Whether you are talking about a school or a national economy, productivity is related to getting more output from the inputs. People go to school or university so that their human capital can be grown by expanding their skills, which means that they can produce more from the efforts they are putting in. Given the same ingredients for the cake, some companies are better at baking it, delivering better services and goods from the same raw materials. “People vary vastly in their economic output per hour, from Bill Gates at one extreme and an untrained laborer at the other. People go to school or university to grow their human capital by expanding their skills, which means that they can produce more output per week when they are at work.”
According to a report from McKinsey & Co., the global workforce will see a dramatic shift because of automation. The internet as we know it is set to be replaced by the metaverse–an immersive 3D virtual world that mirrors our world, outmoding the 2D search-based internet. According to Forbes, the metaverse will change how we live, learn, earn, and connect. It’s impossible to avoid this technological shift, and our education system must recognize and reflect on these changes in society’s structure. The future of education systems will be the classroom in the cloud–combined with high tech delivery and high-touch tuition–that will become the heart of education, not merely the wrapping around it.
The global workforce will undergo a dramatic shift as a result of automation. Research predicts that the requirement for cognitive skills might decline by 2030 because computers can easily replace them. And the skills that computers cannot replace, such as social-emotional skills, empathy, leadership, creativity and critical thinking, will be in high demand.
Fact: Every job in every sector will require soft skills. These soft skills include what many call durable skills—professional and personal competencies that span a person’s career—and they are requested in job postings much more frequently than hard skills.
https://americasucceeds.org the non-profit leverages data from 82 million employer job postings and reveals the critical importance of durable skills training for long-term success in the workforce. And the “soft” skills were mentioned in more than 50 million job ads. One-third of jobs (29 million) asked for at least three durable skills, and of the ten most in-demand skills across all postings, seven were long-lasting skills. The top five ‘durable’ skills were requested almost four times more than the top 5 other skills.
21st-century skills. Social and emotional learning skills. “Soft” skills.
Whatever you choose to call them, there is a set of skills essential for success in school, work, and life — and yet teaching and assessing these skills in a formal, structured way can be challenging.
These are the skills we should teach in schools to prepare students for future jobs: skills that make us uniquely human and differentiate us from machines. The ability to solve complex problems, adapt on the fly to rapidly changing circumstances and dig more profound when the going gets tough, among others.
For many young students, the traditional education experience, operating as a one size fits all model, can be disengaging, irrelevant, and redundant. Edtech enables increased opportunities to shift to a personalized and individualized model, bringing out the unique genius in every child and encouraging the next generation of innovators and change makers.
Honing these skills positions students for success in the workforce and prepares them to overcome adversity in school and real-life situations. It makes them more complete human beings who can thrive in any number of conditions and cultivate rich, rewarding relationships with others.
We are starting to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Many students have been learning remotely, but the structure of a typical day- of school and classroom teaching- is far from average.
Edtech also has the power to offer increased inclusivity, regardless of geographic constraints. Schools are now competing with global online high schools, with Stanford University’s Online High School leading the way. More progressive universities, including Harvard and Cambridge, provide online education at a lower cost, with a global reach.
Coursera and EdX are providing degree-level online courses in partnership with universities, including the University of London, at a fraction of the cost of an in-person degree. An entirely new breed of EdTech institutions has sprung up, with BYJU in India and Yuanfudao and Zuoyebang in China worth over $10 billion each, with millions of students attending online classes daily.
There is a shift in attitude towards traditional education. And this has been heightened by school closures and the millions of hours of lessons missed throughout the pandemic.
Education systems must not ignore the role of technology in education in keeping up with the pace of technological, economic, and societal change to equip future generations with the skills needed to create a more inclusive, productive, and prosperous world.
The 2020 World Economic Forum’ Schools of the Future’ report highlights the urgent need for a more relevant curriculum to prepare both young students and working adults for the future. According to this report, education systems have become increasingly disconnected from the realities of global economies and societies due to rapid advancements in technology and globalization. It calls for education systems to deliver an increased focus on improving skills in global citizenship, creativity, technology, and collaboration and accessible, personalized, and lifelong learning.
Train to Gain-
DuPont sees the four disciplines of STEM education – science, technology, engineering, and math – working tightly together to translate cutting-edge science and engineering into innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. We also understand the importance of early STEM education, especially among young women and minorities. After all, STEM fields will have many exciting job openings. And almost all the 30 fastest-growing occupations in the next decade will require at least some background in STEM and reading and writing.
Apart from STEM, life skills will be essential to deal with a complex global workforce. Skills such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, leadership, and empathy will be highly sought-after.
