The new generation is always strikingly different from the previous one. However, for the next generation coming up, their talent, as well as the world they find themselves in, will be leaps and bounds ahead of our time.
We grew up watching the rise of revolutionary technology, with big data and artificial intelligence commanding the spotlight. However, for the next generation, all these technologies will be normal. For them, all these new technologies won’t be a wonder or ground-breaking.
Instead, it will be normal, and they will use it like any other tool we use today in our lives. However, to make sure they understand these tools and then use them to the best of their abilities, they need to be prepared for them beforehand.
Here’s how educators should prepare for the next generation talent.
How Educators Should Prepare for the Next Generation Talent
The next generation will start entering the workforce soon, if they haven’t already, and the only way to make sure they blend seamlessly with the older generations and add value to their organization is by preparing them beforehand.
Educators can start by introducing some changes in the curriculum. As mentioned earlier, the next generation will be quite different from the previous generations. They have grown up with concepts that seem normal to them but are still revolutionary for us.
Therefore, we can’t expect them to excel and progress with the same curriculum that we’ve been taught since long. For instance, in the previous generations, studies and curriculums have majorly been focused on STEM, i.e., the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciples.
As important as these are, there are subjects and disciplines beyond these as well, such as the arts and humanities, that play a key role in learning and offer many career opportunities as well.
Similarly, as mentioned earlier, we’ve seen many technological advancements around us. Almost every aspect of our life has become digitized. As a result, computer science and similar subjects have become even more important to prepare the next generation for the future.
And yet, it is still not as widely a part of the curriculum as one would imagine. Only around forty percent of schools in the U.S. today offer classes on programming, and even then, the complexity of the classes vary. This can be a big mistake.
Considering how everything is going digital, an understanding of the technical aspect of these things is crucial. Programming or computer science overall is going to become just as important as math, English, or any other principal subject.
Even if a certain student doesn’t plan to pursue a career in computer science or technology-related fields, the learnings and knowledge from that basic programming can help them in their careers too.
As times change, another subject that will become even more important is ethics. Technically, ethics has always been important. However, within the emerging technological advancements, the topic of ethics has become even more vital.
Accordingly, the next generation needs to understand the concept and intricacies of ethics thoroughly so that they can bring about the right differences in the future. For instance, consider all the artificial intelligence technologies taking over our daily lives.
These AI technologies, however, advanced they become, still lack that human touch that allows them to judge certain situations in an ethical and moral manner. A case in point is the self-driving, autonomous, AI-powered vehicles that have started rolling out in some areas.
There’s no doubt that these cars are the future, but they also come with an ethical dilemma. Several trials and studies have shown that self-driving cars are much safer than manually-driven cars. However, there have been too many accidents as well where the car was not able to identify certain objects or the person in the car had to take over control to prevent any accident.
Such AI technologies are not yet able to judge whether they should save their passenger or the pedestrian in front when forced into such a situation. This is why the next generation has to have a strong understanding of ethics already to implement the right changes and policies. Accordingly, educators need to incorporate ethics studies in their plans to prepare for the next generation talent.
Creativity and Critical Thinking
Another way how educators should prepare for the next generation talent is by focusing on creativity and critical thinking. In the upcoming years, these will be critical skills setting people apart from the competition. Therefore, educators need to start working on building these skills as early as possible.
The next generation talent will not be just looking for and getting into existing jobs. Rather they will be creating their own jobs through their own innovations. But, for that to happen, they require that creativity and critical thinking.
Not to mention, with more and more AI-based technologies taking over the usual human jobs, we need the next talent to be even more distinct from these technologies, and the only way to do that is through better adaptability, creativity, and critical thinking.
In the future workplace, it will not be enough to just accomplish a task. People will also have to achieve that task in the best way possible. This requires visualizing several paths to a goal and then evaluating the best one. Only when students develop the habit of critical thinking and problem solving from an early stage will they be able to implement it in the future.
Shift in Perspective
The next generation talent will also have to have a shift in perspective. Previously, people used to consider learning just as a means to an end. They would learn to work. However, such a perspective won’t work in the future.
With the way things are rapidly changing and new technologies are emerging, learning will have to be an ongoing process. As a result, educators need to inculcate that love of learning in students from early on as well.
They need to practice coaching and mentoring to allow students to develop that motivation for life-long learning. They have to create that drive for learning that lasts beyond just high school or college. That is the only they will be able to navigate the complex world ahead.
Furthermore, the entire learning process not only includes simple learning but also consists of unlearning and relearning as ideas and concepts evolve with time. Till a few decades ago, perhaps it was enough to just know things we were taught during our education.
However, today, when the internet already knows everything, and you can pull up any information with a few strokes on Google, what companies and organizations really want is someone who can actually absorb that information and do something meaningful with it.