Student skills: Are we doing enough?

Student skills: Are we doing enough?

Summary: The next generation is growing up in an economy heavily reliant on digital skills, and are more likely to be saddled with long-term debt. Are we doing enough to teach them valuable skills for when they leave school?

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TOPICS: Banking
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With the global expansion of computer technology, social media and internet platforms are now used for a variety of tasks from study to shopping.

There is a widening shortage of a work force that possesses valuable computing skills that extends no further than personal use. Students are saddled with increasing costs of living, and its more commonplace for the younger generation to be juggling financial worries than being clear of debt.

But are we doing enough to educate the next generation in both skills that can improve their future prospects?

Information and advice that centers on issues like cyber-bullying, privacy and how information shared online may affect future career prospects is slowly finding its way in to some school curricula. But are we doing enough to equip children in a more complicated, digital economy?

Diane Doersch, director of instructional technology Neenah Joint School District said: "Kids [..] see the Internet as a tool to communicate with their friends, but neglect to see how that might be used against them."

If they don't learn now, then this may be detrimental for future prospects.

More than half of employers are using the Internet to research potential future employees, and there have even been cases of employers refusing to hire someone based on their online information, or fire them thereafter.

The next generation need to learn a new mode of behaviour, and how to conduct themselves carefully online.

It's now not only about teaching children not to talk to strangers, it's about educating them on what they should post online, and what they should keep private. Privacy borders have changed, and the next generation needs to become more aware of it.

Generation Y are known to be sophisticated in their use of technology, but not necessarily understanding its impact. However, their expertise generally lies within personal use rather than the study of technology outside of the home. They know how to use Twitter, but don't necessarily know how it works.

Prime Minister David Cameron has admitted that the U.K government is not doing enough to teach the next generation about computer science. Every business needs I.T -- from computer software engineers to receptionists. It has become an important skill to be able to use networks and software properly, but many Western school systems don't seem to have caught up yet with this change in demand.

If we want to secure our own economic security as well as the global economy, then learning skills that are in increasing demand is a way to do so.

Another element of the next generation's education that seems to be ignored is financial knowledge. Sure, it doesn't seem that interesting, but learning about credit ratings and mortgages are far more applicable to life than trigonometry.

Once a student finishes their education, it is almost certain they will be saddled with debt at some point in their lives. It may be simply the rising cost of living, the unrestrained use of credit cards, university costs or unfortunate events like job loss, but it's bound to happen. In our current economy, public debt is escalating, and this in turn is a limiting factor in economic recovery.

Personal finance tuition has no current solid foundations within study, with only 45 percent of teachers responding to a survey by the inquiry saying they had ever taught it. Why?

As debt is now a constant and serious aspect of many peoples' lives, a group of UK members of Parliament recently suggested children should attend compulsory financial education lessons from a young age -- potentially starting from the age of five.

The MPs warn that unless the lessons are brought in, young people face being plunged into debt within months of leaving school, and left without the knowledge or tools to control their finances adequately.

Andrew Percy MP, who chaired the inquiry, said: "[..] too many of our school leavers, who can perform complex mathematical equations and algebra, have no idea what basic financial terms like APR and PPI mean -- leaving them without the necessary level of financial literacy to make decisions in an increasingly complex financial world."

If we don't alter our school systems to equip following generations with necessary skills like information technology and finance, we are not only doing them a disservice, but threaten our own economic growth and expansion.

Children aren't necessarily aware that the Internet can be used for more purposes than Facebook -- from using LinkedIn to maintain contacts to using Twitter for a job search. Personal use of the Internet in the Generation Y may be advanced, but it's not enough to stem the shortage gap or equip children properly for an economy than is increasingly reliant on digital networks to survive and expand.

Perhaps financial education would be a long-term solution to stem irresponsible borrowing, and no doubt more in-depth tuition on finance will help equip school leavers for the 'real world'.

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Topic: Banking

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26 comments
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  • RE: Student skills: Are we doing enough?

    Kids learn 'irresponsible borrowing' habits at home. Financial education should start with parents not maxing out their plastic and buying all sorts of crap they can't afford. Let's not toss yet another thing to government because we're too lazy to do it ourselves.
    wendellgee2
    • RE: Student skills: Are we doing enough?

      @wendellgee@... Ain't that the truth. You would think by now people are fed up with too much government intrusion in our personal lives. If I wanted communism I'd move to China.
      smulji
      • RE: Student skills: Are we doing enough?

