A study of school children and teachers has found that 94% of students and 90% of teachers think that technology tools play a key role in Gen Z’s long-term career preparedness. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
With its rapid expansion and unprecedented growth opportunity, India is at the centre stage of the ripple effect being created by the adoption of digital technologies. The onset of this digital revolution has engrained technology into every aspect of our lives, and transformed the way we experience the world – including the way we think, interact, entertain, work, and relate to the everything around us.
Born into the age of technology, India’s Gen Z (usually those born between 1995–2014) population comprises of digital natives, who are already using the power of technology for every task – big and small. As the world’s youngest population just starting work, Gen Z in India see technology as the backbone of their personal and professional lives. In fact, they are more eager than ever, to see how technology can help them be more innovative, creative, and prepare them for solid careers for the long haul. Educational institutes too, have grown to acknowledge the critical role of technology in helping students truly leverage the wide range of opportunities that lie ahead.
Adobe’s study: Gen Z in the Classroom: Creating the Future” recently surveyed 500 students aged 11-17 years and 200 teachers across India, gathering their perspectives on learning, role played by technology and creativity as well as the future workforce. The findings reaffirm the need for creativity and technology in learning environments to thrive in tandem, and are symbolic of how India’s education curriculum needs to evolve, to help students, gear up for a fast-changing world.
The research concluded that a staggering 95% of students and 91% of teachers see creativity as essential to Gen Z students’ future careers. The study also found that 94% of students and 90% of teachers think technology tools play a key role in Gen Z’s long-term career preparedness – thus highlighting that synergies in creative thinking and technology based learning have already become instrumental in helping Gen Z students stand apart in the future workforce. While the need for technology across educational institutes is obvious, fostering creativity is also essential.
As per the Adobe study’s findings, while Gen Z feel they are more creative than past generations, with teachers agreeing wholeheartedly, 92% students and 89% teachers expressed a mutual wish to see an increased focus on creativity in the classroom. India’s remarkable growth story has paved the way for a new stream of compelling and creative careers. When asked if they thought their future careers would involve creativity, 62% of students agreed, and 90% of teachers felt their Gen Z students will have careers that do not exist today.
But how prepared are our Gen Z for the future? Interestingly, while excited about their prospects, Gen Z – characterised as creative, curious and confident by students and teachers alike – express a nervousness about their future careers. As per the study, only 31% of Gen Z students in India feel very prepared for the future. As 60% of our educators’ rate willingness to embrace hands-on learning in their classrooms as the most effective learning tool, the answer is simple: the best way ahead is to leverage the power of technology to prepare students for the future through a ‘doing and creating’ approach. Parents too, must encourage Gen Z children to go beyond the traditional mediums of learning, and discover new ways in which digital tools can help them experience what they learn. Digital and online interactive media including videos, podcast, and app based tutorials can play a big role in making education more relevant, relatable, and real for students. Increasingly, creative online courses have started to play a big role in helping India’s Gen Z gather deeper insights into subjects that interest them, and offer them fresh perspectives on career paths for the future.
As Gen Z constantly strives to look for better, faster and smarter way of doing things, the slow and steady shift in the way educational institutes approach learning will strongly drive the future of our country’s next-gen workforce by positively shaping their careers for success.