Guest post by Mary Tighe
If you want to have an interesting conversation about “readiness” and the workforce, Will Geiger is your guy.
As a first-generation college student, his college search experience sparked his interest in education. While working in the postsecondary sector, he helped hundreds of students through the admission process and read nearly 10,000 applications. It quickly became clear to him that test scores, recommendations, interviews and essays are not necessarily the best predictors of postsecondary success.
Now, Will works at Knack, a mission-focused startup that uses gamification and predictive analytics to unlock talent and connect individuals to opportunities. He sees Knack as a valuable tool for students to show their cognitive, social and emotional skills, and, as director of education strategy and partnerships, he helps educational organizations innovate their recruitment and talent development processes.
KnowledgeWorks submitted a SXSWedu session that would feature Will’s perspective on how we can better ensure all students are prepared for success in the future. If our session is selected, he would be able to share his experience as a first-generation college-goer who now works to help more students achieve their goals.
I asked Will a few questions about readiness and the panel discussion. Learn more below, and be sure to vote for our session today!
Why do you think we should rethink what workforce readiness looks like in the future?
The current system simply is not working. Antiquated systems of credentialing, ineffective hiring processes and the rise of technology have all created an incredible inefficiency in our labor market. We can see one example of this here in the United States where records have been set for the number of job openings that have gone unfilled (according to the Labor Department, this number passed 6 million in June). This clearly shows that there is a mismatch in regards to how we prepare students for current job opportunities.
Based on your experience, what skills do you think employees will need to succeed in the future?
The ability to learn quickly and adapt to new environments is currently critical and will continue to be necessary for success. The World Economic Forum says that 65 percent of kids entering elementary school today will wind up working in jobs that don’t exist today. This is staggering and underscores the need for individuals who know how to learn and adapt.
Why do you think people should vote for this session?
The future of work is an incredibly complex topic that requires a multidisciplinary approach to truly appreciate the scope of it. This session leverages the collective wisdom of people with expertise in K-12 education, technology, education policy, and neuroscience, which will provide a robust overview and discussion of how we can prepare students to take advantage of the opportunities in the future.