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This is an attempt to understand what the worldwide economic and higher education landscape will look like after the threat of COVID-19 dissipates; what remains. The dark alchemy of fear and unpredictability make it difficult to predict with precision what remains. Recognizing that it is unwise to make predictions about the future, nevertheless there are residuals that will remain after COVID-19 is no longer a major threat to human life and an economic and education disruptor.
1. A wider role for online learning
The number of colleges and universities worldwide that have suspended, or ended, in-person instruction and replaced it with online teaching is too long a list and changes daily. The necessity of increased online learning and MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) learning options can no longer be denied. The educational bodies and decision makers will now be forced to reconsider what part of their educational delivery will be offered in person and what part will be offered online.
2. Embracing online recruitment methods
Recruitment and admission practices will change. Across Asia entrance examinations were delayed eventually affecting 2020 intakes. Cancellation of SAT, TOEFL, GRE and GMAT examinations impacted undergraduate and graduate school enrolment in the United States for the fall semester. Online outreach to prospective international students will witness an increase. Flexible application deadlines and present qualifying credentials will require a re-evaluation of the current recruitment and admission practices. Prior algorithms, attempting to calculate expected yields of accepted students, may no longer be valid. College fairs may no longer be valid. Accepted student receptions and traditional orientation programs may also no longer be valid.
Nunzio Quacquarelli, QS’s CEO, stated: “The global higher education sector should aim to be flexible on application deadlines and delayed start dates.”
3. More will study closer to home
According to a report published by QS, prospective Asian students may increasingly look to intra-regional universities for tertiary study. A significant no of students are opting to study closer to their homes.
4. Rise of teleconferencing Most companies and colleges and universities have banned all non-essential travel for employees. Teleconferencing opportunities will partially replace long distance travel as both faculty and administrators re-evaluate recruitment travel and attendance at academic conferences.
“In 1665, Cambridge University closed because of the plague. Isaac Newton decided to work from home. He discovered calculus and the laws of motion. Just saying,” said Paddy Cosgrave, chief executive of Web Summit.
3 ways to prepare youth for the post COVID job markets
As the global pandemic reshapes the future of jobs, here is how can we help prepare our youth for the unknown.
1. Institutions should teach through a mix of high-tech, low-tech, and no-tech-
A UNESCO report on global broadband access found that half of the world remains unconnected. The report defined “meaningful universal connectivity” as “available, accessible, relevant, and affordable” access that is also “safe, trusted, user-empowering, and leads to positive impact”.
When it’s available, high-speed broadband and the technology that accompanies it offers tremendous educational opportunities. But until everyone can participate in the high-tech offerings that broadband access allows, comparable low-tech and no-tech educational opportunities must also be available. One example of a low-tech option is an easily downloadable resource, such as a PDF, that allows learning materials to be accessed not just while the internet is available, but offline, too. Similarly, a no-tech example might include comic books or graphic novels that teach in a colourful, narrative format that mimics the online world, but that can be disseminated through an entirely non-technical distribution system. The use of educational radio or TV broadcasts also eliminates the need for broadband access. Educators should look at combining these low-tech and no-tech options to yield the greatest connectivity.
2. Educators and policy makers should reduce the focus on high-stakes exams
There is now ample evidence during pandemic to remind us that the standardized tests and other hi-tech exams are unfair forms of evaluation. They are now no longer fit for the purpose. On a household level parents and students across all socioeconomic levels have experienced the imperfections of standardized tests during the COVID-19 crisis. Inconsistent levels of access to teachers, varying levels of access to technology, glitches during online-testing and lack of readiness on the part of test providers are the main challenges faced.
Of course, replacing standardized tests with other forms of assessment is daunting, but some promising trends have the potential to prepare our youths for the great resetting. Micro credentials for specific job-related skills have been multiplying for professionals and college-aged young people and have now started gaining popularity with students in the secondary schools.
One example is micro credential that assesses entrepreneurial skills, the Entrepreneurial Skills Pass (ESP) that was first introduced in Europe, has now spread to Middle East, South America and Africa. Testing for changes in so-called 'soft-skill' competencies, such as teamwork and resilience, is more challenging than assessing vocabulary and algebra, but educators and policy makers have started to introduce new approaches to assessing these, which are essential to ensuring the workplace success of youth in a post-COVID world.
3. Empower youth with adaptability skills and financial resources
During the pandemic we have watched millions lose their jobs, either permanently or temporarily which means that a good job with stable organization doesn’t mean what it used to be. Instead, the greatest employment skill we can teach young people is adaptability: pivot fast, stretch to find the most creative solutions, and seek new opportunities to build and grow skills. Whether through entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship.
That said, a resilience mindset and adaptability skills are necessary—but not entirely sufficient. This pandemic has reminded us of the benefits of a financial cushion and the necessity of equipping young people with financial capability to maintain at least six months of savings. Sufficient savings allows young adults to invest time in reskilling and upskilling, change careers throughout their lives as industries shrink and others emerge, and avoid the extreme stress that paycheck-to-paycheck living creates.
One of the unexpected benefits of the pandemic is that stay-at-home orders and blocked supply chains have led young people to develop new practical skills. But even with these new skills and a mindset that embraces change, we must prepare our youth with financial-capability skills; ensure that entrepreneurial skills are as desirable as high standardized-test scores are; and create educational initiatives designed for high-tech, low-tech, and no-tech environments.
We at Eduvew- Career Plan and Education Abroad guide students to improve employment prospects through creating the right success strategies and precise career road map. Eduvew is a systematic process for students to explore all career options and evaluate their interests, personality and aptitude for each, before arriving at well informed career that is the ideal dream for them.
By 2025 new jobs will emerge and others be displaced.
Growing Job demand
1.Data Analysts and Scientists
2.AI and Machine Learning Specialists
3.Big Data Specialists
4.Digital Marketing and Strategy Specialist
5.Process Automation Specialist
6.Business Development Professionals
7.Digital Transformation Specialists
8.Information Security Analysts
9.Softwares and Applications Developers
10.Internet of Things Specialists
Decreasing Job Demand
Data Entry Clerks
Administrative and Executive Secretaries
Accounting, Bookkeeping and Payroll Clerks
Accounts and Auditors
Assembly and Factory Workers
Business Services and Administration Managers
Client Information and Customer Service Workers
General and Operations Managers
Mechanics and Machinery Repairers
Material-Recording and Stock-Keeping Clerks
Source: Future of Jobs Report 2020, World Economic Forum