Future Jobs and Education

March 2, 2018

One important topic that is a focus in recent years is future jobs and education. The education system now is different compared to the education system 30-40-50 years ago.

It’s evolving to include elements that are necessary for the digital age we live in, the current and future generation’s needs, the human capital development, and the knowledge-based economy approach of many countries.

 

Future jobs and education

What Was Education Like Before?

I’ll speak for myself now. During my k-12 years:

Did teaching prepare me for my future job? No, it didn’t.

Did it give me the analytical and critical thinking skills that are needed in every job now? No, it didn’t.

Did it train me on presentation, debate, and negotiation skills? No, it didn’t.

Was I allowed to express my opinion on the material taught or the way it was taught? Not much.

Talking about my higher education, I got a good education in business administration, which I have to be honest, helped me to an extent advance in my previous job.

However, if it wasn’t for my determination to succeed and excel at what I did, it wouldn’t have taken me further up.

I had to learn many skills on my own after I graduated, whether through self-learning, or in-class, or on the job training; skills that I could have mastered at an early age.

Things I learnt while I was working included advanced skills in computer, how to make presentations, how to think analytically and critically, how to handle conflicts, just to name a few.

In my opinion, the way the education system was over 30 years ago in schools, should change and it is changing and evolving.

The system should focus on new methods of teaching: new skills, new relationships between teachers, students and parents, and the importance of teaching children ethics, principles, values, and manners before anything else.

New Methods of Teaching

New methods of teaching is a vast subject and will not be covered in a paragraph or two. However, students must, before anything else, enjoy learning.

Education & technology

Talking about future jobs and education, new methods of teaching must focus as well on the students’ future careers starting from their school years.

These methods should help them plan for their life after graduation as well as assist them advance in their careers by teaching them important skills.

One might argue that it’s too early to prepare students for their careers while they are in school. However, when schools equip students with the necessary skills that will help them succeed in their future careers, it will do them, their employers, their community, and their country a huge favor.

Another important point to consider is that some students don’t want to be doctors, or engineers, or scientists, or professors, etc. They are not eager to go to universities to study the above subjects.

These students want to pursue other professions where a trade school or vocational school is their higher education choice and therefore, educators should encourage them because they might be the entrepreneurs of the future.

Building a modern education system will also influence the socioeconomic development and hence, education should align with the rapidly changing social and economic needs of the country.

Digital Education

Children know how to use social media from as young as 3 years old, so there is no excuse to object to digital learning in classrooms. On the contrary, it is also a good opportunity to teach students how to use technology responsibly.

Digital learning is now inevitable. Laptops, tablets, and i Pads are replacing text books. Information are readily available with a click of a button.

Technology is transforming how students are learning. However, teachers themselves should embrace technology and should be creative in digital learning.

Any method will not be effective if teachers are not skilled. They must undergo rigorous training themselves in utilizing technology in teaching.

Important Skills to Prepare Students for Their Future Careers

Some students excel at certain skills naturally.

These students either have the capabilities for math and science, or inventions, or creative thinking, or communication, or they are charismatic by nature. Others need help in raising these capabilities.

Future jobs and education are correlated. The education system will need to transform to prepare students for future jobs and the changing labor market. Here where teachers should come in and help their students:

  • Analytical, Critical Thinking and Creativity: Students should learn how to look at situations differently and learn to be creative and imaginative and come up with solutions to problems.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Experimenting: Teachers should encourage their students to come up with ideas, plan implementation then implement. A way to teach them entrepreneurship early on.
  • Communication: it is very critical that students learn how to communicate verbally; whether making a presentation, speech, debate etc., and in writing; how to write a report, article, etc.
  • Self-learning and Research: Employees undergo training and development in most organizations online by way of self-learning. Students as well need to explore self-learning and evaluate information on their own.

Other Skills for Future Careers

  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM): Almost all educators, employers, and governments agree that these subjects are a must to transform a country into a knowledge-based economy to diversify income. They are the focus of the future.
  • Languages: Mastering at least two languages, mother language and another language, is very important to life and career success. I’m a big advocate for teaching a second language in schools.
  • Volunteering and Community Work: Will teach students responsibility, team work, and collaboration.
  • Other skills that are necessary, in my opinion, include typing skills, how to save money, health information and nutrition information.

Future jobs and education

Future Jobs and Education

Future jobs and education are interrelated, so new methods of teaching should take future jobs skills into consideration.

Many jobs today are replaced, and will be replaced in the future, by technology, AI and robotics.

  • Haven’t we seen on TV the surgical machine performing a surgery in the operating room?
  • Don’t we all renew our driver’s license, health card, or national ID on the government’s app on our smart phones?
  • Don’t we book airline tickets, hotels, and do most of our shopping online?
  • Have you noticed the decrease in the number of tellers in most of the banks?
  • Don’t we study courses online and get accredited certificates?

So what are the best jobs in the future to pursue if technology, AI, and robotics will take over many of them?

