When I Grow Up / Child Magazine

Child March 16

What does the workplace future hold for today’s preschoolers?

Our kids will have 14 jobs in six careers, and 60 percent of the tasks they’ll do in 2020 have not been invented yet, according to Melbourne-based futurist Morris Miselowski (businessfuturist.com).

Where will those jobs be, and what will they be like?


When Morris told parents years ago their children would be gaming for a job, they were horrified.

Gamification is going to be where a lot of the jobs are, with $80,000 starting salaries. Virtual realities can be used to trial new habits, teach people to do things or for online learning, and doctors and psychologists already use gamification to learn about how the mind works. “It’s not just about designing games,” says Morris.


Will our kids be worse or better off? It won’t necessarily be either, just different, says Morris. Rather than the nine to five, our kids will have a portfolio of tasks. Their central income will be less certain, and likely supplemented by casualised activities such as selling on Etsy or renting out a room on AirBnB. “They’ll work until they’re 90, live until they’re 120 or beyond,” says Morris.

The ‘gig economy’ will grow through online talent platforms like upwork.com and freelancer.com, which already connect workers with hirers around the world.

The downside is these sites are pushing pay-rates down, as freelancers outbid one another in a race to the bottom.

While incomes might fall, our kids will focus on experiences rather than ownership. “They’ll drive the car for a weekend rather than own the car,” says Morris. On-demand 3D printing is about to transform our ability to produce our own stuff at next to no cost and will open up as yet undreamt of jobs. “You’ll buy a template for a pair of Size 9 shoes and tailor their look to suit you. I believe tomorrow’s billionaire sits inside that industry.”

The simple jobs, such as driving taxis, will be performed by robots, says forecaster BIS Shrapnel’s Chief Economist, Frank Gelber. Employment in those areas will fall, but the offset is that our income will buy more and there’ll be fewer jobs required to produce a product or service. The ageing population means a lower proportion of people in the workforce, so there’ll be plenty of jobs for those who want them – and most will still require human input.

Frank advises kids to train for what they’d like to do, but with much more of an eye to the end product and the use of technology. An example is architectural technology replacing the need for draughtsmen. “We still need the architects, but the way they do their job has changed.”

Code IT

To prepare for a digital world, girls at Sydney’s Roseville College are learning to ‘code with purpose’.

This skill is much more than learning to write in ‘computer language’, says the school’s Teaching and Learning Innovation Executive, Abi Woldhuis. Rather, it develops skills the future demands, such as advanced problem solving and the ability to identify and break problems into manageable chunks. “It also requires communication and collaboration, creativity and critical thinking.”

At last year’s NSW SAP Young ICT Explorers competition, Roseville Year 5 and 6 students took first, second and third place for real-world coding solutions: a sensor to spot food on a sushi train past its use-by date; a device to locate a lost cochlear implant; and a remote monitor to check on a non-tech savvy loved one’s welfare.

“Future employees will need to know more than how to use a computer,” says Abi. “They will need to understand how computers work, what makes software and apps operate, how to troubleshoot and how technology integrates with business operations. This will no longer be the sole domain of dedicated programmers.”

Our kids will have a lifelong education, and not necessarily a formal one, says Morris. ‘Nano-degrees’ will break down learning into relevant and bite-sized certifications for workers.

The future is not all high-tech, though. Handmade items will go head to head with mass-produced brands on sites like notonthehighstreet.com “Our kids will nhave the opportunity to be an artisan, to truly be a craftsperson,” Morris said.

Passports at the Ready

Our kids will encounter not just techno-change, but geo-change. It’ll be far more common to move overseas for assignments, says Peter Noblet, Senior Regional Director of Hays recruitment agency. Multinational organisations will move their talent between international offices to their most dynamic and skillsdeprived markets.

That means today’s preschoolers will need language skills, a sensitivity to what works in different geographies, flexibility to lean into the changes of a digital world, and adaptability so they can quickly settle into a new environment, says Peter.

To the Future – and Beyond!

Don’t fret, Morris Miselowski tells parents. Opportunity looms.

Instead of smothering our kids with love and telling them how they should act, we need to allow them space to evolve. “To us, it seems like science fiction, but to our kids, it’s normal. We parents crave linear, but the future will be messy. Our kids will be creating jobs, not getting jobs. Anything is possible.”

reprinted from CHILD Magazine, written by Natalie Ritchie

What’s over the job and career horizon?

future careerThere’s a lot of conversation going on around the future of careers and jobs, given recent manufacturing and mining redundancy announcements and it has everyone asking what careers and jobs are future proof and which are not.

Firstly many of today’s and yesterdays professions will still be around including – teachers, doctors, health professionals, retailers and many others will still be around in 50 years, but how they do their jobs, where and when they do it and how important it may be, will evolve over time.

The foresight issue is that today’s Grade 1 student will finish high school in 2025 and if they go on to further education, will eventually enter the workforce in the late 2020’s or early 2030’s. What will the world of 2030 look like? What career choices will there be? What will work be and mean to them?

If we already know with certainty that 2030 will be significantly different from today then how how do we get our children safely and competently between here and then? How do we educate them today for a world of tomorrow that we can only guess at, a world in which they’ll live to 120 years of age, work in well into their 80’s, have 6 careers and 14 jobs and work project and task driven, physically and virtually in a mixture of solo activities, in teams and across the globe.

