This year, we will have a generation of college graduates who experienced limited face-to-face classes. In effect, this may impact how college education and education, in general, will be viewed in the future.
I wonder what will happen by then. How will industries in our country adapt to accommodate prospective employees with limited hands-on experience? Well, I guess they can always have boot camps.
I wonder how these soon-to-be graduates will develop valuable “soft” skills in personal and professional development if their interaction with their college peers becomes limited. Well, I guess they can learn along the way.
I wonder if the educational sector will still return to its previous form or change into a hybrid type of education — only time will tell.
Looking from an educator’s perspective
As an educator, I often ask myself these hypothetical scenarios. I don’t know what the future holds, but I can’t help but think about it.
We know that the pandemic accelerated and dramatically changed and challenged how we work, how we gather, how we learn, and how we live our lives. But, thankfully, with the help of the Internet, it became bearable.
While many were still able to continue with their lives, others had to learn how to adapt.
The Future of Education
A few years ago, I was in an orientation seminar in our school, and one of the topics briefly discussed was AI and automation. So, as someone who observed first-hand how automation is disrupting jobs, I had to ask the presenter.
“How can we, as a higher educational institution, make sure that our graduates are ready to take on the threat of automation once they ventured out of the safety of our school?” I asked.
The question was not answered satisfactorily, and I realized that the current form of formal education is not moving at par with technological advancement.
I can’t help but think about how our current educational system will adapt to cater to the needs of the students once we move to the “better normal.”
In connection, the current pen-and-paper assessment of schools may also be transformed into a more performance-based assessment, as it should be.
I also remembered that while degrees are important, the job market is almost starting to converge. When I was still in the IT sector, our course is almost unimportant, as long as we are graduates of any STEM courses.
As a result, the teams that I was a part of are composed of a wide range of degree-holders, most are from BSIT, BSCS, and BSECE, but there are also BSIS, BSEE, BSCpE, and even BSME and BS Math.
Will AI and automation finally take over?
Two years ago, a friend introduced a website called “WillRobotsTakeMyJob.com.” This site tries to predict the likelihood of jobs being “taken over” or replaced by AI and automation.
According to the site, engineers are pegged at a 1.4% chance to be automated. That is relatively low compared to other repetitive and manual labor jobs such as Data Entry Keyers and Taxi Drivers, which are predicted to be automated 99% and 89%, respectively.
Though these predictions will not be entirely accurate, still, this is a good baseline of the assumed job disruptions in the future.
The Future of Jobs
Every great invention like the personal computer or the Internet drastically changed many sectors and even drove them unnecessary.
However, each great invention also created a new industry that also created new jobs that were almost unimaginable 50 years ago. Think about the YouTuber vloggers, online sellers, online freelancers, Uber drivers, and Android developers.
Every new technology will surely disrupt how we live today and offer a new path of advancement. Because of that, we can only think of the variety of possibilities that blockchain and AI will provide in the future.
Technology is constantly evolving, so education must quickly adapt. However, our current form of education has almost been static, and it may be high time for a revamp.
As educators, we need to continue adapting and being adaptable if we want our institutions to stay relevant and significant.
I think there will be changes in our jobs and education in the near future. The only question is, “Are we ready?”
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