Living Longer Means More Jobs & Career Paths

In my last post I set the stage for predicting a New Era of MBA #NewEraMBA.

As part of this exercise, I welcomed everyone who reads or refers to this series of posts to join me in putting our heads together and predicting the future of MBA.

The one ground rule I established last time was to base any predictions you have on markets, the marketplace and social change.

LongevitySymbolThe information shared in this post is not a compilation of my actual predictions. Those will come later in this series. However, realities such as the following trends are meant for everyone’s consideration and benefit. I plan to weave them into my analysis on the current and future direction of the MBA.

We are living longer
One of the biggest drivers in the future of education and careers, which we all admit yet somehow fail to consider, is that we are living longer.

And, according to a gentleman named Rohit Talwar, we could potentially live and work a whole lot longer. Rohit Talwar chief executive of Fast Future, a business consultancy, is becoming the next Sir Kenneth Robinson and predicting bigger movements in education.

When addressing the equivalent of 300 global presidents in education recently, Mr. Talwar said, “A growing life expectancy will mean youngsters alive today  (his benchmark is an 11-year old) could potentially be living until 120 years old and working up to the age of 100.” He cites experts in the field who estimate that for every year new developments occur in aging we are adding 5 months of life expectancy to an 11-year old’s life today.

Implications of Aging on Jobs & Careers
Living longer means we’ll change jobs and experience multiple careers. According to Talwar,”Teachers should prepare students for a future that could see them having to work 40 different jobs.”

Assuming this prediction holds, in the span of two generations the number of jobs a worker can expect to have during his/her career will increase 5 fold. This is a far cry from professional workers in my parents’ generation who spent 40 years of their life at IBM.

At the opposite end of this spectrum, I am currently seeing this movement play out in the careers of young professionals now entering the workforce.

Since graduating in May of 2014, a 23-year old I recently started to coach has already switched jobs twice since obtaining his undergrad degree. And, he is currently working on side projects in order to eventually run his own business. A close friend of the 23-year old I coach is a computer engineer. His plan is to be a code jockey and program for the next 3-4 more years and then go back to school and work as an EMT or fireman.

Please consider longevity of careers, job pivots and generation flux when you forecast the coming New Era of MBA.

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