Engineering education teaches us to deal with real-world problems. It fosters creativity, habits of perseverance, and persistence—attributes that are essential in numerous roles inside and outside of the STEM industry. This core belief has served me well in my career and driven me to become an active promoter and volunteer for numerous STEM education initiatives and programs. At DuPont, our engineers are actively engaged in programs like FIRST robotics, National Science Olympiad, DuPont’s Ag Ambassadors Program, and many more. Promoting STEM education early on makes for a successful, well-rounded individual with the knowledge and ability to apply these critical skills to any field.
These are some of the unique data points presented in ‘The High Demand’ for Durable Skills. As defined in the new report, durable skills are the soft skills that comprise essential professional capabilities (leadership, critical thinking, communication, etc.) and personal qualities (creativity, mindfulness, grit, etc.) that last throughout an entire career. “The need for inclusive, soft skills-based education and hiring was apparent long before the pandemic, but COVID-19 has greatly accelerated existing trends,” said Tim Taylor, co-founder and president of America Succeeds. “We launched this unique research initiative to start a national conversation around durable skills so that schools understand the importance of educating them and corporate leaders recognize the urgent need to partner with the education system to solve their workforce challenges.”
Using Emsi’s database of tens of millions of employer job postings from the past two years, America Succeeds categorized 100 of the most in-demand durable skills into ten major themes or competencies.
Key findings include:-
- The top five durable skills are requested nearly four (3.8) times more than the top five hard skills.
- Over 29 million postings (36 per cent) requested at least three of these skills.
- Leadership and communication competencies are in the highest demand, requested by 50+ percent of postings.
- While the value of durable skills is high nationwide, geographic regions and national averages demand specific competencies that differ.
“Companies will continue to compete like never before. The competition will shift to innovation and talent that makes the use and sharing of data across stakeholder groups even more important to the world of work”, said Cheryl Oldham, senior vice president of Education and Workforce, U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“Collective action around durable skills is one way to ensure Americans have the right skills for the jobs of today and tomorrow, and the economy has the skilled workforce it needs to grow.”
The report represents the initial results of a long-term initiative to identify and elevate the need for durable skills training across the full spectrum of education-to-employment pathways. America Succeeds continues to expand its research and advocacy campaign, partnering with leading corporations seeking to foster and augment high student achievement, build an educated workforce pipeline, and protect the nation’s future economic vitality.
A Word For Teachers And Educators-
Here are a few ideas that will help you in keeping the learning pace up:
What do we do to help our students regain these “educational muscles?” Here are six sure-fire ideas to re-ignite learning:
- Teach Group Work Etiquette: Don’t assume your students remember how to have group discussions. Teach the basics of supporting one another and listening to ideas. Students will need the ground rules laid out for them on how to share ideas, collaborate, and think outside the box. Team building skills will be essential next school year. Don’t hesitate to begin lessons with activities to develop these skills for the first few weeks. Refreshing and solidifying these skills will ultimately lead to definite success in your classroom.
- Modify Note Taking: I remember in high school and college that the first few weeks back in school were rough–for my hand. I was not ready to take copious amounts of notes because the muscles in my hand had degraded during the summer. After a year of remote learning, some of our students will not be physically ready to take large quantities of notes. Please take that into account and ease your students back into it with group discussions interspersed with notes or demonstrations for the class.
- Practice With Tools: From second graders using scissors and glue to tenth graders using hand tools and protractors, your students may have forgotten the proper usage of their devices. Review, review, review! Take time in the lesson to explicitly teach how to use the tools and reiterate safety rules.
- Lower Expectations: I know, I know. As teachers, we want to raise the bar and have students meet our expectations, but in this instance, realize that the alternative learning this last year impacted your students’ social and motor skills. Set realistic expectations for your students; these expectations may be lower than other classes you’ve taught. It’s okay! You’ll move them to those high expectations in no time!
- Practice Social Interactions: Build time for students to practice social interactions. Play getting-to-know-you games, and give students time to talk and interact with one another outside of academic content. While remote learning has offered them time to talk, there’s nothing like face-to-face interaction. Students may lack some skills to develop new friends. Provide structured and unstructured activities for students to build new friendships and deepen previous ones.
- Build Concentration: If your students have been learning remotely for the previous school year, they may need to strengthen their concentration skills. Take planned breaks throughout lessons, show students how to break down more significant tasks into smaller tasks, set a timer, and have students focus for a specific amount of time.
- Teach Children To Accept And Learn From Failure: Failure is an integral part of finding solutions. Children learn that there often is no single “right” answer in engineering projects. This type of learning removes the stigma that stems from failure and encourages it as a positive way to learn.
- Give constructive feedback: Establish trust, balance the positive and the negative, do not make it personal, observe and not judge, be precise, give timely feedback, and use technology to give data-driven feedback are a few quick tips to stick to.
Above all else, remember that you are breaking new ground. These are uncharted waters for students and teachers alike as academic and social losses are regained. You’re an educational pioneer–and you’re going to do great things!