The Digital Age
I am sure that like most people throughout the world, you have remained “connected”. Digital technology certainly offers us an array of personalized services, day and night, at our fingertips on many and varied devices.
It’s certainly going to be a very different world for young people beyond graduation from formal schooling. Already they have the capacity to access 90% of all human knowledge on their personal device; and the ability to organize their own learning and respond quickly to new challenges, thanks to these amazing advances. The new digital world will be profoundly beneficial to society with an abundance of information available at our fingertips. It has never been a better time to be a worker with special skills or the right education, because businesses will use technology to create value.
However, technological innovation will also disrupt the world of work, as we know it. If a task can be automated it will be. Boundaries will cease to matter and work that can be performed offshore will be. There will be under employment and unemployment. The economy will be reshaped and jobs that we have not even thought of will be invented.
At St John’s we are actively preparing our students, with the best education possible at each stage of their education. The real and lasting skills that will assist young people to cope in the new world are what some might call the ‘soft skills’. In addition to being highly literate in English and Mathematics, and adept with technology, young people will need to think for themselves, to have maintained their childhood creativity and inquisitive nature; to be culturally sensitive, socially and emotionally competent; to be resilient when the unexpected happens; to possess high level interpersonal skills and the confidence and ability to lead and to participate in teams.
The imperative for young people is to have plenty of opportunities to develop these skills as a foundation for work in the new digital age.