Modern students can benefit from two types of educational capabilities: professional skills and life skills. While life skills involve learning how to socialize, communicate, and survive, the professional skills prepare students for lifelong careers and it’s this capability that will meet the greatest challenges and opportunities in the coming future.
In the current society, the majority of people believe that they are only fit for one type of job only. A hardware salesperson can’t sell software, a software salesperson can’t become a data scientist, a data scientist can’t become a lawyer, and a lawyer can’t become a hardware salesperson. Millions of jobs would be lost in the next two decades if the society doesn’t change its thinking. This clearly indicates that the modern students must learn new skills to sustain their future professional lives.
Job industry over the next two decades
According to an estimate, nearly half of all of jobs, including the blue collar and white collar jobs, that exist today will be taken over by technology over the next two decades. The cognitive computer systems and artificial intelligence systems are already capturing the jobs of analysts, data scientists, doctors, teachers, journalists, musicians, and paralegals. Robots are replacing surgeons, soldiers, bar staff, maintenance workers. Cloud computing has eliminated the need for operations staff. Unlike the past, when older jobs were replaced by new ones, the scenario is quite different today with people having no idea what the future jobs might look like.
Apparently, significant change is underway in the job industry and the abilities and actions of the students today will decide whether that change results in the generation of new opportunities or produces a large-scale displacement of workers. Some of the top future professions for modern students include:
- Robotics, 3D printing, and resource-efficient sustainable production will drive employment in the Engineering and Architecture job family considering the growing need for specialists and skilled technicians to build and manage sophisticated automated systems. This will transform manufacturing into an advanced sector where highly-skilled engineers will be in strong demand for turning the Internet of Things into a reality.
- Maintenance and Installation jobs will see a strong growth in green jobs including the installation and repair of renewable energy machinery in commercial and residential buildings. There will be a demand for Construction and Mining jobs driven by resource-efficiency in the generation of new and development of existing stock using the latest construction materials and techniques.
- Smart inventory management and automation of checkout processes through sensors and the Internet of Things is expected to result in a decrease in demand for Sales and interrelated jobs. However, the application of Big Data analytics and the continuous shift towards online shopping will sustain employment growth in this sector by allowing the companies to act upon the insights gained from customer information and choices to deliver a personalized shopping experience.
- Business and Management and Financial Operations job families will observe a smooth overall employment in the coming years. This will be due to the level of upskilling and transformation needs that these job sectors will undergo in the coming years.
- Strong growth can be expected in the Mathematical and Computer employment sector that will be driven by trends like rapid urbanization in developing nations and disruptions that impact the employment in other job sectors. The companies from almost every industry will try to recruit experts who can help them implement Big Data analytics tools and data visualization in order to understand issues and cope with them.
The biggest decline in employment sector is expected to come in administrative roles, which will be negatively impacted by technological trends like cloud technology, Big Data analytics, mobile, and the internet the Internet of Things, as well as by factors like climate change, resource efficiency, and workplace flexibility that challenge the reason for keeping huge workforce within these jobs.
Role of education in future jobs
The educators play a crucial role in preparing students for their careers. Although that seemed like a simple job in the past, it’s has now become much more difficult. Earlier, the teachers expected their students to remain profitably employed within their selected profession for a long time. But today, technology is replacing jobs that were one chosen and pursued by humans across entire industries, what is the future of modern students when their jobs will no longer exist?
Education prepares students to become productive and useful members of society. But as the job industry continues to change, education needs to develop hard and soft skills programs that train students for the changing world. The education industry has to provide students with access to valuable, insightful content. There are three key areas that need focus in this regard. These include design, delivery, and consumption that are undergoing a paradigm shift themselves.
Every student has a unique learning style. Therefore, it is necessary to curate educational content that brings out the best from each student. Earlier, most of the material was identical, and the same content was handed out to every student — irrespective of their learning style and capability. Over time, educational materials and courses became digitized, and now there is a variety of e-books, interactive apps, and other materials. With the help of A.I. engines, it has become possible to create rich, personalized content in real time.
In the last two decades, there has been a tremendous change in the way content is delivered. In addition to real classrooms, open online courses offer students from around the world an opportunity to attend courses of their choice. The proliferation of these new channels creates new challenges for teachers whose courses are highly regulated and standardized.
Consumption will greatly impact the learning equation in future. While students have become accustomed to VR-powered and A.I. content, these technologies will soon give in to platforms that convey content directly into learner’s brains. The implementation of this content will be influenced by the affordability, accessibility, and design.
As new technologies are being developed into new services and products, people will readily embrace technologies and capabilities that were thought of as magical not so long ago.