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life long learning & soft skills gives your teen the advantage over machines

Updated: Jan 18, 2021

The results of a global learning survey show that people world-wide are moving beyond traditional education. A DIY mindset is reshaping education and online learning is becoming the new norm. "This survey was conducted on behalf of Pearson in May 2019 by The Harris Poll, a global market research firm based in NYC with over 50 years of history in polling. A 20-minute online survey was completed by 11,083 people aged between 16-70 years old across the globe." Click here to read the report

This blog post is a summary of the above report.

"People are moving away from traditional learning. Incoming workers value college education - but they place similar value on alternatives such as vocational and trade learning."

From the report:

Key Trends that learners are looking for in their education:

1. A DIY mindset is reshaping education.

Self-service learning offers a menu of options no matter where you live or who you are. All you need is an internet connection.

2. The 40-year career is gone, replaced by life-long learning and diverse career paths

Learners are more concerned about what they need for TODAY as the world is changing so much and the traditional linear career path is a thing of the past.

3. People expect digital and virtual learning to be the new normal in the next decade.

Technology is the new education. People see the future of learning made easier and more engaging with technology.

4. Confidence in educational institutions is wavering.

Education today is failing the next generations, not preparing them for the real world of work, and too costly or out of reach.

5. Some young workers think you can do OK in life without a college degree.

There is more openness to alternative pathways, especially vocational training. My personal comment here would be that many degrees are becoming obsolete and no longer relevant. Researching career trends is key.

6. Markets like China and India are leading the world in up-skilling while the US and UK lag behind.

Workers in China, India, Brazil and Hispano-America are up-skilling at far higher rates than their US and UK counterparts, driven in large part by the influence of technology and automation on their jobs.

7. Learners believe soft skills will give them the advantage over automation.

Skills like creativity, originality, problem-solving and the ability to learn give humans an advantage over machines and learners say they need help mastering them.

8. People now cite social media and bullying as contributing factors to school safety concerns.

Online bullying and social media are making school more difficult for today’s students. My comment here is who are they learning this from? (mostly angry adults on social media)

"While many still value higher education, 68% of people globally agree that a degree or certificate from a vocational college or trade school is more likely to result in a good job with career prospects than a university degree."

Summary facts from the report:

  • Formal education still reigns supreme but a more relaxed attitude is emerging and in hindsight, many would take an alternate path to learning.

  • Almost half of those in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and Europe don't think that higher education prepared them for their career.

  • People think subject majors don't have a major impact on career paths In the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and Europe and many people are not working in fields that they majored in. People in China, India, Brazil, and Hispano-America tend to choose careers that were related to their subject majors.

  • People are thinking beyond university degrees for their futures.

  • Vocational and trade schools are strong alternatives to a university degree.

  • The traditional career path is giving way to a reinvention mindset (career paths are changing).

  • A global up-skilling divide is emerging. People in China, India, Brazil and Hispano-America are more likely to up-skill or retrain than workers in the US and UK.

  • Human skills are more important than ever, especially when it comes to tech and automation (critical thinking, problem-solving and creativity) so artificial intelligence cannot compete.

  • Up-skilling is the way to beat automation and technological disruption.

  • Coding is the new second language.

  • People believe learning will increasingly become more self-service and 81% of people globally believe learning will become more DIY the older you get.

  • Everyone sees the benefits of AI, though there are concerns surrounding data abuse and the role of the teacher.

  • Worries about social media and bullying are school safety concerns.

"Globally, 78% of people think they need to develop their soft skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving and creativity and they think that human skills will become even more important in the future."

The report has this to say about universities:

Universities and colleges can help learners do more to build human skills of the incoming workforce. Confidence in educational institutions is wavering. Learners say universities need to do more to serve the job market and 63% globally believe that colleges and universities aren’t teaching the right skills. Universities are perceived as being too focused on themselves and traditional students. Globally, 70% of people agree that colleges and universities care more about their reputation than educating students. In addition, 74% of respondents agree that colleges and universities focus too much on young students and should offer better options for working adults.

My Conclusion:

Future success depends on continuous, life-long learning (engaging, up-skilling, re-skilling) and learning soft skills ( critical thinking, problem solving, emotional intelligence, self-management skills, self-improvement, social skills). If these skills are left up to universities - its too late! These skills need to be taught in high school. Focusing on academics and grades will not prepare students for real life.

How can you prepare your teen for this constantly changing world?

I would start with helping your teen understand himself/herself better with self-reflection and coaching. Teens need to engage in their learning, know who they are (interests, purpose, personality, strengths, weaknesses, values) and they need time to DISCOVER and EXPLORE their possibilities. When they have explored the "WHO," they will better understand WHAT they want to do and WHERE they want to go.

The GO PROGRAM is a perfect place to start where I mentor your teen for 15 weeks in group coaching zoom sessions. This is a personal development and life prep high school curriculum which also includes two parent support sessions. I value a three way partnership with my students and parents. As a parent of young adults and life coach, I understand the challenges of preparing our teens for adulthood, careers and vocation.

This is not a “normal” high school class. It’s a revolutionary class that will change your teen`s thinking. I invite your teens to fly with me, get out of their comfort zone, think deeper-bigger-harder-smarter and join me on this journey to realize their dreams and become excited about their possibilities!

For 15 weeks, I will walk with your teen every step of the way with weekly accountability, challenging them to think better, be better and do better. 

The GO PROGRAM is THE coaching course that will turn on the "light switch" so your teen will make the "life shift" you have been waiting for!


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