- The U.S. ranks ninth in the world, behind Estonia and Canada, in making sure school curriculum adequately prepares students for future careers, according to The Hechinger Report, which cites a study from The Economist’s Intelligence Unit.
- The science and technology skills, as well as soft skills, to support artificial intelligence (AI) and automation are lacking. Robotics, computational thinking and AI skills will be particularly in demand.
- Preparing teachers through professional development and additional training is how the top five countries are making headway to insure their students are ready for what the future may entail for their careers.
Few would argue against the idea that robotics and AI are poised to replace many jobs humans have held for decades. But while people think of factory work as a job in danger of disappearing, AI is already putting other careers on notice from self-driving cars replacing truck drivers, to cashiers going the way of self check-out stands.
A 2017 McKinsey report estimated that about 50% of jobs could give way to automation just by using technology that has already been demonstrated to work, and that up to 30% of worked hours around the world could be automated by 2030. It’s no wonder some in the Silicon Valley, arguably the heart of AI development, are pushing for a basic income in the future.
That may mean making sure students not only have adequate technology training such as coding and computer design classes, but also the time to develop critical thinking skills, so they can come up with solutions that perhaps a robot cannot, notes a 2017 report from the Pew Research Center. Curriculum administrators must make sure students have access to resources and materials to better prepare their students for this automation age, so they have a working future ahead of themselves.