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Psychology Today: Whose Children Will Get the Best Jobs in the 21st Century?

Posted by Bert Maes on April 14, 2011

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Automation and computerization are doing a lot better than humans in repetitive tasks and calculations. Computers will always have the edge on that.

But there are plenty of things computers cannot do. Focusing on the right skills in upbringing, education and training will give students the top jobs with the most satisfaction.

Without the below higher-order cognitive skills, your children will only be prepared for assembly line work in manufacturing or service. They won’t be able to compete on the global employment market.

The best, most creative, and personally rewarding jobs will go to applicants who have the skills in:

  • Question and evaluate the data
  • Willingness to consider alternative perspectives
  • Articulately communicate ideas successfully
  • Ability to transfer knowledge to new contexts
  • Mental focus, visualize goals, planning ahead, resisting immediate gratification
  • Collaborate with other experts on a global playing field
  • Creative problem solving & concept development

These skills are mainly a result of the development of the prefrontal cortex. That control center changes most rapidly in the age range of 8-16. That is the most optimal learning period for children to start developing the right skills.

Stimulating the brain circuits during these years with hands-on project where students have fun while applying the fundamentals of science strongly influence the highest thinking skillsets that both build wise men and women and determine the best opportunities in the global job market.

Source: Psychology Today

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3 Responses to “Psychology Today: Whose Children Will Get the Best Jobs in the 21st Century?”

  1. Ryan Pohl said

    Fantastic Bert! My oldest son is 7, we’re already planning a lot of “hands-on” projects for him to work on. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Lewie S. said

    It is a very interesting article. That age spread is critical for development of such skills yet I am not sure that most education fosters that kind of focus with the right timing to maximize the intended results. Robotics will push it even further and enhance what computers can accomplish crossing the threshold and doing other tasks humans still must do.

  3. mind power said

    mind power…

    […]Psychology Today: Whose Children Will Get the Best Jobs in the 21st Century? « BERT MAES[…]…

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