By Sanjeeb Kakati
Trainer, Consultant & Mentor
Preschoolers of today will be geared up for the job market by 2040. They would enter either salaried job market or become entrepreneurs creating jobs or might become independent professionals in the field of science & technology, commerce & business or creative arts & entertainment.
Development of science and technology greatly impacts the economic activities, job profiles and competency requirements. Steam engine, internal combustion engine, electricity, electronics, computers, digitization, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence (AI) etc. introduced newer and newer requirements of knowledge, skill and attitudes. Experts say that in the years to come, the knowledge and skill requirements of the entrants to the world of economic activities would be much different from those of today.
Fifteen years back the job titles like Social Media Manager, Mobile App Developer, AI Engineer, AI Project Manager, Tele-medicine Specialist, Millennial generational expert etc. were unheard of. There was no Facebook or Twitter or Whats App or iPhone prior to 2004. Many of the present day’s job titles will become extinct in years to come.
World Economic Forum says that by year 2025, 85 million jobs may be displaced but 97 million new roles may emerge.
There would be four essential skills for the New Age. These are: Critical thinking, Collaboration, Communication and Creativity.
- Critical Thinking : It includes ability to analyse various situations, consider multiple solutions and make decisions through logic and reasoning. Mental flexibility to think ‘Out of the box’ would be a highly prized qualification. To develop the ability of critical thinking we should encourage our children right from the young age to ask Questions typically described as 5W1h; i.e. What, Why, How, Who, When and Where. We parents also have to equip ourselves to answer our children’s questions.
- Collaboration: Ability to work effectively as a Team member would be second key requirement. This skill can be termed as Collaboration meaning ability to work with others to achieve a goal, mindset to be flexible and open to ideas, willingness to share group responsibility and value contribution of each member of a team. Unfortunately, in recent times lot of people including both young and adult are suffering from what is called ‘Narcissism’. Parents have to protect themselves and their children from this deadly disease. Often unchecked use of social media leads to this tendency about which parents too need to be wary about.
3. Communication: Effective Communication ability would be the third essential skill of the new age. This ability includes communication both with people and machine. Logical thinking, precise expression, economic use of words and programming skill would be necessary for communicating with machine. Listening skill and Empathy would be important aspects for communication with people
4. Creativity: The fourth important skill, viz., Creativity implies use of imagination or original ideas to create something. Human ability for abstract thinking is unique and this ability would be a great asset in the new age. There would be plenty of data and information in the new age (already this is happening); deriving meaning and insights from information will be the key requirement for new age. We have to equip our young minds to develop this faculty.
We have to encourage our children to gain interdisciplinary knowledge. At the same time we should refrain from creating unnecessary pressure to create a Prodigy Child. We should be able to feed their curiosity. We must accept that ‘learning process’ is more important than ‘marks scored’ even though marks are not un-important. We also must understand that in the new age the ‘passion’ of a child can be converted to his or her ‘profession’; therefore forcing a child to pursue a course he or dislikes is not worthy. Lastly, safeguard yourself and your child from Narcissism!