Creating the next generation of makers in future job market

Published : Tuesday, June 18, 2019, 2:59 pm
ACROFAN=Seunghee Shin | | SNS
Shifts in the global job market, driven by technological advancements, are expected to eliminate around 75 million jobs and create 133 million new ones, according to research from the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The Future of Jobs Report, published by WEF, suggests that skills in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) will be the most relevant for future employment prospects. The growth industries are predicted to be related to data analysis, data science, software and app development, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

In the words of the WEF, these occupations will be ones “that are more adapted to the new division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms.”

The WEF continued, “There are complex feedback loops between new technology, jobs and skills. New technologies can drive business growth, job creation and demand for specialist skills but they can also displace entire roles when certain tasks become obsolete or automated.”

Ensuring relevant skills are in place is no small task. The pace of technology’s evolution is blistering; we hold more computing power in the palms of our hands today when we pick up a smart phone than it took to send a man to the moon in 1969. There could be a real danger that we are simply educating generations of consumers rather than empowering innovators and investors and, if so, what can we do to address this?

The answer to this question often comes down to the tools used to teach these concepts. Teachers suggest resources like micro:Maqueen, SAM Labs, or littleBits that introduce AI in a simple way can be a great starter here.
Ricky Ye, Founder of DFRobot, explained that resources like micro:Maqueen, a small robot working with micro:bit, allows students to quickly learn about graphical programming in an entertaining and fun environment. Such educational robots usually combines Scratch coding with a range of interfaces to nurture pupils’ interest in science and logical thinking – key learning elements of STEM subjects and important skills for the next generation of makers.

In this way, integrating coding hardware and AI technology provides the opportunity to ensure that each pupil is not only able to identify and demonstrate the underlying principals but can also carry these skills with them into the workforce through a wide range of practical applications.

Ultimately, teachers need to teach students how to learn, problem-solve and work collaboratively at the same time as giving them the know-how necessary to become makers, innovators, business leaders and collaborators in a rapidly changing, tech-driven world. The answers to some of both society’s and the world’s most pressing questions are unlikely to be found by one individual, acting alone, and technology will likely play a role in developing solutions to these questions and issues.

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