should you (really) prepare your children for the jobs of the future?

Lhe parent’s job (at least that is what he believes) is to prepare his child as well as possible for the future, that is to say a way of controlling uncertainties preventively.

Before, even if it was not simple, this job seemed to meet a relatively narrow specification: like a Tupperware in which we would try to squeeze an overflow of calf slack, the child was this receptacle that one filled with knowledge with the hope that it integrates prestigious institutions, such as Polytechnic, Essec or Normal Sup ‘. That his only friend was a neurasthenic stick insect was ultimately not so serious, as your descendant was able to solve a third-order differential equation and quote all the key dates of the French Revolution by heart.

85% of jobs in 2030 do not yet exist

If the determination to transform children into thoroughbreds of academic success has not really faltered, parents now have a new battle horse: “soft skills”. Quézako? It’s true that if you don’t work in a company that cultivates your emotional intelligence through gardening sessions, you might not know what it is. “Soft skills” are those behavioral skills that integrate communication skills as well as intuition, creativity or autonomy.

In short, a vast catch-all in which recruiters were not really interested until recently, concentrated as they were on “hard skills”, this reinforced concrete knowledge flashing in gold letters on CVs. (Chinese read, written, spoken / mastery of the programming language Python / MBA in project management).

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The new attention paid to “soft skills” stems from an observation that would be without appeal (call it an ideology, if you will): in a more or less near horizon, technology, through artificial intelligence, robotics or virtual reality, will make countless jobs unnecessary.

According to a study which is not the most pessimistic, published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2019, automation is expected to kill 14% of jobs within twenty years and transform 32, 8%. Hence this other astonishing statistic, emanating from a report published in 2017 by Dell and the Institute for the Future, a Californian think tank: 85% of jobs in 2030 do not yet exist.

Antidote to mechanization

How then to put all the chances on your side so that your child can become a pizza maker on a 3D printer if this future profession is still in limbo? Answer: “soft skills”. By being used to designate under a common term what there is in us of relational, human, creative, in short our “added value”, this soft knowledge represents this phantasmic antidote to the mechanization of the world, a magic word which would make everyone an arable land capable of adapting to any type of upheaval.

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