The future of careers

The future of careers

When young people are constantly confronted with hopelessness and stagnancy, it harms them

Representative image. Credit: iStockPhoto

The question of what education means in the modern world and its relevance to the career has taken up enough space in the minds of educators and modernists alike.

There are those who believe innovation in education and careers offers organically and those who say that if we don’t change immediately, then we stare at a bleak future.

As an educator and entrepreneur, my concern emerges from the fact that over 70% of India is ‘young’. And when young people are constantly confronted with hopelessness and stagnancy, it harms them and the ramifications of this could be dire — both at an economic and politico-social level.

When it comes to education, I believe technology isn’t necessarily the answer.  We need to ask, “How does learning work in the modern world?”

The youth of today have grown up on a diet of Instagram and YouTube, rather than reading books or even watching television. So the challenge is holding the attention of the learner and imparting knowledge and skills that are relevant.

The answer perhaps lies in experiential education, which mandates that the learner move beyond theory and imbibe the practical aspects of everything they learn. 

One example: as students, a lot of us were introduced to ‘differentiation and integration in a rote fashion. No one really told us what it meant, and its applicability in daily life. 

The result?

Lakhs of students formulae to crack entrance exams without understanding much. 

The ramifications?

More than 75% of our engineering graduates are unemployable in Engineering.

This happens in spite of all the EdTech Companies and smart classrooms at tuition centers. Technology is just a medium. In India, we don’t suffer from a dearth of technologists, but of Educationalists. 

Careers in the future

Most Op-Ed articles suggest that careers in Technology careers are booming and everyone slowly needs to move towards Programming, 

I disagree. The reason why such careers are talked about most is because EdTech Companies have expertise in teaching such skills. They need to bring in customers, and advertise heavily, which in turn affects search results when we search for “21st century careers” on the internet.

While it is true that Careers in Technology have seen a surge, we need to understand that the Liberal arts, Entertainment, Entrepreneurship, Humanities have also seen a huge demand — just that not many people talk about them. 

An example: India needs at least seven times more Psychologists and Psychiatrists than it has currently. 

The entertainment industry is at its peak and employs a large number of people with its sheer size. 

There hasn’t been much effort to organise these sectors in the knowledge and learning economy.

The truth is that the ‘Future of Careers’ is too vast a topic to be tackled in an article. One can only ask the right questions, which might prompt people to think about the answers.

(The author is the co-founder and CEO of an education startup)