The educational system has not yet managed to appease concerns stemming from the fact that technological unemployment is putting people out of jobs at a steady and growing pace.
Formal, and non-formal education to some extent, do not seem to be able to identify and acknowledge the newly formed conditions, or put an updated, modern-day “recipe” into practice.
Almost two centuries ago, the Industrial Revolution caused major changes in education. Society mandated everyone’s access to schools, regardless of their income, and thus, students were introduced to standardized and repetitive procedures that were necessary to prepare them as productive industrial workers.
On the other hand, the digital revolution has not altered the educational system in such tectonic proportions, and perhaps students are not adequately trained for this century’s employment needs.
Adaptability is a critical skill that allows job market newcomers to quickly perceive changes in the field and find their own place respectively. At the same time, students should be trained in everything that distinguishes them as humans from machines, at least considering today’s technological data.
Machines may be able to construct cars, plow fields, perform complicated surgeries, find new treatments, drive, cook, even fly, but they cannot – as yet – express or successfully perceive feelings and instantly readapt their behaviour towards a specific goal.
Consequently, education needs to nurture soft skills, which are essential to sales, marketing and even elderly care. On the other hand, machines tend to learn faster and faster. After all, who knows what the future holds…
by Dimitris Diamantidis, New Media & Marketing Director, hyphen SA