Education is a simple, inescapable, “minimum necessity” for success. My education afforded me the opportunity to pursue any career that I desire. I am a law firm partner, specializing in energy law, who took a traditional educational path—high school, college, and law school.
However, when I look at young students today, I realize that a traditional educational path to a traditional career may not be what the Millennial Generation will pursue.
While today’s workplace opportunities are evolving at an unprecedented pace, largely due to technological advancements, core educational curricula are falling far short in preparing students to be successful in the workplace of the future. I think there is a shocking de-emphasis on core competencies like logic, expansive reading, spelling, basic math, grammar, speech—the basis of “good thinking.”
If schools do not quickly address this deficiency, we will produce a generation of students who are woefully unprepared to enter the workforce. Workplaces are in danger of facing a deficit in entry-level talent sufficient to compete globally.
My work in the energy sector convinces me that high schools—private, elite, charter, and public—must focus on STEM subjects, in addition to the core competencies required to fuel imaginative problem solving by future leaders, the Millennials. The world is changing at a record pace and the challenges we face as to the highest and best use of natural resources, among a myriad of other things, will need to be solved by Millennials. A foundation in core competencies such as the STEM subjects, coupled with the ability to think critically and globally, will provide the Millennials tools to blaze new trails and find new solutions to global challenges. This is especially true for women.
Education provides women access and the opportunity to excel and achieve in the workplace. Data show that we are all better off when women are involved in innovation and problem solving. After all, women are half (or more) of the population and it will take contributions from all Millennials to ensure a brighter future for us all.