What skills should we teach our kids today to prepare them for the future?
The McKinsey Global Institute predicts that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will likely automate 400 to 800 million jobs in the US by 2030. That is approximately 22% of all currently available positions.
Fortunately, they’re also predicting that 700 million new jobs will be created by 2030 — many of them will be entirely new types of jobs that don’t exist today.
So, the knowledge of the nature of jobs in the future assists of to know about the required skills; accordingly, we will know what to teach our children today to prepare them for the future?
It is actually inappropriate to predict skills for jobs that don’t exist precisely. Though, the current technology trends may provide some grounds to roughly guess.
Therefore, let’s know the top five skills we should teach our kids today to prepare them for the future world of AI automation.
1. Highly Technical Skills
The majority of the current jobs will be automated by the time our kids retire. Thus, there will be two main types of work available for humans as long-term career options: highly technical roles and uniquely human roles.
There will likely be many new technical jobs in this highly automated world. If you choose a technical role, you will be doing one of the following: creating smart machines, training them, managing them, maintaining them, or using them to do your work.
The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) skills will help our kids succeed in these roles. So, we should teach our kids how to use computers, write code, build robots, analyze data, etc.
2. Uniquely Human Skills
The possibly remaining category of jobs is those that require uniquely human skills. These jobs require a lot of human-to-human interaction, including teaching, nursing, human relations. Machines cannot do well in these jobs.
Our kids need to learn uniquely human skills like creativity, empathy, and compassion. They need to learn how to be social, build trust, and communicate effectively.
Our kids should learn to be creative through art, music, and literature. They also need to cultivate interpersonal relationships through social activities, sports, and recreation.
3. Critical Thinking Skills
In the age of information, we need to think critically. Critical thinking enables usto examine information rationally and make a reasoned judgment based on our analysis. We all know that all information we face is not valid. Actually, there is much unreliable, biased, or patently false information. Critical thinking allows us to navigate this world of uncertainty, complexity, and data. Our kids need to learn critical thinking skills. Critical thinking skills equip our kids with the ability to observe, analyze and synthesize data to use it in making effective decisions. Kids equipped with better critical-thinking skills are more effective in making rational decisions about the world, compared with their lacking critical-thinking skills.
Our kids should learn about philosophy, logic, and effective argumentation. They should understand the scientific method, psychology, and epistemology. Our kids should adopt a default mode of skepticism, understand how biases affect objectivity, and learn a latticework of applicable mental models.
4. T-shaped Skills
We may classify the breadth and depth of a child’s skills into three shapes. These shapes include “I” shaped, “—” shaped, and “T” shaped. The “I” shaped skill students have profound knowledge in one area but little expertise in other subjects. They are good examples for “to know everything about one thing.”
The “—” shaped skill students have very shallow knowledge across many subjects but have no real depth in any one specialty. They are good examples for “to know something about everything.” Unfortunately, they lack high economic value due to a lack of specialization.
The “T” shaped skill students should have a wide breadth of general multi-disciplinary knowledge. However, once they discover what they excel at, they go deep into that specialty to master it. They are good examples for “to know something about everything, and to know everything about one thing.” T-shaped learning is valuable and adaptable, compared to the other two shapes.
5. Emotional Resilience Skills
We experience many mental, physical, and emotional stress today. The reason is that our brains evolved to survive in a very different world from the high-tech world we live in today. In addition, the society changing rate is much faster than our brains can evolve to adapt to these changes.
Unluckily, this mismatch between biology and technology leads to much of the human suffering in our world today. However, there are some techniques that help us to overcome these difficulties. These techniques include Mindfulness practices, like meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Mindfulness practices teach us how to be emotionally resilient in a high-tech world by helping us to manage our cravings and aversions. It induces technology-based stress BY helping us build empathy and compassion. In addition, it makes us adaptable and resilient.
We can’t predict the future; however, we can at least prepare our kids for the future based on our current predictions and knowledge. The future will come in a flash; let’s be prepared and prepare your kids, as well.