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Schools should tailor curricula to skills needed for future jobs

Mr Vikram Khanna has rightly urged governments to upgrade "educational systems to cope with the changing demands of workplaces" in view of disappearing jobs and new jobs that will be created in the next decade (The scary and exciting future of jobs; Dec 6).

Professor Klaus Schwab in his book, The Fourth Industrial Revolution, discussed, among other things, supercomputing, intelligent robots and neuro-technological brain enhancements.

In the near future, competency-based certifications testing specific skills will become a global currency for both employers and job seekers.

Disruptive technologies, climate change, robotics, the cloud and ageing populations are some of the opportunities shaping the careers of the future.

With the cost of cyber attacks estimated to exceed billions of dollars a year, cyber security experts are also in demand.

Many of tomorrow's jobs will likely result from today's scientific and technological advances. But most jobs of the future probably do not exist yet, and a lot of them have not even been imagined. Perhaps two-thirds of today's kindergarten pupils will eventually have occupations that do not currently exist.

Our schools and universities should tailor their curricula to skills required for jobs of the future. Unless our curricula are overhauled, we will face the same problems faced by other nations, which have a plethora of graduates with skills that do not match the requirements of jobs.

Heng Cho Choon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 10, 2017, with the headline 'Schools should tailor curricula to skills needed for future jobs'. Print Edition | Subscribe