Over ten years ago, certain jobs such as a social media manager, an Uber driver, a data scientist or an influencer, did not exist. In industries such as marketing, the available technology restricted them to simple methods of communication including television, newspapers and radio. However, as we mark a new decade, we also mark a time where the world has rapidly evolved, welcoming not just new technologies or economies, but also new cultures and lifestyles. While to many this evolution brings a lot of excitement and development, it has also been received with trepidation especially from those not ready to receive these changes. As young people, our biggest worry is that although we are educated, we are not fully equipped or prepared for the world of tomorrow. So, in a rapidly and ever-changing world, how then do we ensure that what we learn today enables us to handle tomorrow?
For a long time, getting degrees was treated as the main way of achieving dreams. However, as technologies and innovations rapidly advance, it’s becoming obvious that many of our education curriculums cover outdated information that fails to match up to recent trends and practices. As a result, many students end up graduating with degrees but don’t get jobs.
Now imagine a reality where this was not the case. A time where students had something that kept them going long after their degrees had become irrelevant. I believe that in order for us youth to be properly prepared for the rising changes, we need to be driven by purpose and not just a degree. A purpose is more intrinsic. It allows us to explore our inner desires and our potential to bring impact. With purpose, one knows that even though their degree may not be helpful in a certain area, they are able to forge through based on their passion. For example, if a student is interested in changing the world through technology but does not have the technical skills, they can explore other avenues beyond their degree that will help them get into technology.
Although many universities have not adopted this approach, the African Leadership University is one educational institution that is particularly pushing this narrative. Their message, choose missions not majors, empowers students to take their learning beyond the classroom and begin crafting their own experience where they pursue their purpose. As a result, students are not just limited to their degree courses, but they have the opportunity to explore other interests and experiences.
So as the world adapts to changing times, it is important that our youth are equipped and better prepared to thrive during these times. The emphasis should not just be on pursuing a degree, but most importantly, on being led by a purpose. Purpose transcends time and will take you where a degree is no longer helpful.