Plenty of other areas warrant investment, but if you’re going to single out one thing that every young person should be taught about, technology is the clear choice. Educating young people in technology inarguably pays off — here’s why:
Digital entrepreneurship is changing businessIn a time of so many traditional careers being undermined or steadily phased out due to the influence of the internet, there’s a pressing need to find fresh routes to success, and the digital landscape gives as much as it takes away in this regard. Becoming self-employed and building a personal brand is a viable option for anyone with stable internet access and the determination to learn and overcome obstacles.
If a young person wants to become a social media influencer (like it or not, it’s a legitimate career when done well), they have all the tools they need at their fingertips: from their kitchen table, they can build relationships, court brands, develop a captivating style, and earn followers. Businesses use channels like the Influential marketplace to find brand ambassadors — put in the work, and anyone can thrive there.
Alternatively, if someone aspires to retail success, they can enter the ecommerce world. Again, the online world lifts traditional limitations: a budding entrepreneur doesn’t need to rent an expensive storefront when they can build a virtual store for free using a simple tool like Shopify. Arrange deals with suppliers, or simply use dropshipping services — it’s up to them.
Professionals today are gradually getting accustomed to a new level of freedom. Work from home if you prefer, and keep whatever hours suit you, dealing with people directly only as required. It’s superior for work/life balance, and more engaging. Equip a young person with the right tools, and they can manifest their own digital destiny.
AI-related fields will be vital in the coming yearsYes, sophisticated AI systems will slowly destroy certain industries, but fresh jobs will emerge from the wreckage — jobs involving the creation, improvement and maintenance of those AI systems, for a start. It’s tremendously effective to let technology bear the brunt of everyday operations, but it will always need manual oversight (particularly considering the inevitable implementation of self-driving vehicles).
Why not try to get ahead of the curve? Any young person who starts studying the principles of AI and machine learning today will have a huge advantage over others when these jobs truly become mainstream — and since there will be a huge amount of money in the effective and reliable deployment of AI systems, the top positions stand to be very lucrative. Yes, the US is already in a strong position globally, but it’s under threat, and a response is needed.
Technology underpins almost every industryIt doesn’t feel like very long ago that knowing how to use a computer was entirely optional. Couldn’t use a standard keyboard? Just write using a pen and paper. But times have changed, and skills that were rare a decade ago are now foundational. Good luck trying to find any type of basic office job that doesn’t require you to have core typing skills.
By today’s standards, we don’t consider those skills to be technological in nature, but that’s a consequence of perspective shift. Once upon a time, being able to operate a PC was certainly seen as a mark of technological competence — and rare skills that we view as technological today will become comparably foundational eventually.
Consider the rise of programming, for instance. Coding has gone from something with niche applications to a skill that can be usefully applied to almost every type of business. Automation is a key concern across the board — someone who can apply machine learning principles is a huge asset. Given the wide applications, there’s immense value in picking up tech skills.
Tech skills bolster logical reasoning and adaptabilityLet’s imagine for one moment that tech skills weren’t valuable for the reasons we’ve already considered: that they weren’t changing business, destined to rule the AI industry, or already essential for every industry. In such a scenario, technology would still warrant study, and it’s all due to the broader significance of tech skills.
At their core, tech skills involve logical reasoning, critical thinking, and painstaking problem-solving. They also demand adaptability, because the tech world moves quickly. Programming languages rise and fall, software versions come and go, and new ideas turn into mainstream realities seemingly overnight. There’s no room for resting on laurels: to be skilled with technology is to remain in a state of perpetual education.
Consequently, anyone who studies technology has their overall abilities strengthened. They’re left better equipped to succeed in other disciplines, and to overcome adversity. For all of these reasons, and no doubt various others, educating young people in technology isn’t simply desirable for any forward-thinking region: it’s essential.