Study for Jobs of the Future
- Written by UnivAdmitHelp
- Category: Mentoring
- Published on 08 May 2021
Why do we study?
On average a well educated individual has anywhere between 14 to 22 years of formal education under their belt. Why do we spend so much time studying? And what if everything that we have studied for becomes obsolete by the time we get around to using it?
Education is the process of learning
Learning is multifaceted: we can learn first-hand, by experience:
A trainee carpenter joins a skilled carpenter to work under him in order to learn new skills. He learns through hand-on experience. The grain of the wood, balance, skill, knowledge of different types of construction, and knowledge of different kinds of wood - these are all areas that he masters over time.
Alternatively, he could attend a woodworking course where this knowledge would be shared as information. In this case he will receive an education for becoming a carpenter.
(One could argue that learning by doing is a better approach to education.)
We can learn through academics as well:
Academic learning is information and knowledge that we imbibe in a classroom, along with theory and simulated practice. Academic institutions are spread across the whole world in an attempt to create young generations prepared to succeed. Not surprisingly, a certain measure of success is already affiliated with someone who is a product of an academic institution but might not have any ability or experience in a professional capacity.
Either way, academic or by doing, education is a process of learning. It is a process that we, as a people, participate in for the first quarter of our lives in order to prepare ourselves for a professional career which should ideally bring us “success” or professional fulfillment.
Studying for professional success
The next question is: which profession would be the most fulfilling, if at all. Can work really make you happy? In order to be truly successful, our professional life should be able to satisfy two criteria:
- Fulfillment of material needs:
Money, salary, savings, lucrative business opportunities, success by reaching the top of the corporate ladder, heading an MNC, or your own firm - or even gaining global recognition for scientific work - these are all instances of material success. Without them, there would be almost no motivation for working.
- Intellectual satisfaction:
The second criterion for success is intellectual satisfaction. A creative woodworker might struggle in the share market with his furniture company, or as a jewellery trader. But he will rejoice in crafting perfect structures with skillful kanawatsugi (joinery without screws or glue). Professional or intellectual satisfaction is closely linked with one’s aptitude and interest as well.
What really is our interest?
As a student, did we choose a subject after we had checked out all the available subjects and picked the one that appealed to our interest and skill-set? Or did we just pick one because a friend was also doing it? Did you really ever know what field to choose? Today it is hardly feasible to jump into a topic of education of which we know nothing, but which will also decide the entire course of our life. Would you choose to join architecture or biochemistry courses without really having experienced some of it? Do professional courses come with a trial period?
Additionally, how do we decide what we want to do when we don’t even know what else is possible? Of course, you could change streams midway through your career, and be the better for it, but it might be even better to explore your interests before embarking on a career or education that will decide the course of your career. But don’t choose a niche topic if you don’t know where it is headed! As such, interest-based learning should be the call of the new interdisciplinary education which is knocking on the doors of the next generations. But if you add another skill-set to it, education gains better context.
Interest, aptitude, and choices:
A profession that you choose according to your interest and aptitude should give you great returns, both financially as well as emotionally. But what do you prepare for if certain professions are prone to becoming automated and might be obsolete soon? We know, in the last handful of years, the speed at which jobs have become obsolete is expected but shocking.
Why do jobs become obsolete? When a robotics engineer does his work well, he creates a machine that can complete menial jobs smoothly. What does the Roomba do for us? Clean our home. A dishwasher washes our dishes. Drivers cars, middle managers, basic financial planners, IT support - these will be replaced by automation and AI unless the human factor in them evolves.
Real education is not an assimilation of information. Real education should enable you to learn anything you choose. In the future, a large percentage of jobs will become automated, and the human contribution to the job, although essential, will be lower in quantity. In order to prepare for the Jobs of the Future, it is essential to adapt our learning styles to an approach where you can adapt your skills to whatever new challenges present themselves. In a way, you might be learning forever.
In this scenario, we must develop a flexible aptitude: the ability to learn things quickly. This prepares us as lifelong learners by developing the faculties of learning, which are:
- The ability to concentrate
- The ability to assimilate
- The ability to apply our learning in any context
These faculties can prepare new generations to match up with any challenges that might come their way. With this skill-set, new learners will be more prepared to switch streams, more prepared to apply themselves to any field that they feel is important. They will be more prepared for change. And success.
If we study in order to succeed, we should study for the jobs of the future. As those jobs are unclear, we should pursue an education that will hone our skills in such a way that we can adapt our skills to any profession which requires us. And those skills, you can find them here.