Overwhelming majority of parents think education must adapt to suit the future workforce

The workforce of the future will predominantly be digital, and parents think an understanding of computer science will greatly benefit their kids

An overwhelming majority of parents (83%) think the education system must adapt to fulfil the needs of the future workforce, according to a study conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Kodable.

Surveying over 2,000 parents of school-aged children, the study found that parents today are heavily invested in preparing their kids for their future employment prospects.

With the world becoming increasingly digital, more than half (59%) of parents firmly believe that an understanding of computer science would give their children a competitive edge as they look to enter the workforce.

Respondents demonstrated a clear dedication to nurturing a well-rounded learning environment, with nearly six in 10 (58%) of those surveyed claiming they had already taken proactive steps to help their kids be more knowledgeable and versatile than they were growing up.

Working towards this goal, 77% of parents polled said they had been supplementing their child’s classroom education with additional lessons at home. Of those respondents, 73% said their kids have been noticeably more interested in science and learning as a result.

On top of emphasising computer science disciplines, 54% of parents think engineering will remain a valuable field of study, while a further 54% believe creativity will stay an increasingly sought-after skill. At 52% and 46% respectively, analytical (creative) thinking and interpersonal communication were named the fourth and fifth most beneficial future skills in the eyes of parents.

Consequently, 82% of those surveyed hope that the school curriculum will evolve, adapting to serve the needs of the workforce of tomorrow, while instilling students with the skills needed to thrive long-term.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions meaning many parents are working from home, and children currently out of school for the Christmas break, parents are using this time at home to encourage their kids to be curious and try new things.

“In fact, parents are hopeful that their children will be well prepared no matter what the future workplace will look like – having the skills and experiences necessary to succeed,” said a Kodable spokesperson.

Despite the focus on preparing children for the future, parents aren’t trying to pigeonhole their kids into specific careers; 78% of parents polled claimed they’d like their child to explore a range of potential careers and interests, then decide exactly what they’d like to pursue as they mature.

As well as this, parents are actively talking to their kids about their likes and interests, with three in four respondents saying they have already had such discussions.

A staggering 73% of respondents said their child is already showing an interest in coding.

The Kodable spokesperson continued: “Encouraging kids to pursue their interests is one of the best ways to foster a healthy educational environment for them.

“Being active in their interests can help kids build self-confidence and understand the various career opportunities available to them in the future – without putting unnecessary pressure on them.”

In other news: Marcus Rashford and Child Food Poverty Taskforce launch website to support vulnerable families over Christmas


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