General Question

jazzjeppe's avatar

What qualifications will be the most important in 2030?

Asked by jazzjeppe (2266 points ) May 7th, 2010

This is a big question, bigger than the headline actually, but I would be nonetheless thankful if you could take some time and tell me what you think. I am working on a huge project to produce a 20 minute film for educating educators and school administrators. The focus will be on the future, not the present.

So here goes:

1) Imagine a six year old today. What would be the most important qualifications he/she would need to be a “world citizen” in 2030?

2) In what areas do you think we will see the major differences, comparing today and 2030? (like communication etc.)

3) Are there any school subjects today that you think is a waste of time if you look at it in the perspective of “preparation for the future” (subjects that won’t be “necessary in 2030)?

4) What will education and schools look like in 2030?

5) Where do you think the financial center will be in 2030? We can see today that it’s moving east – will China and east Asia be where it all happens?

6) What will we worry about in 2030? Wars, terrorism, famine, climate etc?

Hugs&kisses!

J

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23 Answers

slick44's avatar

There is no way we could possibly no this.

Seaofclouds's avatar

1) Motivation and determination. I’ve seen a lot of children with a “video game” mentality of just quitting when it gets to hard. They will need to get beyond that and learn that when things get hard, you have to be motivated and determined to get through them.

2) I think technology will be huge along with the way we communicate. Communication is already changing (more online forums, e-mails, texting). With this, our children will still need to know the value of face to face communication and the impact their body language can play in a discussion. (Nothing like rolling your eyes at someone and them actually seeing it.)

3) I don’t think there are any that are a wast of time. I think children need a variety in their youth so they can find their path in life. If we took away music or art, we would lose those things over time. If we took away science we could miss the chance of inspiring the kid that will find the cure to cancer or HIV.

4) I think the schools will be similar to what they are today. I think there will be more computers in the classrooms (perhaps even each child having their own). I think the actual material the children are learning at that time will be a bit more advanced than it is now (just as what my son is learning in second grade is more advanced than what I learned in second grade).

5) I can’t even begin to guess that right now. There are a lot of things that are happening right now that could have a lot of possible effects on the financial center.

6) Hopefully none of those things. I’m sure climate may be an issue (especially given some of the abnormal weather these past few months). The wars we are in now should be part of the history lessons by then, but I’m sure there will be other issues by then. I imagine there will be more worry about biological warfare and technology continues to develop. Beyond that I don’t know. I truly hope we manage to take care of the issues we have today so that our children are not the ones responsible for doing it. I imagine there will be more focus on energy sources by then as time passes and we use up more of the energy sources we have now.

DarkScribe's avatar

Self sufficiency to survive in a world where Government has totally failed?

slick44's avatar

@DarkScribe… good answer, this is most likely true.

CMaz's avatar

@Seaofclouds has it with #1.

Motivation and determination.

We are currently a product of a past group of people that worked ALL the time. There was no surfing on the web at work or sitting home living a virtual life.

This “lack” of productivity makes me think of how it will keep it all together.

marinelife's avatar

I think that computer use skills will be front and center in education. It will not be left to hit or miss as it is now. Also, search engine skills will be taught.

DarkScribe's avatar

@marinelife I think that computer use skills will be front and center in education.

I doubt it. Computer skills were needed in the eighties – DOS etc., less in the nineties, now even eighty year old grandmas can use a modern computer and software. In ‘30s computers will be so intuitive and simple that no training or experience will likely be required.

bob_'s avatar

Fluency in Mandarin.

Jayy's avatar

In my eyes I think engineers will be much needed to solve the worlds biggest issue of climate change. The earth is a perfect organism which caters for an normous amount of complex and interlinked life forms which includes humans. As society progresses I think we need to shift our perspectives from advancing economic growth and power to preserving our planet. Call me a greenie but we only have one home and that’s earth.

wundayatta's avatar

I think there will be two or three kinds of jobs: jobs where thinking is important; jobs where specific technical training is important; and creative jobs, where a combination of special physical skills and mental skills are required.

I don’t think the qualifications will change much for mental jobs. You’ll need fluency with language and communication skills. You’ll need to be able to think. You’ll need a lot of background knowledge.

I’m not sure what kind of preparation trades people will need. Hand work will still be valued, and much of it can not be automated. Perhaps janitors will no longer be needed. We’ll have little cleaning machines that know what to do. In any case, reading and language fluency and knowledge of the specific trade will still be needed.

Sports and the arts will still require the same training. But smart people will still be what are needed.

So honestly, I don’t see the basic mission of education changing at all. The technology used to teach will change, but the underlying goals will be exactly the same. Trades might change the most, since there will be different trades needed, but mental and creative work won’t change except, once again, the technology used to perform that kind of work. But that’s just a little training.

Our worries will be the same, too: jobs, money, the good life; and dealing with the barriers to those things.

Financial centers? I think they will be distributed around the world. The Asians may strengthen a little, but their increased strength will not diminish New York’s and London’s importance. It’s not a zero-sum game. We’ll all get stronger.

cockswain's avatar

I have to agree that engineering will continue to be a necessary, high-demand skill. If I was to hazard a more specific guess, I would go with nanotechnology.

cockswain's avatar

@DarkScribe But the people that build and improve computer technology will be vital.

