Qualifying Students for the Jobs of Tomorrow

By: Seham Elsherif


We live in the age of technology and artificial intelligence (AI). Advancing technology and algorithms, and the increasing dependence on machines will change the rules of the job market in the future, causing some jobs to go extinct and others to emerge. According to a report by the World Economic Forum in 2023, the job market will change by 25% in the next five years only. So, what would it be like after 20 years?

A considerable percentage of businesses face difficulties in finding candidates qualified with the needed technical and personal skills.  As the job market is changing rapidly, students of today should be qualified both vocationally and academically. In order for students to cope with the changing job market, they must adopt the skill of continuous learning.


Specialities and Skills of Tomorrow

Technical specialties will predominate the future job market. Examples include software development, AI, blockchain, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), data security, big data analysis, cyber security, ethical hacking, drones, genes, mental health, content development, and entrepreneurship.

Speaking of the skills needed for the future job market, they include technical skills such as programming, data analysis, etc., as well as personal skills such as analysis, critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, online communication, public speaking, teamwork, project management, crisis management, negotiation, and emotional intelligence.


Emphasis on Science and Technology

Educational institutions should emphasize on subjects such as science, mathematics, engineering, and technology. They should also prioritize that students understand the basic concepts and can relate them to everyday problems. Priority should also be given to practical application, conducting experiments, completing projects, as well as utilizing technology in the classroom to facilitate understanding and visualizing complex concepts.


Deployment of Technology

Technology is being increasingly deployed in education; examples include interactive lessons, educational games, and communication between educators, parents, and students.

Technology fosters the cooperation between educators and students, supports differentiated and remote education, and allows students to choose their desired pace of learning. It can also promote the skills of teamwork, creativity, positivity, and adaptation, and help introduce digital citizenship.


Problem Solving and Critical Thinking

Schools must be attentive that students acquire problem-solving and critical thinking skills. This can be achieved through several strategies, including encouraging students to ask questions, encouraging cooperation and communication among them, assigning them projects to apply what they have learned, training them to find solutions to real-life problems, as well as teaching them how to define problems, brainstorm, evaluate alternative solutions, reflect on the results, and test hypotheses.

It is important to ask students open-ended questions with the aim of receiving diverse answers. This strategy trains students to explain their reasons, convince others, and reflect on possible solutions. For example, instead of asking about the main idea of the text, ask how the writer supports it with examples and evidence. Open-ended questions can be used in assessments, homework, questionnaires, and during discussions.



Creativity and Innovation

Creativity is the ability to produce new useful ideas, while innovation is turning these ideas into practical solutions. Active learning is a means to enhance creativity and innovation. It engages students in the analysis and evaluation of information and problem solving, rather than being recipients of information.



Teamwork is an essential skill; as such, educational institutions should instill it in students. To train students on teamwork, they should be divided into compatible groups, with each member knowing his/her role. Goals, expectations, and assessment criteria should be made clear, and the exercise should use real problems. Teachers should also introduce the foundations of cooperation, such as good listening, respecting others, constructive criticism, and how to build on previous work.



Adaptation is a necessary skill in the age of technology. It enables one to overcome unexpected situations successfully. It also helps one to move on without complaining, anger, or anxiety, and overcome difficulties through different strategies.

Adaptation nourishes curiosity and ignites the urge to explore. It is also worth mentioning that the happiest people are those who are able to adapt. To acquire this skill, students must learn how to set goals; this will help them overcome the obstacles to achieve them. They must also learn how to control their emotions when changes occur, how to think of solutions to deal with these changes, and how to accept failure and try again.


Exploring Jobs

To prepare the students of today for the jobs of tomorrow, it is important to let them explore professions at a young age. This will help them recognize the fields they prefer and the skills needed for them. Activities that schools can carry out include organizing job fairs where specialists are invited to talk about their professions and answer the students’ questions. Schools can also choose a profession to discuss and organize activities about every month. They can also organize competitions for the best poster about professions and suggest books to read about professions.

In conclusion, it takes cooperation between parents, teachers, and educational institutions to prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow, which helps them cope with the changing world and achieve excellence in their professional lives.