Irish Examiner view: Changing nature of job roles

Irish Examiner view: Changing nature of job roles

What if your child wants to become a UX designer? Or a Twitch streamer? Or a machine learning engineer? Or a Wizard of Want?

It’s a truism often stated by politicians and educationalists that children now at primary schools will take up careers in jobs and roles that don’t yet exist. They mean well in saying this, but it is of little value to parents trying to help and advise their youngsters which direction to take.

One advertisement today (from a software company specialising in the development of non-fungible tokens from artists) seeks the services of a scrum master. Not someone in the tradition of Peter Stringer, but a recruit who can “facilitate getting the work done without coercion, assigning, or dictating”. 

They will need to be experienced in various burndown techniques, retrospective technologies and have a “servant leadership style”. What?

What if your child wants to become a UX designer? Or a Twitch streamer? Or a machine learning engineer? Or a Wizard of Want? Or a Penultimate Master (both American)? Or a chief impact officer? (Sorry, that one’s already taken by Prince Harry.) 

George Bernard Shaw said that all professions were conspiracies against the laity in his 1906 play The Doctor’s Dilemma and the excluding use of jargon and secret language, which has accelerated in the past two decades, is certainly part of that.

So, how to help children develop their options? A survey of 2,000 parents of secondary school pupils in England found that more than two-thirds of them are lost in a “job fog”, overwhelmed as their offspring show interest in careers about which they know nothing. 

The suggestion is that they have to make their own choices but that parents should encourage them to learn a mix of art, science, computing, and coding.

At least Fáilte Ireland is talking to older people in plain language they can understand. They are targeting pensioners and parents to help them pull the hospitality industry out of its staffing crisis. A €700,000 recruitment campaign called ‘Works for Me’ will stress the advantages of flexible hours. 

That sounds good. Where’s that application form?

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