Jobs and the job market, both nationally and globally, are evolving at a rate few would have thought possible just a few years back.
The Internet, along with social media and new technologies, are demanding the next generation of workers -- the kids now in high school and younger -- be ready to adapt to a rapidly changing workplace
But just how, exactly?
"A generation ago, teachers could expect that what they taught would last their students a lifetime," Andreas Schleicher, director for the Directorate of Education and Skills at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, noted on the OECD website.
But now, Schleicher said, "because of rapid economic and social change, schools have to prepare students for jobs that have not yet been created, technologies that have not yet been invented and problems that we don't yet know will arise."
However, a new survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. suggests high school seniors are more aware of the challenges they face when it comes to the so-called skills gap. The majority of those teenagers said they already know what fields they want to pursue, with STEM-related fields (science, technology, engineering and math) topping the list of their choices.
Harris surveyed more than 200 high school seniors (ages 17 and 18) and close to 2,200 hiring and human resource managers. It found that 97 percent of the high school seniors said they plan to go to college for a two- or four-year degree, or for some other training. And nearly three-quarters of students say they know what career they want to take up after completing their higher education.
Among the most popular majors the students planned to sign up for: engineering, business, psychology, biological and biomedical sciences, physical sciences, the arts and computer and information sciences.
As for professions, some of the top job choices among this group are:
- Scientist - Biological/Physical/Social
- Machine Operator
- Computer Programmer
- Government Professional
"There is a growing imbalance between the number of jobs being advertised and the number of jobs being filled -- and the college degrees needed to keep up with employment demands," CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson said in a statement.
"Education is one of the building blocks of our economy and one of the most important defenses we have against the skills shortage in the U.S.," he added. "More companies are promoting STEM-related careers in high schools and grammar schools, and it's encouraging to see students get excited about pursuing these fields."