Adapting and upgrading are the buzz words recently, especially after the government’s concerted push on the Applied Study in Polytechnics and ITE Review (Aspire).
There are, however, limits to how much one can adapt or upgrade in a job that is simply going obsolete.
Here are five jobs that don’t have a future in Singapore.
1. Traditional Money Changers
Money changing used to be something really important, and it still is. Traditional moneychangers found in your neighbourhood shopping centres were essential middlemen for every overseas trip you made.
However, traditional moneychangers are no longer important. That is because travellers today can easily use their credit cards and travellers’ cheques as a safer and more convenient currency.
While some people say that the exchange rate offered by the banks may not be as favourable as your traditional moneychanger, the value of the bonus points you get from overseas credit card usage would exceed the cash savings. Plus, it’s definitely more convenient and safer as compared to cash.
Even if you insist that cold hard cash is a necessity when travelling, there are still various moneychangers at the airport being operated by banks. These moneychangers allow you to charge directly to your ATM card, thus saving the hassle of going to a separate ATM machine to make cash withdrawal.
2. Car park Warden
This used to be an important revenue-generating job for the government. Our wardens were always on the lookout to ensure that nobody cheats the system by putting fewer car park coupons.
However, with the implementation of automatic gantry systems in most car parks today, fewer car park wardens are needed on the streets. Unfortunately for our wardens, these gantries are also more effective, as drivers cannot beat the system.
Wardens are now limited to searching for illegally parked cars instead. And going forward, with the implementation of cameras to detect illegally parked cars at certain areas, this job will go obsolete very quickly.
3. Car Mechanics
It appears that car mechanics are no longer that important in our country as Singaporeans might prefer replacing spoilt parts in a car as opposed to repairing them.
This makes sense. In a country where COE prices are ridiculous, cars are typically scrapped after 10 years. As such, most of our car models are probably 10 years old or less. It also means that if a car has a spoilt component, the workshop can probably procure a replacement part quite easily.
This is in contrast to other countries, where most cars continue to be used beyond 10 years. In these countries, car mechanics are important since spare parts for some older car models are not easily found.
4. Travel Agents
Before the Internet age, it was almost impossible for anyone to go on a holiday without the help of travel agents to do bookings on their behalf. A positive holiday experience in those days hinged largely on the quality of service provided by the travel agent.
It’s a different story today: People can book a holiday without talking to a travel agent. Reputable websites like Tripadvisor & Agoda can help you shortlist relevant hotels and destinations. Heck, you can even customise your own trips based on personal preferences. Comparing and booking flights are just a mouse click away.
Travel agents would increasingly find it difficult to continue offering good deals as information, which used to be exclusively held by travel agents, is now freely available on the internet.
5. Stock Brokers
Back in the heydays of the 90s, being a stockbroker was an extremely lucrative occupation. In those days, investors could only rely on the teletext, which showed only the price and trading volume of a stock.
In those days, you would need to call your stockbroker to get additional information.
To make a stock purchase or sale, you would also need to call and give a direct order to your stockbroker. Your stockbroker was your only connection to the stock market.
Today, a large majority of retail investors are able to trade via online platforms without speaking to a broker. Frequently, the only time they call their brokers are when they need to increase their trading limit, or faced some sort of technical issues with their online account. Essentially, more customers need an IT guy rather than a stockbroker.
Do you agree with our article? Have we missed out on other occupations? Share with us your views on Facebook.
This article was written for and first appeared on Mothership.sg.
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