Today 95% of Americans own a cell phone. That number was 60% 15 years ago (the first iPhone was released in 2007) and only 30% 20 years ago. This is just one example of the pace at which technology infiltrates the world. No one can predict the future – but we sure can make some good guesses. Automation, artificial intelligence, and new technologies are being developed at ever increasing speeds and will have much deeper, wider, and faster impacts than even the advances in computers, internet, and mobile technology over the last 20 years.
Watch out for that speeding (electric) car!
The robots are already among us. Uber drivers, mobile app developers, social media managers, cloud computing engineers, drone operators, and data scientists did not exist 20 years ago. On the flip side, it’s predicted that there will be far fewer drivers, cashiers, and assembly-line workers in the next 20 years.
Robotics today combines computer programming (coding) with mechanical and sensory systems in ever more complex, widespread, and surprising ways. With the addition of machine learning, robots are becoming more autonomous than ever and poised to either take over or assist humans with work in most industries.
The 4 R’s
There is already a shortage of high-tech workers to support the accelerating technological growth. Software development continues to be the #1 job in the US and many industrialized nations. In Iowa alone, there are 4000+ openings for software-related jobs.
So how do we prepare our kids for high-tech careers (some of which do not yet exist) as they enter their working years in 10-15 years?
We must accelerate the pace and depth of computer science, engineering, and technology education now. We must also provide an environment where future skills like problem solving, learning to learn, critical thinking, and solution design can be practiced and honed early through methods like project-based learning. As corporations (nationally and globally) continue their relentless ramp up of automation, more workers and communities will need to self-identify areas of opportunity, innovate, and create their own solutions.
Reading, Writing and Arithmetic are still fundamental – but it’s time to add Robotics. The robots are here to stay.
StairWay5 offers a deep, technical, project-based curriculum in Programming and Robotics for students starting in 3rd grade. After-school and summer enrichment programs progressively develop technical and critical future skills. You can prepare your child for success in a technology-rich world with their individual Digital Portfolio.
Recent Iowa statistics from Code.org:
- Iowa has 4000+ open computing jobs.
- The average salary for a computing occupation in IA is $79,062, which is significantly higher than the average salary in the state ($43,540).
- Iowa had only 364 computer science graduates in 2015; only 14% were female
References and additional resources:
- Pew Research Center Mobile Technology Adoption http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile/
- CBSNews – Jobs that did not exist a decade ago: https://www.cbsnews.com/media/7-jobs-that-didnt-exist-a-decade-ago/4/
- World Economic Forum – Jobs that did not exist 10 years ago: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/06/10-jobs-that-didn-t-exist-10-years-ago/
- McKinsey Report – Future of Work: https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/future-of-organizations-and-work/jobs-lost-jobs-gained-what-the-future-of-work-will-mean-for-jobs-skills-and-wages
- The Guardian – Future of Work: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/26/jobs-future-automation-robots-skills-creative-health
- World Economic Forum -Future of Workhttps://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/06/how-new-technologies-can-create-huge-numbers-of-meaningful-jobs/
- Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Report on Jobs of the Future: https://www.oecd.org/innovation/transformative-technologies-and-jobs-of-the-future.pdf
- Boston Dynamics Robotics – https://www.bostondynamics.com/
- Forbes.com AI and Machine Learning – https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2016/12/06/what-is-the-difference-between-artificial-intelligence-and-machine-learning/#667ab6ed2742
- The Gazette – Job growth in Iowa is mostly in T of STEM: https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/education/job-growth-in-iowa-is-mostly-in-t-of-stem-20171209
- Code.org – Computer science statistics in Iowa: https://code.org/advocacy/state-facts/IA.pdf
This is a sponsored post. ICMB was compensated for sharing this piece. However, we love connecting our readers with people and organizations that are doing good in our community, and we think you will find this information helpful and informative!