Should students study only technology-related subjects so that they guarantee a job after graduation and stay employed longer?

Are there subjects more important than others?

Every subject is important as long as students learn and enhance the skills pertaining to that subject.

Learning should continue after graduation to keep up with changing demands and new technology.

Some skills are very important in every subject and a must for any career now and in the future. These include:

  • Creativity and innovation
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving
  • Agility and adaptability
  • Data analysis
  • Media communication
  • Collaboration
  • Emotional intelligence

If you noticed, the above skills are all soft skills, which means, to be successful in your current and future careers, you need to focus more on your soft skills.

I still believe human interactions cannot be replaced by AI or robots or any technology. It’s not human-like to deal only with technology. It’s not natural at all.

How Students Should Prepare For Their Future Careers?

Students need to gain the necessary knowledge to help them integrate into the future workforce. However, they need to study what they are passionate about because no one really can predict the jobs of the future.

The most important thing for them to know is that they are going to be learning for the rest of their lives.

 

 

8 Comments

  • Reply Carl March 6, 2018 at 20:48

    I agree that the education system needs to be revamped and I believe that it is happing slowly and will probably take time. The digital influence really needs to be included as that is where the world is moving to right I think and as you say kids age 3 now are using digital devices. There is though a huge decline in students taking up any of the sciences and that is an issue in my opinion that can hurt the country in the future I believe. Less high school graduates are taking up math and the sciences in college than before and I think that will have an impact on future technology development. Just my opinion. Thanks for an interesting read.

    Carl

    • Reply Mona March 7, 2018 at 06:17

      I agree with you that the pace is a bit slow to catch up with the fast changing world and new technology. It’s also worrying that many students won’t go for the STEM subjects because, as you said, it will have an impact on the future technology development. So I think there has to be more efforts on changing the mindset of the students, and maybe also, making education more enjoyable and clearly explain to students the benefits of every subject so that they become more responsible learners. Thank you for the feedback Carl 🙂

  • Reply Yvette Clayton March 7, 2018 at 03:55

    I enjoyed reading your article. As a teacher of soft skills, I totally agree that these skills will continue to be needed at all levels of jobs now and in the future. The world of technology has started to replace many things in our lives, but will never replace the need to have soft skills to deal with other human beings in the work-world.

    Our education system has come a long way, but there are still many things that need to be looked at now for even better future career endeavors.

    Thank you very much for writing this article. I look forward to what you will be writing about next. What is the next topic you will be writing about around this subject?

    • Reply Mona March 7, 2018 at 05:55

      I’m very delighted you enjoyed this article. Yes, the education system has come a long way but the pace is a bit slow in my opinion and the world is changing very fast. I think we need to accept technology and live with it because it’s the future.
      As for my next article, I would like to write about how good and quality education for children, women, and everybody, not only is good for their countries and the economy, but it can also bring people together, make people live in harmony with each other and be accepting of each other. The benefits are endless. Stay tuned :). Thank you so much.

  • Reply Aaron March 8, 2018 at 14:31

    Hey Mona, really interesting article. I loved it how you went into detail. I 100 percent agree with you that your school system should move forward because everything is moving in the digital direction and it’s going faster and faster. I liked also what you said about the fact they gonna have to learn it for their job later anyway.

    • Reply Mona March 8, 2018 at 18:16

      Thank you Aaron for the feedback. Methods of learning will constantly need to develop to align with the faster changing demands and future technology development. Glad you liked it. Thanks again.

  • Reply Rachel March 21, 2018 at 12:36

    Two very big differences that I’ve noticed regarding jobs in the past and jobs in the present:

    1. Soft skills. In the past, it is alright to not excel in soft skills. As long as you can do your job well, bosses will usually accept such workers, and perhaps even reward them for hard work. However, in current times, working hard is not enough. Working smart, doing things creatively, getting along well with colleagues, ability to learn and adapt to the rapidly changing world are very important skills that bosses are looking out for. After all, it is easier to feed someone with knowledge than to train and develop a worker to have such soft skills.

    2. Prior work experience. A lot of companies now want their workers to have prior work experience in the same field or the related field. Having no prior work experience reflects badly on the person – not actively seeking for chances to improve himself/herself, which of course might not always be true. In the past, however, if you are a fresh grad, bosses won’t expect you to have prior experience. Hence all the internships going round and being incorporated in the college and university programmes……

    Life’s just getting tougher and more unpredictable for the younger generation (we’re now in deep waters too!).

    • Reply Mona March 21, 2018 at 13:52

      I couldn’t agree more with you. Previously if you had the soft skills that helped you work smartly, efficiently and go home on time, then you were not doing your job right! Bizarre. I’m glad though soft skills have become a focus. As for prior work experience, you are absolutely right. That’s why Co-op programs are available in most universities as well as internships provided by most employers. The world is really changing at a faster pace. When you said ‘in deep waters’, I assume you are a teacher? Change is inevitable and we all need to adapt. Many thanks for your great comment.

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