        Actually this post doesn't really apply to China since the average Chinese are better savers and do not use credit cards. Which country do you think holds most of the US debts? And who do you think Europe is looking to for help with their debt crisis?<br><br>Second, there is no shortage of tech workers in China. In fact, there is a surplus of educated tech workers in China. Read the Foxconn article about how the Chinese were able to supply Apple with 8700 engineers in 15 days, which would take 9 months to find the same in the US and at a higher salary demand.
        ArquitectoInstruccional
      • Also, China isn't really all that communist anymore.

        @smulji... There are State owned industries, but more and more of it is privatized, and operate in a capitalist market. Also many more American's are going to China for Opportunities that they cannot find here. Your argument is out dated, and doesn't really apply to modern day China.
        Snooki_smoosh_smoosh
      • You're joking, yes?

        ArquitectoInstruccional -

        It's not just saving, since 50 cents per hour only goes so far... The Chinese economy must therefore make 50 cents per hour viable to their people, the same way that - adjusted for inflation - wages would allow a person to live here.

        Your glib generalizations are amusing, but they aren't completely realistic or encompassing.

        So maybe we should have a one-world economy, one-world government, one set of wages, one set of costs... What's your answer to that, since you would rather sit here at home and exploit everyone else in the process.
        HypnoToad72
      • Wake-up call

        @smulji -

        Government intrusion? Well, we have the best government money can buy, I suppose:

        http://www.ontheissues.org/senate/Rick_Santorum.htm#Corporations
        http://www.ontheissues.org/john_mccain.htm#Corporations
        http://www.ontheissues.org/senate/mitch_mcconnell.htm#Corporations
        http://www.ontheissues.org/senate/jim_demint.htm#Corporations
        http://www.issues2000.org/senate/Judd_Gregg.htm#Corporations

        "Voted NO on repealing tax subsidy for companies which move US jobs offshore. (Mar 2005)"

        Now, read that - giving taxpayer money to corporations that offshore (to communist countries). This means people in America are out of work as we're shipping jobs overseas. This also means we create a revenue problem because there are fewer working people to tax.

        Government interferes in all sorts of ways:

        http://underthemountainbunker.com/2011/03/31/senator-bernie-sanders-guide-to-corporate-freeloaders/
        http://www.ctj.org/html/layoffs.htm
        http://www.truth-out.org/top-us-corporations-outsourced-more-24-million-american-jobs-over-last-decade/1303196400
        http://www.ctj.org/html/corp0402.htm
        http://www.sociology.vt.edu/course/socprobs/corporatewelfare.html
        http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=6283
        http://ecosalon.com/squawk-our-tax-dollars-help-mcdonalds-hawk-chicken-in-europe/
        http://drich13.newsvine.com/_news/2011/03/20/6307764-study-governor-walkers-budget-will-cut-21843-jobs-could-actually-hurt-state-economy
        http://www.progress.org/cwfedex.htm
        ?http://www.infoworld.com/d/adventures-in-it/why-us-it-jobs-arent-coming-back-465?source=fssr
        http://www.infoworld.com/d/the-industry-standard/beware-the-plot-increase-the-h-1b-visa-program-269
        http://hubpages.com/hub/HowH1BVisaFRAUDiskillingAmerica?
        http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9133529/U.S._H_1B_workers_outnumber_unemployed_techies
        http://www.ourfuture.org/corporate-welfare
        http://mydd.com/story/2007/2/7/184312/5388
        http://greatdivide.typepad.com/across_the_great_divide/2009/06/walmart-workers-on-welfare-lets-look-for-the-spin.html
        http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2003/3045walmart_iowa.html
        http://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-to-grassley-were-still-using-h-1bs-no-moral-imperative-to-hire-americans-2009-3
        http://www.google.com/search?q=americans+train+replacements+H1B
        HypnoToad72
    • No plastic here, but student loans are inevitable...

      Only those not in college and sitting on a high pedestal or high chair have no clue about how costs have skyrocketed far and above inflation and other factors...

      So if we can't afford college, how the bleep do we get the degree that companies want?

      Cool catch-22, huh?

      How many jobs must a person work for each 24 hours?

      What happened to middle class wages, adjusted to inflation?

      http://www.realitybase.org/journal/2009/3/10/the-american-dream-died-in-february-1973.html

      Indeed, I can fathom an interesting reason as to why college costs are so overinflated these days... here's a hint: We allow debt forgiveness and bankruptcy to gamblers, those in the hospital, and business owners... but we don't to people working their butts off to improve themselves and their communities.

