We are in the early days of the 4th industrial revolution, new developments such as robotics, nanotechnology, biotechnology, 3D printing, virtual reality and the Internet of Things will change every job. Some jobs will be superfluous but at the same time new jobs will come up.
So far nothing new under the sun, jobs have always been evolving with time and new technologies. For example, it will be hard to find an A0 drawing board in any engineers firm; in the 80’s these were replaced by CAD systems which produce, store and transmit any design far way more efficient than the best constructor with Rotring pens and T-square. No one wants to go back to those good ole’ days, although some still miss the smell of ink.
So, nothing new, except for the pace at which these technologies affect our daily life and the way the world works. 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist*. They will work in new jobs with tools unknown today, needing skills we can not think of yet. The IBM IBV study “Facing the Storm: Navigating the global skill crisis” showed that 60% of executives struggle to keep workforce skills current and relevant in the face of rapid technological advancement.
And for many educational institutes the challenge is twice as big: besides their challenge to leverage new technologies to modify and optimize their core business process “knowledge transfer”, today’s schools also struggle to find the best ways to prepare students as self-reliant members in the increasingly changing society. Schools don’t want to send the students with a T-square to a CAD system but want to train people to understand what robotics, nanotechnology, biotechnology, 3D printing, virtual reality en Internet of Things can mean for their future jobs. Education is becoming more about knowing how to learn instead of what to learn.
And the good news is that in this connected world the teacher is not the sole source of wisdom. Students are learning in many ways; all you need to know – and much, much more – is just one mouse click away, new collaborations like the P-TECH network offer students a broader, more accurate and hopefully inspiring view on future jobs, and peer learning, working in small teams with fellow students sharpens your technical as well as your soft skills.
One of the most inspiring examples of how students can learn and be inspired by peers is the 15-year-old Tanmay Bakshi, he visited the Metis Montessori Lyceum in Amsterdam to share his passion for new technologies with the students and teachers. Watch this 4-minute video on his work on Artificial Intelligence and machine learning.
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