PenDragon - the official magazine of Lyford Cay International School PenDragon Vol 4, Spring 2018 - Page 8

IB Graduates Versus the Workplace of the Future By Cathy LeGrand, Librarian Schools grapple with how to provide education for this unknowable future. How will the school children of today navigate the uncharted waters of tomorrow? What skills and knowledge will be valuable in a future in which nothing is certain but the persistence of change and disruption? One obvious answer is the skills and knowledge that cannot be done more accurately by a computer or more efficiently by an automated system. People will always be called on to do those things that people inherently do better than machines, “soft” skills based on interpersonal interaction and human ingenuity. The key competencies of the future are already among the deliverables of an International Baccalaureate (IB) education. All historical images are in the public domain IB graduates bring to the table unique preparation for the world in front of them. They are ready to accept challenges, even ones they can’t envision today, and to devise innovative solutions to global problems, whatever they prove to be. Forget the robots and computers. The IB is preparing humans to rule the world. Teamwork is the ability to collaborate, the eternal “works and plays well with others.” The trend toward increasingly mobile and remote workplaces, facilitated by cloud computing, may not continue. But the risk of global disruptions that will influence how and when we work most likely will. Those who can work with yet-unknown and possibly ever-changing others will find the most success. IB students study more than one language and learn to operate in multicultural environments. Students learn to collaborate with their peers and to meet group deadlines. IB graduates are ready to cooperate with teammates across borders and through language barriers. Eastman Kodak was the world leader in sales in photography equipment and supplies–until digital cameras came along and packed Kodak’s business model up in mothballs. Those of us eager for the first self-driving cars to deliver us from the need to be behind the wheel are not thinking about how such technological advances will render the real-life job of “driver” obsolete. On the other hand, what if the workplaces and households of the future do include the friendly robots and flying cars that we have been promised? What will our daily lives and occupations look like if we are indeed freed from routine and mundane forms of labour? The essential knowledge and skills sets of today can quickly become outdated. What competencies will stand the test of time? The World Economic Forum’s 2016 study The Future of Jobs tries to address these questions in greater detail. Its findings indicate that the key competencies of the future are already among the deliverables of an International Baccalaureate (IB) education. IB graduates often begin their professional lives with a head start, equipped with with many of these evergreen and enduring soft skills such as teamwork, interdisciplinary design-thinking, and knowing how to learn. I will always remember how LCIS gave us exposure to the diverse nationalities of the students and teachers. This exposure, together with the rigorous academic requirements of the IB program, has enabled me to succeed in my career in the Far East, thousands of miles away from home. The IB programme was the first time I was really pushed out of my comfort zone, which prepared me for the real-life challenges that I face on a daily basis. Eduardo Vazquez (LCIS Class of 2006) Investment Management & Business Development Shangri-La Asia Ltd. Interdisciplinary design thinking leads to innovative problem solving. Schools often treat disciplines as “silos,” each a discrete realm with its own teacher and methods. If only life worked that way and problems stayed in their silos, ready for solving with obvious tools and existing applications. Innovation comes from tackling a problem in a creative way, from applying the techniques and methods of one discipline in a new setting. IB students complete a design course and, often, a STEAM programme (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) both of which challenge students to take a multidisciplinary and creative approach to solving problems. Lifelong learning encourages the deliberate pursuit of new knowledge and skills for personal and professional uses. An unpredictable future that could feature anything from the technological utopia of “Star Trek” to the extremes of the zombie apocalypse will require workers and citizens who have the capacity and motivation to learn new things, even after their official school days are over. The IB has long recognized this skill set; one of its proclaimed goals is to provide a school environment that “creates lifelong learners.” IB students engage in academic and service activity that includes experiential learning that asks them to extend their skills and knowledge outside of the classroom. Students develop the ability to focus their curiosity to productive ends and the mindset and resources to nurture their own growth. To an IB student, learning is a journey without end. Among our staff are two IB graduates from LCIS. These two have especially well-rounded skills. They both studied and worked abroad and then came home to work in our equally international environment. By coming home, they are bringing back their unique knowledge and expertise. These LCIS graduates are the future leaders of The Bahamas. Federico A. Riegé Managing Director Senior Advisor Julius Baer Bank & Trust (Bahamas) Limited