Are we preparing our young people for the jobs of the future?
If the best jobs of the future are altogether different from those that come to mind today, how will education need to respond?
Of all the sectors that have been disrupted by advancing technology, education — and higher education in particular — has remained relatively undisturbed. Yet the World Economic Forum estimates that 65% of children in primary school today will one day do jobs that do not yet exist, while the core skills required across existing occupations will be wholly different by 2020. So, are we preparing our young people for the jobs of the future? Or will we soon be facing, as economic development minister Ebrahim Patel puts it, "a dystopia of mass joblessness and enormous rage by particularly younger generations deprived of the promise of a job, having invested so much time and energy in education"?It is likely that future jobs will place less of a premium on specific degrees, such as engineering or mathematics, than they will on the skills taught within those degrees, such as problem-solving, critical thinking and creativity. After all, if artificial intelligence one day learns everything t...