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‘Gen Z’ Educators Believe They are Prepping Students for Jobs that Don’t Exist Yet

‘Gen Z’ Educators Believe They are Prepping Students for Jobs that Don’t Exist Yet

Adobe recently asked 1,000 “Generation Z” students and 400 of their teachers a series of questions to get a better idea of what we can expect when students born between 1996 and 2010 start to enter the workforce.

According to the survey, the overwhelming majority of educators (94 percent) believe students will graduate to take on jobs that don’t yet exist; 75 percent said they need better tools to best prepare students for this future unpredictable workforce.

Overall, educators believe too much reliance on technology and not enough focus on creativity is a major setback in education today. 75 percent of teachers said they wish there was more focus on creativity in their classes/curriculum.

While most agree that the necessary technology is in place in their classrooms and schools, the curriculum has not yet caught up to be inclusive of new tech.

"We...aren’t updating our curriculum to the technological age,” said one teacher in an open-ended response.

"Curriculum is WAY behind these kids...you can view instantaneous info whereas textbooks and papers are obsolete. Also, Gen Z students want to be entertained...they will believe/trust YouTube over a textbook any day,” said another.

When it comes to educational priorities, the study found that Gen Z educators are far more interested in promoting interactivity through tools like digital media (videos/podcasts) than educators of previous generations and way less likely to prioritize the memorization of facts and historical information.

In general, the majority of educators believe hands-on learning is a way to help their students develop successful habits. 66 percent of teachers surveyed believe that providing students with more hands-on learning opportunities is a method to “better prepare Gen Z for the future workforce.”

For Gen Z students, the survey results indicate that the push for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning is working.

When asked about what classes are their favorite to take, are most likely to be useful for life after school, and require a form of creativity, computers, technology, science and engineering classes represented all three categories.

When asked what their dream job is, the majority said “engineer.”

“Teachers, administrators and education leaders face a huge challenge in preparing their students for today’s world, and can show they are serious about this duty by taking action to update the curriculum to better reflect 21st century skills and support professional development,” said Dr. Gerard J. Puccio, leading creativity researcher and Department Chair and Professor at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo, in a statement for Adobe.

Are you a Gen Z educator? Take our survey below to weigh-in on whether you agree curriculum needs to better reflect 21st century workforce demands.

Read the full study here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

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