In fact, they come hand in hand. It is precise because of the rapidly changing job landscape that requires education to evolve and play its role in ensuring the supply of graduates and job seekers remain relevant, ready, and are equipped with a high level of adaptability.
The days of traditional and conventional education methods are numbered. As the types of work continue to evolve, so must the foundation of education. While the current education is adequate to prepare the foundation of the graduates, there is a growing fear that it is being left behind by the fast pace evolution of the job markets. In a way, the current education system continues to teach traditional topics that divert further away from the practical day to day needs of the real world job markets.
The problem arises when these students come out of the education system to an even more challenging job market. This is the core of the issue when it comes to job mismatch unemployment.
Education is the key to a good, satisfying, and income-generating job. But as the types of jobs and the required skillsets continue to shift, education needs to shift ahead of it – years or decades ahead, in some cases – in order to prepare our youth and graduates for jobs in 10, 20, and even 30 years’ time. But often the education system, particularly the one in Malaysia, is always a step or two behind the technological curve, behind what is really needed in these future jobs.
Over the last several years, we have heard more and more about how the rapid changes as a result of technological advancements in automation, deep learning, and artificial intelligence will lead to serious consequences in the future of work. It is an undeniable fact that these changes are going to disrupt the traditional jobs, with experts predicting between 40-60% of all existing jobs will become automated. This is the reason why a standardized education system based on theory is no longer enough. In fact, we would go as far as saying it is no longer needed. It is a disappointing scenario where the students and their parents take on a huge financial burden in the education process only to realize, at graduation, that the employees are looking for something else and that the workplace needs them to skill up and get more practical experience.
This issue does not just apply to new graduates. Existing employees cannot rest on their laurels thinking their jobs will always be there. No occupation or profession is entirely future proof. Thanks to digitalization, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, even jobs previously thought of to be safe such as doctors and lawyers –can now be carried out by machines.
This is where lifelong learning comes into the picture. One thing for sure is that we are moving into an era where education is life-long. With today’s speed of change, there are fewer and fewer careers where you can expect the knowledge you pick up in school or university to see you through to retirement. The main issue facing us, however, is that people do not have the time to follow deep academic routes, but would rather need to get just as much learning as needed, while at the same time remaining in their current jobs.
At the same time, education for the future will likely be more skills-oriented, and less concerned with academic prowess. While it will always be important to know things in theory, it is increasingly more important to learn how to act on this knowledge in real practical terms. People skills, digital literacy skills, and technical skills will need to frame the scope and sequence of learning at tomorrow’s schools. Technological and content production skills will be crucial, and schools of the future must offer structured learning engagements that bring students into contact with disruptive technologies as they’re emerging.
This is the future of education, and the School of Careers is here to provide that.