Educating Youth for Nonexistent/Not Yet Existing Professions

P.A. Kirschner*, S.T. Stoyanov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In today’s and tomorrow’s world, people will be required to work longer. At the same time, their employment future will become increasingly insecure due to technological advances and obsolescence of acquired knowledge and skills. This means that something needs to happen in the education and training of our youth. Using a group concept mapping (GCM) procedure, experts in different fields (educators, educational researchers, human resource professionals, etc.) from primarily Europe and North America generated 239 ideas with regard to the trigger statement: “One specific way to prepare youth to make effective and efficient use of information skills to optimally function in tomorrow’s labour market is . . . .” The generated ideas were sorted into 15 thematic clusters (i.e., Critical Thinking, Skills Transfer, High-Level Thinking, Competences, Metacognition and Reflection, Efficacy [Self-Image] Building, Learn in Authentic Situations, Integrate School and Profession, Collaboration, Teacher Professionalization, Information Literacy, Redesign the School, Literacy, and Numeracy, Information Skills, and Learn for the Future) and then rated with respect to their importance and ease/difficulty of implementation. The results showed a disconnect between what was important and ease of implementation with highly important clusters judged to be difficult to implement and vice versa. This led to the definition of a 3-stage approach to adapting education to prepare youth for shortly nonexistent/not yet existing professions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-517
Number of pages41
JournalEducational Policy
Issue number3
Early online date26 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


  • 21st century skills
  • 21st-century skills
  • employment
  • future-proof learning
  • group concept mapping
  • information skills
  • secondary vocational education


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