Be Who You Are,
Be Where You Are Needed
A Different Kind of Preparation
STEAM, Maker Education, Agile, Scrum, Design Thinking and all of the many and evolving frameworks being used to adapt to our rapidly changing world requires a different kind of career preparation. For me, I have found the intersection between The Arts and technology to be incredibly powerful for leveraging education. What I learned from this in regards to career paths is that who we are should fully inform what we do.
I was counseled over and over in my education to pick something, stop exploring, commit to a known and proven path. I would be in a difficult spot if I had done so. As an unconventional student, I would be competing for really desirable jobs with a rapidly shrinking work force. I would have had a great deal of difficulty using my strengths in the PhD tracks I would have pursued and the college professor job market would have likely pushed me into adjunct work teaching art, poetry or literature. As a Type 1 diabetic, that would have been a hard road to travel. By creating my own path, I was inadvertently preparing for today's job market.
I don't claim any particular wisdom in many of the choices I made but they have given me unique insights. My takeaway is this: In a world of cheap products and highly competitive job markets, those who are able to provide unique insights, creative delivery, and work in a field and in positions where they operate from their personal strengths and interests are better able to maintain competitive marketability while maximizing personal satisfaction. In a world where the next generation of jobs have yet to be invented, much less defined, we have to educate for adaptability and self-knowledge if we want our young people to be able to identify and pursue emergent careers.
This means we teach students
know themselves and their strengths
identify and pursue opportunities
network and collaborate
improve or innovate current methods creatively
combine their natural interests with the needs of others
articulate how new approaches address complex problems
design solutions for real problems for specific people or groups