What are the career choices of tomorrow. What and how do we teach our children so that are nimble, flexible and ready for this new evolving world? How do we cope and deal with the industries and jobs that will fall away between now and then and how do we evolve, find, accept and champion the industries and jobs of tomorrow?

This topic ran hot on ABC Radio Local and Australia and here are some of the other interviews I did Around Australia on similar themes and questions so for my views on all these questions and more have a listen now and then share your thoughts on what’s waiting up ahead for our children.

Jill EmbersonJill Emberson – Mornings ABC Newcastle – Monday 13th February


Ron TaitRon Tait  Breakfast Program ABC South West -Western Australia – Monday 17th February

Kate O'TooleKate O’Toole – Afternoon Program ABC Darwin – Monday 17th February

Sonya FeldhoffSonya Feldhoff  – Afternoon Program ABC Adelaide – Tuesday 18th February







The hypnosis and neurosis of Education

future education

There is a well-intentioned neurosis around education that seeks to justify the educational outcomes of the previous generation by imposing the educational standards, rigours and methodologies onto the next generation.

In a past world secondary education most often led to a singular qualification or vocation. This employment choice required pre-employment education and ongoing workplace informal and ad hoc education.

The norm of employment was a single linear career where the employer offered tacit certainty of life long employment and forty years of career progression at the end of which you received a golden watch for a job well done and a pension that took you into retirement and your new life.

In this world culture and society required conformity in its future citizens. It was practical in a more routine world and society to underpin education with the foundational teaching of the three R’s (writing, arithmetic and reading).

The education system of the past suited the needs of the past, but in a future where there is less certainty and rigour, where we may live to 120 years of age, work into their 80’s, have 6 distinct careers and 14 jobs in professions that we do not yet know of doing tasks we yet can’t imagine the underpinnings of education, employment and society will require innovation and invention.

The hypnosis of the future is that the workplace and the 9-5 will disappear. That the need for physical exertion and work will diminish as mechanical devices take over humanity’s chores and that instead people will spend long hours in idleness and recreation is not on tomorrow’s radar.

These are falsehoods.

The core of work and society’s need of it will still remain, but what we need to do to equip tomorrow’s workforce will have to evolve.

The workplace of tomorrow will be global, physical, virtual and digital.

Language and physical location will cease to be barriers to work.

Global qualifications and accreditations will become increasingly important as will the ability to acculturate and collaboratively work in both physical and digital work tribes.

Work will increasingly be done in project and task mode rather than in 9-5 mode and the notion of where we work will be less important than how we work.

All of this will play itself out against a backdrop where the world will add 2 billion to its population in the next four decades; see huge increases in the numbers of well-educated middle class citizens and ironically face the duality of a global skill shortage in an environment of overabundance of available workers.

In this new world of work education’s preparatory role is not just foundational, but transformational.

We must equip tomorrow’s learner s who have already outsourced the 3R’s and other routine memory tasks to external technologies and who are adapt at online research and inquiry with the fundamental skills that will extend these innate skills into vocational purpose, this new educational focus and paradigm should include a liberal dose of the 3C’s – Communication, Collaboration and Creative Problem Solving.

Education’s physical premises will also become less important as we move to multi-modality, multi-site offerings where the viewing of prerecorded lectures, deep and immersive virtual and physical learning resources are common and student-teacher engagement is a blend of physical and virtual.

These core learning instruments will be continuously added to by adaptive learning environments and technologies that constantly search out and learn the students’ preferences, abilities, needs, content being taught, required outcomes to assemble a bespoke set of hyperpersonalised education experiences with best practice learning aids and examples each flexed to the learners preferred learning styles and delivery mode.

This amorphous educational future scaffolding will include an orchestra of educators, academics, educational institutions, industry, professionals, non-academics and knowledge providers, all either physically or virtually coming in and out of the learning environment when and where required to provide real-time learning and insights in varying taxonomies, most appropriate to the learner, the task and the learners preferred style for that specific learning episode.

In this new education frontier students will use a blend of traditional learning tools as well as newer teaching tools including gamification through which they can attend digitally at physical art galleries; attend virtual foreign classrooms to learn language and culture, as well as trial complex scientific and mathematical problem solving methodologies using virtual modeling and prototyping.

The reality is that for digital and mobile natives of today and tomorrow this world already exists. It is the world that they already see and function in.

We must not take them back to a world that enshrines past skills and behaviors, that does not challenge and stimulate them and that does not adequately prepare them for the uncertainty and opportunities of tomorrow’s world. To do this is to condemn us to relive our past when the purpose of each new generation and the education system that nurtures them should be to invent our future.

The Weekender – 6PR Radio – Jobs of the Future

Body part maker, nano medic, transhumanist designer, vertical farmers, pharmers, memory augmentation surgeon, social networking worker are just some of the new careers that will emerge over the next 20 years. Add this to the imminent avalanche of baby boomer retirements, the Gen Y & X entry to the corporate boardrooms; a move to decentralised workplaces (by 2018 aprox.40% of workers will not work from a fixed office address); the global workplace tilt towards insourcing, outsourcing, crowdsourcing and crowd filtering and we have a new world of work rising on the horizon. These were just some of the issues that Brendon Weselman of Perth radio’s 6PR and Morris Miselowski chatted about in their on-air interview. Recorded live 17 January 2010.