A recent study showed that the number of freelancers in America will overtake full-time workers by 2027. This pattern shows us exactly where the worldwide market is heading. We are in the 'Fourth Industrial Revolution'. The rapid advance of technology is bringing about an age of automation and the demands of employers are changing.
Today, there are as many old professions becoming obsolete as there are new professions emerging. A digital economy has given rise to the likes of bloggers, graphic designers, web developers and computer programmers. Each of these specialist skills are rising in demand. It is important to be aware of this shift and take the appropriate steps to prepare the next generation of children.
To increase their chances in this market, many people are choosing to learn new skills online. With the help of a number of freelance websites (Upwork, Fiverr, Toptal, to name a few), these skills can quickly become a consistent source of income. The earnings are by no means less than that of a full-time job. To give an example, a 27 year old computer programmer was able to earn twice his salary through freelance work than his previous job at Google. The potential is limitless!
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According to renowned computer scientist, Jeannette M. Wing, computational thinking skill is the most in-demand skill in the age of information. Computational thinking allows us to problem-solve and think like a computer scientist. more
Programming at Early Ages
Educators agree that the best age to learn a skill like math or language is ages 5 - 11 years old. Similarly, children need to start learning coding at an early age to build a deeper foundation for their future.
MIT App Inventor
MIT professor Hal Abelson took the initiative to build a platform to to make app development easy and accessible for people who were non-programmers, even kids.
Python is one of the most popular programming language in the world right now which has helped create platforms like Facebook and Youtube! And surprisingly it is so simple that kids aged 5 years old can understand it.
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How can you equip your child with the necessary skills to survive in a 'freelance economy'?
Unfortunately, the traditional schooling system will not be sufficient. The learning path is too linear and limited for a comprehensive education. All the resources a child needs are online. Give them a chance and enrol them for a course. Let them try their hand at graphic design, web development or computer programming. There is no harm in trying but there is certainly harm in not trying.