a big world out there!

Cyber security specialist: This has to be always and forever the most important job out there. There will always be cyber crime – and ways to combat this will need to grow in sophistication and innovation as technology progresses. As a result, a cyber security skills gap has developed on a global basis. Your skills set will have to include the ability to cull evidence from a wide range of sources. The ability to use new technologies such as machine learning algorithms to analyse, understand, and counter those threats is fundamental to the nature of the job. The ability to sniff out malignant incidents and events from benign activities and identify false positives, will be the skills you need on your CV to find yourself sought after wherever you travel in the world.


Feb 17, 2020 | Vuk’uzenzele

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