We went to visit the local health centre yesterday with the kids and while waiting in the lobby, I noticed an educational collage of different professions at the wall. There were happy images of teachers, postmen, police, nurse and also an astronaut and musician and a text “What will you be when you grow up?”

There were no pictures of career coaches, scrum masters, cloud architects, data scientists, game designers or social media managers. 

It made me think about the future of work and dream jobs. Already as children, we are being asked about our career plans (which I think is fun) but the whole question is absurd – how could the kids know in what profession they would like to work if even us adults don’t know what we are going to do with our careers? 

Who knows what professions even exist when it’s time for the next generations to enter the working life.

There clearly is a growing demand for technical and IT-talent. But at the same time, DigitalES is writing about the worrying fact that the number of young people choosing to study maths, technology and science subjects is decreasing in Spain. Why? Main reasons mentioned are the difficulty of these subjects and the unclarity of career opportunities that they open. 

It’s hard to get excited about technology if you don’t know how it could positively impact your life and the barrier to start is high. It doesn’t help either that the educational images that are meant to inspire children are missing all the future and technology-related jobs. But it takes more than updated images to change this. 

It should be about learning for life – not just memorizing the right answers for the exams. Offering equal and free education possibilities for all, supporting a person’s individual ways and pace of learning. Making learning FUN. Adapting skills that will be needed in the future into our everyday lives. Showing how technology and science can help and make life better.

Instead of limiting the career choices only to certain professions and creating enormous pressure on choosing the right career path early on – we should encourage growth towards future ways of working, with an open mind ready to explore new things and being open for changes.

What if instead of asking what the future generations want to BE when they grow up – we would be asking, what is it that they ENJOY DOING and HOW CAN TECHNOLOGY HELP in that? 

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