A new survey has revealed concerns about the impact that technology will have on students’ employment opportunities once they leave school.
According to the Real Insurance's Future of Education survey of 1,000 Australians, conducted last month, 53% believing that technology will decrease employment opportunities in Australia over the next ten years.
The survey said that while many Australians are excited by the possibilities of technology in the workplace, many are also concerned about job security and reduction in employment opportunities.
Among the greatest concerns were the potential ‘dehumanisation’ of workplace life and uncertainty about the kinds of jobs that would be available.
Many respondents reported feeling comfortable with the amount of technology-based learning systems utilised in schools today and see this as more of a positive for Australian children’s future.
However, many also find the prospect of ‘virtual teachers’ or ‘virtual classes’ to be concerning and think these technological changes would most likely impact the ‘human’ aspect of the children’s broader education.
Below is a summary of the survey’s findings:
- 49% of Australians are excited by the possibilities technology will bring to the workplace of the future
- 42% are concerned about the impact of technology on the workplace
- 71% are concerned about the 'dehumanisation' of the workplace
- 71% are concerned about the uncertainty regarding the kinds of jobs that will be available
- 70% are concerned about job security
The majority of those surveyed believe the manufacturing job sector is the most likely to be threatened by advancing technology:
- 94% say there will be a greater need to be adaptable to different roles
- 93% say there will be a greater need to multi skill
- 92% say there will be increasing interaction with robots or smart technology
Concerns about the Australian curriculum
The overwhelming majority believe there should be a focus on a multi skill education to accommodate a multi career future (95.5%), a change in the education system to go with the change in the traditional career paths to success (93.3%) and education should place a higher value on practical vocational skills (89.6%).
Many respondents also agree that traditional academic subjects do not prepare young people for the work environment they will face (78.8%) and many of the current skills or subjects they are learning in school will be irrelevant once they enter the workforce (74.2%).
When asked how they would prioritise the following subjects in terms of their importance in preparing children for the jobs of the future, respondents ranked ‘Information Technology’ as the top subject they would prioritise in terms of their importance in preparing children for the jobs of the future, with an average ranking score of 9.1 out of 10, followed by ‘Maths’ (7.8) and ‘English’ (7.7).