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Guest post: Secondary school students on work in 2030

Work Ready
30 September 2019

What do secondary school students think work will look like in 2030? Flying cars, genetically modified humans, or robot managers? These were some responses from the students attending the Skills Workchoice Industry Experience Event held at Whangarei Boys High School in August 2019.  

Work Ready staff asked over 600 students to answer the following questions:

1. What industries will be important?
2. Greatest challenge?
3. What jobs will exist?
4. What will be different?
5. What skills will be required?
6. What opportunities will people have?

Work Ready examined and collated student’s comments; and created a visual map of the students’ opinions. We concluded:

  • Solving the employability puzzleCollectively students have a strong belief that technology will shape their work future.
  • Not all students were positive about the future. They were concerned about the impact of technology and work on individuals, families and the sustainability of the planet.
  • Industries of the future were technology, entertainment and tourism. Transport, construction and health would be important but also enhanced by technology.
  • The technology theme played out with future jobs: e-sport, world studies, military personnel (robo-cop) and space engineers anyone?
  • Opportunities included greater flexibility and some seeing technology as a way of pursuing their interests.

Work Ready saw similarities between the students’ response and the wealth of recent reports concerning the future of work. Overarching themes in both were balancing technology skills, collaborative teamwork and the environment.

Photo: Solving the employability puzzle

About Pat Cody 

Pat has been in the career/work industry for over twenty years. He has worked in career knowledge management, managing career teams, professional development and career consultancy. Pat's current work focuses on developing a digital education to employment project. He currently serves on the national executive of the Career Development Association of New Zealand.

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