Friday, 20 September 2013

Work, training, schooling

One of the cutest things the boys do right now is pretend to work where Daddy works.  James owns and operates a small family business, a moving company that specializes in helping seniors move into retirement homes.  It's a far cry from the film degree he earned in university, but he is a real life president of a real life company that is pretty successful.  For the last 7 years he has put his nose to the grindstone and built it up into a thriving company.

So the boys love to play "Senior Moving."  They pick furniture up and move it around the home.  If I need something toted to the car, or in the backyard, they always come together and pick it up and chatter about how they are moving like they do in Daddy's company.  James came up with a little jingle for the business a few years back, and the boys sing it as they go.  Priceless.

They also talk about one day doing what Daddy does.  There has been some talk lately about jobs, careers, and also university and schooling.  What university did Daddy go to?  Then comes the conversation about how although those four years taught Daddy a lot, they didn't have much to do with owning and operating a moving company.  What university will we go to?  Well, that depends on what you want to do.

I realized that while some professions and careers will always require higher education schooling, training, and certification (the medical profession, for example), I wonder if by the time Colin is college-age if post-secondary education will hold the same level of importance it holds today.  Already you can see in some job postings "university degree or equivalent experience."  Employers are recognizing two things: 1) that most of the real-world learning you do doesn't happen in a classroom and 2) anyone can learn the specifics of an industry if they have a strong work ethic, critical thinking skills, and an ability to learn and be taught.  The result, I believe, is that universities and colleges will return to their original purposes: the former to experience and engage in ideas, and the latter to train for specific trades where a mentor is unknown or unavailable.  We will lose (finally!) this idea that we must attend school in order to be ready to work.  We will acknowledge (finally!) the knowledge of experts within the field and years of experience rather than the authority of textbooks.

So, for now, I tell my boys that if they want to do what Daddy does, then they won't need to go to university.  Instead, they will work alongside their father, watching, learning, (failing,) understanding, engaging.  In seven years James managed to figure most of it out on his own, and learned the rest from his own entrepreneurial father.  In the four years the boys would spend in university, they would learn much, much more from working day to day actually running a business.

1 comment:

Mom said...

I heard the other day on a news program that the jobs your children will be doing haven't even been invented yet. With the rate at which technology is advancing, many new jobs are being created every day.