‘What do you want to do in life when you complete school?’ A majority of learners across the world are unsure of how to answer this question.
While schools stress over subjects and good grades, the foundations to prepare them for the real world are missing.
A significant percentage of the jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t even been invented yet.
There’s another reality to think about – our current school learners will be the ones who will create many of these jobs.
In a rapidly evolving work landscape, it is essential for them to take charge and equip themselves with life skills that will make them future-ready. But are they up for the challenge?
Learning for the Future
A publication by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says that young learners are in fact studying more than their parents and grandparents did, and yet when it comes to work, they struggle to enter the job market.
Saurabh Saxena, the founder of Power Club, a Career Development and College Admissions Program for 8-12th graders, says we need to do more to prepare them. “The future of work is very dynamic. It demands multiple skills in every role and the traditional teaching techniques are not enough to fill the gap.”
The next generation of citizens will require not just strong academic skills, but also important future-ready skills such as leadership, empathy, curiosity, creativity, imagination, and resilience, among others to succeed in life.
Also, if they are to create jobs and bring more innovations to the world, it’s important for them to develop a sense of purpose and stay connected with it.
Finding a Calling
So what is preventing learners from discovering what they truly want to do in life?
“A number of reasons – they are not aware of their passion, they are not taught to take risks in life, they are not asking for help and most importantly, they do not know what new-age career prospects they can pursue,” says Saurabh.
In short, they cannot be what they cannot see.
Another OECD study in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, that followed groups of young learners from childhood to adulthood, showed that the ones who combined part-time employment with full-time education fared better in their school-to-work transitions. A recent survey says that a staggering 93% of students are aware of only 7 mainstream career options in India as compared to over 250 different types of job options available in the market.
“Only when learners are exposed to the real-world, they discover their passion. But it is not necessary to enter the job market even before completing education to do this. What they need is real-world learning,” says Saurabh.
The Age of Awareness
The good news is that they are eager to learn.
Scholars Seemiller and Grace say that ‘Generation Z’ considers itself thoughtful, open-minded, and more socially aware. It welcomes hands-on learning opportunities that help them learn in more engaging and contextual ways.
Teens need inspiration and guidance from industry experts to find their calling when it comes to the future of work. Power Club enables teens to immerse themselves in real-world learning experiences in domains like Entrepreneurship, Tech, Design, Sustainability and more.
“So many of us struggle throughout our lives to find our “Ikigai”, a sweet spot where you pursue something that you are good at, that you love to do, that the world needs, and something that you can be paid enough for. At Power Club, each learner has the opportunity to discover all these elements early on in their life,” he adds.