top of page
  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Future jobs: Compete with robots or design them?

Throughout my newspaper career, I asked young people about their career goals. There was a time when the high achievers wanted to be geneticists or forensic scientists. The B, C and D students wanted to be pediatricians. Why? "I want to work with children."


Early in the Silicon Valley boom, kids from low-tech homes wanted to "work with computers," but didn't know the difference between keyboarding and coding. More recently, students want to be engineers: That includes kids who are struggling to pass algebra. They name the careers they've heard of or seen on TV, but don't know what they should be doing in high school to get there. They have dreams, but not plans.


When I reported on welfare-to-work programs, I met women who knew how to sign up with a housekeeping service for a low-wage job, but not how to break into the larger job market. They had no idea what was out there, how much training was required and what they might earn. Does a cosmetology degree from a community college pay off? (No.)



Career exploration classes are helping Dallas middle-schoolers think about what they want to do when they grow up, reports Hechinger's Kelly Field.


“What do you think the future job market will look like?” Levar Dobbins asked eighth-graders at Piedmont GLOBAL Academy, a majority-Hispanic middle school.


“A whole bunch of robots,” one boy said.


Students can prepare to design robots -- or hope they can compete with them.


Dallas Independent School District is offering more middle-school career classes, using a curriculum from the nonprofit Education Opens Doors, writes Field.


Advocates hope encouraging early adolescents to "try on possible future selves" will motivate them to work harder and smarter in high school.

In Dallas, eighth graders must choose one of five “endorsements” to focus on in high school — among them, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math); business and industry; and the arts and humanities.
. . . Indiana now requires all eighth graders to take a series of self-assessments through the state’s online career explorer or a similar web tool. The results are shared with guidance counselors, who help students match their interests, strengths and values with one of three paths: employment, enrollment or enlistment.
Delaware, meanwhile, is in the process of writing standards for career and technical education in the middle grades, after finding that middle schoolers are often making uninformed decisions about which high school to attend. And Virginia has kids begin work on an “academic and career plan portfolio,” which includes information about their interests, values and skills, as early as elementary school.

Education Opens Doors was created by Jayda Batchelder, an eighth grade science teacher who saw her former students making future-limiting choices in high school. At first, the curriculum pushed students to aim for a four-year college degree, but now "there’s more information about alternative pathways, including the military, apprenticeships and technical school," she told Field.

141 views13 comments

13 comentários


Convidado:
28 de nov. de 2022

Vo-tech ed is controlled by the state. In NY, most qualified (i.e. have the math and ELA acheivement) high schoolers outside the big cities do not have access....demand is higher than availability. These students must wait until college to get the tech ed, and often must move to the college town as these programs are only available at certain campuses...and the college town often is not near an employer who would hire the student to work while they take the coursework for a tech job. The cosmetology in the high school program is nothing to sneer at; college students especially find it helpful to make side money on their own schedule while they further their studies. Students whose paren…

Curtir

Convidado:
28 de nov. de 2022

I would agree with this, but skilled trades (HVAC, automotive tech, machinist, welding, plumbing, electrician, pipefitter, etc) are not easily replaceable via robots (at the moment)

unless you're talking some assembly line processes.


The bigger issue is the lack of reading, writing, and needed math skills for high tech/high skilled jobs, as many students today think that 'just getting by' or the 'minimum 50% grade for not doing anything' is the way stuff works in the real world, and in reality, people are expected to perform and produce if they want a promotion or more in salary.

Curtir

Convidado:
28 de nov. de 2022

It's all good. The kids want to be TikTok influencers, not any profession that actually produces anything or performs a useful service.

Curtir

Convidado:
27 de nov. de 2022

The big tech need is in IT security

Curtir
Convidado:
28 de nov. de 2022
Respondendo a

IT Security is a miserable job. If one does the job perfectly, no one notices. However, it is not a question of if but of when there will be a major problem that gets the IT Security people nothing but grief.

Curtir

Convidado:
27 de nov. de 2022

Well, there is the middle ground, but it's icky vo-tech so schools shy away from telling students about it. Someone has to be able to muck about in the robot guts and keep them running.


"There’s also going to be a huge growth area in the maintenance of any kind of computer system that has underlying AI in it, including robots. I think robot maintenance is going to be one of the biggest growth areas in the next 20 years. We cannot keep all the robots that we have right now working. And we’re not thinking about maintenance in a way that’s streamlined, that can pull from the resources of the typical socioeconomic class that’s doing maintenance now on regular…

Curtir
Convidado:
29 de nov. de 2022
Respondendo a

Those who have skills have moved up, and become technicians. The vehicle shops around me are following the model of one mechanic instructing multiple people off the street, who do the actual labor. Don't have your work done there, including warranty, if they wont replace the parts and the tires they damage in the process. You'll be left by the side of the road if you don't notice your tire condition and you can't remove the mushroomed lug nuts.

Curtir
bottom of page