In an ever-changing world and with the evolvement of technology which enables us to connect globally at the touch of a button, interesting questions that I know, as educators, we ask ourselves regularly are: what will the children that we teach today do as jobs in this ever-evolving world? Are the skills that we teach today going to be relevant or appropriate in the future?
This week, researchers have openly questioned the purpose of a university degree in the modern workplace and its relevance in the new world of work. Yes, undoubtedly, the world has and is constantly moving forward. However, is it not the case that we have to merely teach the next generation differently in order to equip them for their future employment?
We realise that automation is every year replacing jobs. What tools will our children need to acquire in order to be successful?
Employers are going to require employees that think critically, can problem solve, are beyond computer literate and are adept at programming, coding and mathematical thinking.
Moving into the not-too-distant future, the workplace will look very different.
Robotics will be a major force in everyday life. All of us will need to be able to program robots as well as create and build apps for everyday use. Everyone will require an understanding and expertise in coding.
Whilst it is hard for us to imagine jobs in the future, they will definitely include:
- Personal Data Broker – data will be invaluable in the functioning of the world of work.
- Alternative Energy Engineer – whilst this role exists now, it will be prolific in the future to enable our planet to function.
- Virtual Reality Coder – coding will be implicit in nearly all jobs and not be merely something talked about in Sci-Fi movies.
- Robot Trainer – it will be a reality!
It is perhaps hard for us to imagine our children and students in these roles or what the world will look like. However, virtual reality games are already here, we have smart houses, domestic appliances, such as washing machines, are now able to be operated from smart devices – whilst at this moment in time, it is not the norm and maybe associated with only the superrich. Very soon it will be a reality for all!
Self-drive cars are already nearing production and soon to be launched to the world at large!
Tomorrow’s world will be a very different world but now is when we can prepare our children and students for their future!
It will be vital for the next generation to be able to predict, plan, exert good judgement and be accountable. These are all attributes that can be encouraged and developed from a very young age.
- Encourage your children to be accountable daily for their own actions – for example preparing their
- If your child forgets something, they should be encouraged to be accountable for their actions and taught how to make lists, so that they won’t forget next time.
- Prioritising is another important skill to develop in our children. Encourage them to list what needs to be done, when and in what order. At bedtime, is it bedtime drink before or after brushing teeth? Is completing homework in a morning just before school a sensible idea?
- Create family and individual goals. For example, who has to clear up the leaves in the garden? How many pages of a book are to be read and rewarded with stars? Your children will have a sense of achievement which aids the function of key parts of the brain in developing higher order skills.
- Creativity will become a vital skill. At all times engage your child in any and all manner of interactive creative activities.
Our current children and students will definitely be boldly going where no one has ever gone before … into a world of work that for now is probably unimaginable to most! However, with the correct skill set and learnt behaviours, we both as parents and educators will be able to say that we have equipped them as well as possible for tomorrow’s world!
‘We may not be able to prepare the future for our children, but we can at least prepare our children for the future’ – Franklin D. Roosevelt
By Penelope Best, Head of School,
Eupheus International School, Loulé