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Jobs for the Future

Are we preparing our students with the skills they will need in the 21st century?

Before the economy began to disintegrate, industry people were looking for people who were analytical and were data-crushers. Now they are looking for people who can use analytics as well as “out-of the box” thinkers.

Number crunching jobs are more easily and cheaply done by outsourcing and by computer software. Where America has long prospered has been in its ability to create and innovate.

“Today computers are turning traditional left-brain work, jobs where a series of steps leads to one answer, into a commodity that can be outsourced,” says Daniel Pink, who has written a book, A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future. Pink says the shift to right-brain thinking already can be found in companies that welcome well-rounded employees, medical schools that push art studies and classrooms that encourage collaborative problem-solving.

“We’re realizing that our economy is not about standardization,” Daniel Pink says. An impediment has been a No Child Left Behind educational system that is too geared to test-taking. “What’s troubling is that our system is obsessed with standardization at the very time when the future of our economy depends on the opposite.”

HR people are looking for people who have the ability to solve problems in unique ways, lead co-workers and thrive in a loose organizational structure.
In Cambridge, Mass.,

Three Questions we need to ask ourselves:
1. Do you consider yourself more “right brain” or “left brain”?
2. What about your own children?
3. Do you think the education system cultivates both or should it change?

Source: USA Today, July 14, 2009

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