Thirty to 40 years from now, there’s likely going to be a shakeup in the type of skills on demand.
Take this with a pinch of salt... and you will be thrown far behind in the grand scheme of things. Is the world ready to grapple with the challenges that come with a change in the job landscape?
Perhaps, it’s not you who’s directly affected, but kids currently in Pre-K and elementary schools. But they are our future, aren’t they? It’s time we prepare them for 2035 when one-trick ponies and those with only theoretical knowledge become irrelevant.
But the current education curriculum isn’t helping matters, is it. Let us take a critical look at the mould we grew up in.
Did our education help us to get this far? Or did we need to upgrade and polish our skills along the line, taking specific training courses to help us?
A less welcoming environment
The business environment might have given us room to grow our skills, but will it be tolerant of future employees when practical skills will become more relevant than theories taught in schools?
According to a study by Forbes, 50 per cent of the jobs existing today are going to be extinct by 2030. McKinsey Global Institute supports this finding, noting that 400 million to 800 million jobs are likely going to be displaced by Artificial Intelligence based automation by 2030.
The advent of AI and other technologies calls for a change in our educational structure.
Spread the ideas
We have a clear guideline in what we should offer to our students enrolled for Master programmes. It’s not only about sharing knowledge, but also about developing the required skills in areas of innovation, problem-solving, communication, technology, etc.
We ensure our teaching pedagogy creates various aspects of competencies that help students develop autonomy, take responsibility, and assist in self-development.
It is high time educational institutions across embraced this approach in their programmes. That said, isn’t university level too late a time?
Shouldn’t students be taught these skills in elementary and high schools as well?
Schools also need to work closely with industries to understand what skills are lacking in employees and develop a curriculum to incorporate teaching these. This will include problem-solving, creative thinking, negotiation and digital skills.
It’s time we encouraged a paradigm shift away from the current model that promotes memorizing data and theories for the purpose of passing school exams and acquiring job certifications.
Let’s deemphasize exams and promote skill learning itself. Place more focus on creativity over examination preparations to prepare young generations for the new wave.
Work on the minds
Teachers must change the mindset of students and their parents to embrace skill-oriented studies. They must stir in them the desire to provide solutions to global challenges, and collaborate with individuals across different disciplines. We need to discard the culture of praising lone-achievers to fostering team spirit and encouraging team work.
A new model should be developed to prepare students for industry and life in general.
Schools should be incubators for practicing and cultivating the right social values. This is because these values are crucial not only in the business environment but also in a happy society.
- Dr. Kiran S. Nair is Assistant Professor of Management, Abu Dhabi School of Management, Abu Dhabi.