Today’s schools are failing to prepare our teenagers for a future that is both financially secured and ready for an ever-changing job market. This reality is unfortunate because it will not provide our young adults with the education and preparation that they need in a world that is becoming more and more dependent on technology. So, what can we do to ensure our teenagers are prepared, even though the education system is failing in its effort to keep up with a fast-paced world?
An obsolete system
Schools throughout the nation are teaching the same material that has been in existence for the past 50 years, or so. The curriculum or lesson plan in high schools and middle schools are still refusing to include advanced technological courses, economics, and business administration. These are just a few courses that would assist in preparing young adults for a future that consists of AI, blockchains, and a financial future that involves wise investments. According to a recent study by Singularity University, 45% of the jobs that currently exist will not be in existence in 10 years. Evidence of job depletion can already be seen with certain positions at this very moment. People interested in becoming financial analysts, insurance underwriters, manufacturing workers, medical billing, and a host of other positions once thought to be secured, are now forced to rethink their futures due to technological advancements. With such progress, one can only wonder why the educational school system refuses to keep up with the changes.
Releasing the pressure
Teenagers are often asked ‘what they want to be when they grow up’ and are typically guided on which college to attend or what to study once they graduate from high school. They are taught within an obsolete system by adults who fail to have a firm grasp of growing job market trends. If this isn’t enough, teens are then pressured more by their parents who feel that just because their teen reaches the age of 18-years-old, they should already have a firm grasp of what they want to do with the rest of their lives. If parents can’t understand the trends within the job market (because they were taught by the same obsolete education system) then how can they expect their kids to have a firm grasp of what they hope to do for eternity? The idea is to allow teenagers to gain an understanding of an expanded world beyond their comfort zone, not to limit them by getting them stuck on one single idea for their future.
Lawyers, Doctors, Indian Chiefs
Job security no longer exists, regardless of what job you might have. Positions once thought to be protected within the market such as lawyers and doctors are even seeing changes thanks to technological advancements. Many duties that were once only done by lawyers can now be done online, leaving the position itself vulnerable to be replaced by advanced algorithms. Even doctors are feeling the heat as robots are slowly perfecting precision laser operations that are rendering human doctors to be ineffective and imperfect.
Preparing your teenager for a solid future
Rather than asking your teen what they want to be when they grow up, ask the following instead: How do you want to contribute to the world when you grow up? This question will avoid taking your teen down a narrow path of understanding, and will instead, get them to view the world through their own desire of how they hope to provide meaning and contribution. Trust that your teen has a mind of their own, an ability to use it, and a desire that sparks within their own soul.
Just because the education system has failed to prepare our youth for a secure financial and job secured future doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. As a parent, you have the opportunity to step in and assist with your teens’ understanding of where the future is headed and how they can be an active part of that future.