Will Your Child be prepared for Careers that don't yet Exist?

By Susan Kruger

"We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist, Using technologies that haven’t been invented, In order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet." – Karl Fisch, Educator and author of Did You Know?

When I grew up, the employment rate was stable. My generation’s greatest concern was competing against a few local job applicants to get a good job.

Our children, however, will face new challenges. For one, they will no longer be competing with people in their hometowns for jobs; they will be competing with people all over the globe!  Secondly, companies are down-sizing. For better or worse, technology enables companies to do more with less.

In order to give our children a competitive advantage in this Information Age and global economy, we must teach them how to learn STRATEGICALLY. That means they must learn how to organize themselves, process new information efficiently, make critical decisions about that information and access it at a later time.

These types of learning skills are called "soft skills." They include learning, organization, and communication strategies. Most schools do not teach these skills because the national and state standards that drive their funding are focused almost entirely on content. Very little focus falls on learning or processing skills.

One study done by the Stanford Research Institute and Carnegie Melon Foundation found that 75% of long-term career success depends on soft skills, and only 25% on technical knowledge!

Another survey asked hundreds of employers in growing industries what skills they needed most from their employees now, and in the future. Of the top 57 skills listed, only four were related to technology.  A full 95% of the skills they need included: the ability to think critically, manage time efficiently, and know how to use various learning strategies.

It seems unthinkable that our education system would ignore the top 95% of skills that students need for career success!  But, that is exactly what is happening. They must ensure students pass standardized tests. Ironically, they don’t have time to provide instruction that will make the biggest difference in your child’s future.

In the world of education, "soft skills" are called "study skills."  Study skills let students use strategies in school.  Students use strategies for sports and video games...why don’t they know how to use strategies in school? 

Study skills teach children how to:

  • Become an independent learner

  • Build confidence

  • Develop efficiency

  • Be proactive, make good decisions, and think critically.

Overall, these skills prepare students for high-stakes tests and the globally competitive job market of the future. 

Do Study Skills Make a Difference?

Ohio State University published a recent study confirming the dramatic impact study skills can have on school performance.  The study found that students who took a study skills class earned a higher grade-point average.  More significantly, they found that study skills had a major impact on graduation rates:

* 45% = the increased likelihood that students who had struggled in high school would graduate from college.

* 600% = the increased likelihood that students who had average grades in high school would graduate from college!

Study skills give students a competitive advantage for the future, help them earn better grades (in less time), and develop confidence! The only way to ensure your child has every advantage to compete in our global economy is to provide access to these life-long skills. 

Susan Kruger (M.Ed.) is a certified learning specialist and the author of the international best-selling study skills book, SOAR® Study Skills. She has also written Homework Help for Parents and the #1 best-selling book on literacy, Cue to Reading. Learn more about Susan at:
www.StudySkills.com


 
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