Young Upstarts

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How Education Can Take A Lesson From Coworking

by Peter Yu, General Manager (Singapore) of Campfire Collaborative Spaces

The myth that having the best education guarantees a clear route to career success is an ideal that has been disproven by stories of outliers finding success. Success, that upon first glance looks disproportionate to the level of formal education they might have received.

Seeing the emergence of the startup that succeeds through the combination of the right technological expertise, advantage, and out-of-the-box thinking has allowed them to grow to become legitimate competitors to larger corporations, and a model that traditional businesses have been trying to emulate.

These disruptions happening in the workforce across different industries are big enough that we should examine closely the education we give our children to get them ready for a future work landscape that can be drastically different from what we know. Where the lessons they learn through their years of education become disconnected to what their jobs and roles need.

In America alone, there are up to 13 different types of schools, that gives a glimpse to the options in public and private schools, and once you start adding in homeschooling variations you can see that there are many views on how best to educate our young.

Among the different education types, we can see technology changing up the game where established educational institutions have moved into the realm of massively open online courses (MOOCs). Along with social connectivity, user-generated content geared towards education can be created and shared quicker, in this way, drawing similarities between traditional corporations and startups.

We have seen how the shift in working styles has gone through their own different variations to find the right fit. Covering the whole spectrum from the traditional 9-5, which required full attendance to organisations going hands-free via remote working, to varying degrees of success.

Comparing the mileage between working styles, it seems that the balance that coworking brings helps combine the advantages of both styles, enabling workers to shift and adjust themselves to get the job done. A mix of autonomy, direction, and good time management allows adopters of coworking to get more done. And let us not forget the different benefits where the coworking space houses its own ecosystem consisting of different professionals offering different services across different industries. These other intangible benefits confer a huge advantage and make the space attractive enough to want to head to, get work done, and explore other possible angles that open up.

If we can see these similarities that are taking place between the working world, and the educational platforms that precede them, it would be in our best interests to help education and work meet in the middle. Ensuring that the preparation mirrors the challenges and environments that students will find themselves in the working world, that we prepare them as much as we can.

Using vocational education as an example, we can see how specific education, in this case, provides the students with clear proficiencies in a trade, where upon completion of the education, a job that fits their training awaits, the correlation is direct.

Studies have shown that 85% of jobs will exist that have not been invented yet by 2030. This makes preparing for the future an extremely daunting task. If we cannot properly predict the skills needed to prepare our future workforce, perhaps the first step we can take to close the gap would be for the educational structure to mimic the direction that work is taking.

By shifting our perspective to structuring our education to mimic the success of coworking, we will be in a better position. It is time that experts in the field of education explore how the coworking model can be repurposed for co-education to level the playing field for us all.

 

Peter Yu is General Manager (Singapore) of Campfire Collaborative Spaces. He is a Digital PR Strategist & Inbound Marketeer who passionately champions the future of collaborative spaces at Campfire.work. Previously, he was the Head of Public Relations at various successful startups like Dropmysite (reverse-IPO) and Folr (multi-million dollar acquisition). He specializes in creating meaningful and long-lasting conversations about game-changing businesses that go after grand ideas.

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