If one thing is clear in 2019, it is that the future will be nothing like the past. Since the year 2000, major breakthroughs in everything from cloud computing to digital hardware have launched a series of innovations that experts are hailing as the beginning of a fourth industrial revolution.
While this is certainly good news for the ordinary consumers who are now reaping the benefits of all this new technology, in other ways it can be cause for anxiety. If you have children or teenagers at home, you have doubtless found yourself wondering at one point or another how you can prepare them for a future filled with so much change and uncertainty.
No one knows what the ideal workforce will look like ten years from now, let alone twenty, but the good news is that there are ways you can help your children optimize their chances for success. Here are three of the most significant.
1. Focus on STEM
Since the acronym was first coined twenty years ago, STEM (sciences, technology, engineer, and math) has become one of the most important underlying philosophies in modern education.
While the subjects that make up STEM have long been central in secondary and post-secondary education, STEM education is about breaking down the disciplinary boundaries between the hard sciences and helping students develop an interdisciplinary mindset dedicated to solving the biggest problems facing our world.
Because STEM education is designed to produce malleable, creative thinkers, it is well suited to helping students navigate an ever-changing job market.
If you want to give your kids the best possible edge, you can get more information here about how STEM-specific tutoring can help prepare young people for the twenty-first century job market.
2. Help Them Develop Good Communication Skills
No matter how much our technology improves, there will always be a need for good communicators in education, sales, corporate leadership, and government.
While tech and related industries have been hailed as the future of work, many employers are saying that they are seeing a shortage of applicants who have the speaking and writing skills necessary to build bridges within their organizations and with partners and clients outside of them.
3. Emphasize Flexibility
In the coming century, the only constant will be change. The most important gift you can give your kids is a flexible mindset and a solid base of skills that can be applied to a variety of different jobs and professions.
This means that in some cases, a student with a general humanities degree is going to have an easier time adjusting to the shifting jobs market than a student who has specialized training in one kind of highly technical work.
The key is not to gamble on setting your child to enter the exact industry that will ensure them a comfortable living, but in helping them get comfortable with uncertainty and flux.
No one knows what the world will look like in a hundred years, but one thing is certain: if we want the human race to continue to thrive, there are major challenges we will need to confront.
If you want to equip your child to tackle an uncertain future, helping them learn creative problem solving and communication skills while developing a flexible mindset is one of the best things you can do.