Education & Career Trends: How to prepare students for the jobs of 2030

4 min read

Edition: November 10th, 2021
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS

Students must constantly develop their digital and soft skills to future-proof their careers. (Image Source:
  • Excerpts from article by Zheng Fan, published on Forbes

As more and more professional jobs are getting automated by AI, today’s college and university students have increased uncertainty about the outlook for jobs in 2030. Educators and leaders in higher education are beginning to think about how the future AI technologies will impact students’ career prospects and what changes institutions must adopt to prepare students for tomorrow’s jobs. 

While knowledge-based learning in the classroom is still important, a report indicates career-relevant learning is becoming increasingly critical to students’ well-being and future career success. 

One of the relevant skills crucial for future career success is the ability to work side by side with AI, machine learning and robotics.

To help students succeed in their careers in the era of AI, one vital solution is to expand the digital curriculum to improve their digital literacy and soft skills that cannot be easily replaced by AI.

Here are some ideas for colleges and universities:

1. Develop digitally coupled academic programmes

  • Develop a wide range of digitally coupled academic programmes on Fintech, Edtech, Biotech, Medtech, Healthtech, Legaltech, etc.
  • This will be in tune with the rapid changes in the industry with increased utilisation of smart technologies to optimise business operations and efficiencies.
  • Often, evolving industries that embrace smart technologies offers high-paying jobs and promising growth to people with knowledge and skills who can combine domain knowledge with technology. 

2. Help students become ‘digitally fluent’ with a technology-based curriculum

  • Develop comprehensive computer curricula and technical materials that cover popular computer programming like Python or R as well as common digital tools like Bloomberg Terminal or ArcGIS.
  • This will help students become digitally fluent in mastering computers across different platforms to advance their coursework and research.
  • In today’s digital age, simply knowing how to use MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint, emails, internet search or social media no longer qualifies as digital fluency.
  • Students with comprehensive computer skills who know how to use various tech tools will thrive and succeed in their future workplaces. 

3. Provide data analytics training

  • Inject data analytics training into students’ course of study to help them master the use of data generated by AI.
  • We are living in the era of big data, and analytics is everywhere.
  • Students, regardless of their major, must develop data analytics skills and know how to access and analyse information using tools to discover valuable insights, recognise patterns, predict trends and support data-driven decision making. 

4. Support upskilling/reskilling with digital credential programmes

  • Develop digital credential programmes and tech add-ons to support continuous learning and upskilling for students of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels.
  • Facing the rapid rate of technology change, the modern workforce has to constantly update their digital skills.
  • Employers may want to train their employees to upskill and reskill.
  • Employees may want to grow and stay competitive with new digital skills.
  • Providing digital credential programmes for upskilling and reskilling is a critical way to support students of all kinds to stay current with the technological trend.   

5. Invest in career service partnerships

  • Partner with career service professionals/organisations to provide students with opportunities to realise their full potential.
  • In addition to traditional career counselling services, institutions may also partner with other organisations to help students practise their industry knowledge and digital skills.
  • To sponsor special training and practising sessions, workshops and internships to give students hands-on opportunities and guidance for their future career aspirations.   

6. Focus on strengthening students’ emotional quotient and soft skills

  • To avoid being replaced by AI, students must also possess high emotional intelligence and soft skills that AI and machines can’t imitate and automate.
  • While helping students obtain digital skills is critical, it’s equally crucial for colleges and universities to help students enhance their:
  1. Creativity
  2. Critical thinking
  3. Collaboration abilities
  4. Communication
  5. Resilience
  6. Self-regulation
  7. Self-awareness
  8. Leadership
  9. Motivation
  10. Empathy
  11. The ability to transfer learning from one problem to another.
  • When everything else is equal, students with higher EQ and soft skills will have competitive advantages in the job market.

The modern workplace is drastically changing with AI and students who want to avoid being replaced by robots must constantly develop their digital and soft skills to future-proof their careers!

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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One Reply to “Education & Career Trends: How to prepare students for the jobs of 2030”

  1. Future Employability Skills which will be essentially required. Preparing students for the same becomes an inevitable responsibility for educators and career counsellors much as parents should also be made to understand the importance of the same.

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