Coding, Robotics and the Jobs of the Future
Since as early as the 1800’s, fears of robots taking over human jobs has been a reality. As we enter the true age of robotics, those concerns are resurfacing, and educators are unsure about what jobs their students will be competing for. For example, IT jobs will grow by 22% through 2020 and jobs in STEM are said to see similar growth. Educators are expected to equip their students with skills that will translate into careers and yet they have no idea what these skills should be. While timeless skills such as critical thinking, languages and mathematics aid in every career they do not provide the specialized skills that “jobs of the future” may require. So, what are the jobs of the future and how can be best prepare students for them?
Programming jobs are growing 50 percent faster than the market overall. With such a rapidly growing market, it is important to note that not all coding jobs fall within the technology sector. Health care, manufacturing, and finance are in need of coders as is the tech industry. If current K12 students are to fill these positions, they need to be engaging with STEM subjects from a young age. Coding products and “beginner guides” are being marketed to children as young as three, in the hopes of encouraging a coding passion.
Coding is the backbone of many technologies, and in the future, it will be an important tool for entrepreneurs and innovators. However, only one in 10 U.S. schools teach children to code, and so companies look to cheaper (foreign) coders for positions available in the USA. If schools are to align themselves with the future job prospects of their students, it is vital that coding is a skill rather than just an aspect touched on in computer class.
Robotics is another career field that will set to see exponential growth. The global competition to create artificial intelligence (AI) is aggressive, and robotics engineers are pioneered as the jobs of the future. As with coding, the need for robotics is across job sectors and is not solely focused on creating IA. In 2015, the robotics industry saw a 15% increase in sales, which goes to show that people are making and buying more robots than ever.
The Robot Academy and other organization, have realized the lack of robotics in traditional school curriculums and aimed to provide resources for both teachers and students. STEM subjects are vital for future careers in the robotics sector, and if students are not offered the opportunity to create, program and think of robotics, there will be a shortage of these skills in the future.
However, not all “jobs of the future” have their roots in technology. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are some of the “Top 30 Fasted Growing Jobs by 2020.”
- Mental Health Counselors
- Meeting, convention, and event planning
- Home health aids
What is particularly interesting about these jobs is that they have a very “human “aspect to them. So while coding and robotics may seem at the forefront, there is still a need for care and humanity; virtues that need to be instilled along with coding and STEM principals. This is reassuring for humanities students who may feel threatened by the future looking geared to those with mathematical abilities.
As educators, it is important to teach skills that will be invaluable. Fostering a love of learning, a commitment to innovation and ethics are fundamental to any position. By understanding the jobs of the future, educators can better prepare themselves and ensure that the curriculum is in line with the expectations and job openings that will be available. On a side note, these articles were not written by a robot.