      I'll spare my "Liberal" responses the moment you people think outside of what Beck, Limbaugh, and other out-of-touch professional whiners shove down your throats.
      HypnoToad72
  • IT and finance skills curricula

    [i]If we dont alter our school systems to equip following generations with necessary skills like information technology and finance, we are not only doing them a disservice, but threaten our own economic growth and expansion.[/i]<br><br>All this is good and dandy, but what good are such suppositions if there are no jobs available to tap with that brass in pocket? It's kind of shortsighted to accuse the masses of "irresponsible borrowing" at this point in time when they are dealing with the loss of their jobs and homes [i]en masse[/i]. Student prospects are little better.<br><br>A foot up or even degree in finance means little when you're standing in an unemployment line.
    klumper
    • Actually, IT worker is in shortage

      @klumper
      Mid-level can earn 80k easily.
      ZenithY
      • Yeah that's what they keep sayin'

        @ZenithY<br>'Till you get in line and discover you're competing with a million unemployed, underemployed, H1B and foreign scab competitors for positions mysteriously paying far less than that. It's even worse if you have a few years (now known as "baggage") under your belt.<br><br>As for the money men carrying appellations like old Soviet generals wore medals, they win whether times are good or bad, having learned to manipulate the system both ways. Sorta like undertakers. It's quite a rig.
        klumper
      • Sure

        Still, in one of my responses above I did point out an article where a IT CEO was lying to congress about not driving down wages... there might be another link showing how wages have not kept up with inflation on top of that as well...
        HypnoToad72
  • RE: Student skills: Are we doing enough?

    Or maybe teach kids what Fractional Reserve Banking is, how it allows people to borrow, and how it will ultimately result in hyperinflation and a loss of national sovereignty through IMF debt demands.
    Vapur9
    • RE: Student skills: Are we doing enough?

      @Vapur9 Vapur9 FTW. I couldn't agree more. I think the best financial "education" kids can get is watching the documentary Money Masters. It's long as heck but it's very truthful in how it portrays the world's financial system.
      smulji
      • Agreed as well

        I'll check out that program as well...
        HypnoToad72
  • RE: Student skills: Are we doing enough?

    There is nothing in financial skills except money in and money out and unfair profit - all the rest is obfuscation or disguised gambling.

    These financial morons put us in the mess we have now, due to their inability to understand basic mathematics and probability.

    We have no need for financial advisors, we just need a simpler financial system and keeping these guys as far away from educating kids as possible.
    tonymcs@...
    • Well said

      @tonymcs@...

      nt
      klumper
    • Economics is a lot more complicated than the simple, make a purchase,

      and pay for it. <br><br>That's economics for the stone age.<br><br>People do need to get an understanding about how the monetary system and banking and government and businesses and the underlying economics principles all work to affect their daily lives.<br><br>If it's too complicated for the simple-minded to grasp, then there are methods that can get them to understand in simple terms, but they won't be expected to be leaders in banking or in government.
      adornoe
      • The Awesome Aussie and I don't always agree

        @adornoe@... [i]As for the rest of the world feels about you, go away and leave us alone; you and Tonymcs, who refuse to understand that, simple-mindedness went out with the stone age. [/i]<br><br>Except for the part about dragging our women around by the hair. But that being par for the course among Neanderthals, we're all devolving my good man. The human [s]race[/s] maze, and the rats within it. When will you learn that and return to your cave man roots?<br><br>Denial is an ugly thing.<br><br>[And look at this, they placed my post above yours though it came considerably later. What does that tell you about the pecking order of things?]. w00t
        klumper
      • Well, klumper, you are welcome to continue living in the stone age,

        and living in your cave. And if you like dragging your woman around by the hair, who am I to stop you if she loves or tolerates it? Different strokes for different folks.<br><br>But, one has to recognize that, the world moves on, and progress demands more than a stone age mentality. It's apparent that, the modern day has passed you by, but, perhaps you should do as the other current world's stone-age "civilizations" and remain in hiding or in denial. The Taliban, for example, would like for the world to go back to ancient times where things were a lot "simpler" and most issues were local and simple religion was all that was needed as a guide to one's daily life. Perhaps that's where you need to be. <br><br>As for the rest of the world feels about you, go away and leave us alone; you and Tonymcs, who refuse to understand that, simple-mindedness went out with the stone age.
        adornoe
      • OK...

        @adornoe

        The "modern age" has done little more than shroud and quietly prop-up the same caveman methods that were upended by religious texts such as "The Bible" some 6000 years ago, followed up with a second Testament with even more obvious statements made 2000 years ago... people wrote, nobody learned... or learned what they preferred to read, and - of course - the words were written in a different day and age, in a different context, and may or may not have been translated with total veracity... I sympathize for the shellfish and the women of Ezekiel 23:20, too...
        HypnoToad72