DarkScribe's avatar

@cockswain DarkScribe But the people that build and improve computer technology will be vital.

That has little to do with computer skills – that is maths and engineering or programming.

cockswain's avatar

@DarkScribe Fair enough, I guess I was a victim of semantics. I wasn’t viewing “computer skills” as someone who can browse the internet and put clip art in a power point presentation. I completely agree with you that everyone will be very proficient in the common interfaces.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Ok I’ll take a shot at the 2030 future.
After the Cipro War of 2021, (started in the Middle East by a radical group working with anthrax), the fast gene sequencer was produced, forever changing the way the medice is practiced. Genetic coding rather than chemical inhibition becomes the dominant treatment for 95% of all diseases.
Surgery is preformed robotically with some rural areas still using the archaic DaVinci system while newer facilities using the unmanned Rembrandt system developed by IBM in 2025.
Personal transportation is still popular but with gasoline at $23 per gallon the tellerium sulfide battery is now the prime mover with TS mining, processing, and packaging being the major industry in Belize and Guatemala one of the weathiest areas in the world.
Bioenergy crops developed by Ceres account for more than 18% of the total US exports contributing more to the economy than auto production.
Fusion technology will reach the 38% yield rate spurring the World Department of Energy to invest another $4.2 T in ignition and containment technologies. Engineers, and researchers are still in demand and have been promoted to rock star status.
Sadly, English and history majors will still be asking if you want fries with your order.

janbb's avatar

I think knowing how to learn new skills quickly and adjust to changing markets and technologies will be paramount. Sadly, I think a deep knowledge of the past and a grounding in the humanities will be less and less crucial.

talljasperman's avatar

how to salvage for food and supplies from everywhere….social skills….the 4 R’s reduce, recylce, reuse, and recover

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I think that excellent communication skills, the ability to think critically, the ability to self-teach a wide array of skills, the ability to solve practical problems and the ability to work well with others will continue to be valuable and essential in 20 years hence as they are now and were 20 years ago. I have no special skills as a futurist. A knowledge of several major world languages will be very important. A knowledge of historically critical skills related to securing and maintaining a safe food and water supply will be even more important in situations where infrastructure breaks down. The ability to empathize with and negotiate with others will be of great value. There is no excuse for a person to lack a knowledge of sciences and the humanities. Well-rounded people are great assets to society and have the greatest ability to adapt to changing circumstances. They should have the ability to respect others and laugh at themselves.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. Let me wade into this pissing a bunch of people off as I go.

1) Imagine a six year old today. What would be the most important qualifications he/she would need to be a “world citizen” in 2030? Understanding, logic, and empathy. A child today will find themselves in a much better position to be a world citizen if they are in the world as part of it and not islands unto themselves. To embrace and understand and or appreciate other customs not their own will be a boon for them

2) In what areas do you think we will see the major differences, comparing today and 2030? (like communication etc.) I see technology getting smarter, smaller, and faster. I can see devices that will make the 5G smart phone look like a donkey cart in an Indy car race. I see most daily operations being digitized or computerized so to keep up a child today will have to start thinking how to interface or use computer-like devices.

3) Are there any school subjects today that you think is a waste of time if you look at it in the perspective of “preparation for the future” (subjects that won’t be “necessary in 2030)? I can’t really think of any subject or course of study that will be totally useless even in 2030. No matter what all subjects will have something to impart or teach.

4) What will education and schools look like in 2030? I see the schools (at least most of them) finally getting smart and moving to vouchers, having the money attached to the student not the school or district. Then I can see schools moving to be like pod schools where certain schools concentrate on 2–4 core subjects and students moving between pod schools and classes daily several times a week. I can also see more virtual classes where the child will telecommute to class via the computer similar to video conferencing.

5) Where do you think the financial center will be in 2030? We can see today that it’s moving east – will China and east Asia be where it all happens? I think it will be Japan slugging it out with China with India as a close 3rd.

6) What will we worry about in 2030? Wars, terrorism, famine, climate etc? I think the worry outside of global and climate changes as well as imbalances in the eco system will come from pandemics, gene mutations that will be harder to stop and control. There will be wars but small stuff or civil wars within the walls of the nation in conflict. Terrorism will more controlled because of better technology to track them, or be alerted to possible attacks and threats. I think another big concern will be infrastructure the decay of bridges, roads, power grids and other things that keep society humming.

Response moderated
YARNLADY's avatar

You should know how to get water out of the ground, and how to make seeds grow, and how to prepare food without refrigerators or electricity, just in case.

The main thing will be flexibility. People who have to put their make-up on every morning and have a shower ever day, and who think milk comes from the grocery store are bound to have the most trouble.

mattbrowne's avatar

Science and engineering skills, especially those related to green technologies.

mcontrary1964's avatar

the most important skill we should teach the young “and old” is tolerance. happiness is an American dream while others are more accustomed to gratitude. ask a dying man if his expensive car still makes him happy. this is the me generation, if we want to survive 10 more years we we we need to become neighbors, communities, and so forth. instead of worrying over a world economy, we we we should be building a world community check out the Venus project….........lets build for our children.

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