We all want the best for our children – we hope we raise them with important values such as empathy and kindness and, most of all, we want them to be happy. But we also want to prepare them for adult life and, hopefully, professional success. Rapid developments in technology are changing our lives at breathtaking speed, and the workplace of tomorrow will be very different from today. As automation and globalisation transform the world of work, what skills will employers be seeking in five or ten years? How can you ensure your child succeeds in an increasingly competitive job market?
A recent Deloitte report on the future of work highlights that, as Deloitte partner Frans Dagelet states, “a university degree will no longer be enough to guarantee continued employment – people will need to develop their innately human skills, while keeping their digital acumen up-to-date.” The ‘human’, or soft skills, that are most in demand by employers can be honed and developed by studying abroad. For example, children who learn languages abroad become more independent, more adaptable, more open-minded and more culturally aware – as well as offering language skills that are crucial in our global, interconnected world. International experience is also highly valued in job candidates, because, as studies have shown, people with this experience demonstrate better problem-solving and creative thinking skills, among other key competencies for professional success. And, while children can learn in all sorts of different ways, particularly in this digital age, learning by experience is always the most powerful and effective.
Read on to find out how you can prepare your child for career success!
The age of a-job-for-life is over and future employees need to be flexible in order to adapt to a constantly evolving job market. Being immersed in a different culture means having to adapt quickly to new circumstances and children that study abroad cultivate a flexible mindset that will stand them in good stead in their professional lives. As employees in the future, they will have the capacity to respond quickly to professional challenges, for example by learning new skills as job requirements change.
Help your children embrace a spirit of adventure
Children that leave the comfort zone of home to study abroad are showing a thirst for adventure and a willingness to embrace new challenges that should be encouraged. Although obviously they will be studying in a safe, controlled environment, they will still overcome small but important challenges every day without the help of a familiar support network – even if it’s something apparently mundane like working out where class is being held or how to order a soft drink in a café. By fostering this aptitude in your kids, you are helping them on the path to success in their future career.
Give your kids a multicultural perspective
The workplace has already become global, and professionals can have virtual meetings with colleagues in Australia or Japan as easily as with those who live in the next town. As a result, geographic boundaries will have a diminishing role to play when hiring and teams will become increasingly diverse and multicultural. Children who study abroad are immersed in a different culturealso have the chance to make friends from around the globe. This will help expand their world view and give them a multicultural perspective which will be crucial for their personal and professional development.
Expand language and communication skills
Studying languages abroad will give your kids the all-important hard skill of proficiency in a foreign language. This looks great on a CV, because international businesses need people with language skills for multicultural teams who may well be located in different parts of the world. Your child won’t just be able to offer a foreign language: studying abroad will expand their overall communication skills and their ability to make connections with others.
These are some of the key attributes, attitudes and competencies that your children will need as professionals in the workplace of the future. By giving your kids the opportunity to study abroad, you will be helping them to grow personally as well as to develop the crucial skills that will set them up for career success.
What do you think?