A couple weeks ago I came across an article that LinkedIn posted regarding data indicating the most promising jobs and in-demand skills for 2018. About this same time my 8th grader was applying for a specialized high school, and having to make some decisions about the specific programs he wanted to enter. While it feels awfully early to me for a 13 year old to have to consider these life setting decisions, I realized we had some pretty interesting data about both the market and my son and could be fairly strategic in our decision making.
We walked through the article and I described for him the types of work that might be involved with each of the jobs listed in it. He had some surprisingly strong opinions with several, both positive and negative. We discussed what he felt he would like and dislike about each, and what I recognized as his innate passions were very clear in his responses. We then compared the type of work/roles he found most interesting to the programs available in the various local high schools and completed his application, prioritizing his top 3 choices.
While the idea of looking through available programs and ranking them to what my son seems excited about may be obvious, layering in the additional information about future viability absolutely shifted the ranking of those programs. It is incredibly interesting to see how rapidly technology is impacting so many jobs, and we are fortunate to have so much data to help guide our decision making. While I am fairly certain his interests and passions will shift over time, to have given him a framework to evaluate those interests and passions against demand will serve him incredibly well throughout his education and entry into the workforce.
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