For Australia to remain competitive and at the forefront of innovation and education, it is crucial to understand the current trends, influences and challenges in the education sector. Education is foundational to any society and has the power to determine its future.

Generation Z, who were born between 1995 and 2009, are the largest generation ever, comprising around 20% of Australia’s population and almost 30% of the world’s population.  Globally there are almost 2 billion of them.

They are the first fully global generation, shaped in the 21st century, connected through digital devices, and engaged through social media.

The 2016 Education Future Report showed that over 70% of the newest wave of high school graduates, Generation Z, are pursuing further education and training, with almost half of them going on to university. It is predicted that they may have up to 17 jobs across 5 careers in their lifetime.

So how is today’s education system providing for this generation of lifelong learners?

The report found that only one in three parents (36%) strongly or somewhat agree that schools are effectively future proofing students for numerous jobs across multiple careers.

Technology is not the enemy

CEDA predicts that 5.1 million of jobs (44%) will be at risk of disruption within the next 10-15 years.

Furthermore, over half of parents (51%) strongly or somewhat agreed that many jobs will be at high risk of digital disruption and that schools should use technology to future proof careers and students’ learning. However, only two in five (41%) think that schools are effectively future proofing students for numerous jobs across multiple careers.

There is also a growing demand for enterprise skills among employers. These include digital skills, critical thinking, creativity and presentation skills.

Roles that require creative input, people-focus, leadership skills or high-level communication talent can be futureproofed as they cannot be effectively replaced by technology.

Future-proofing careers

By 2030, according to FYA New Work Smarts (2017), workers will spend 30% more time learning on the job; 100% more time at work solving problems, 41% more time in critical thinking, 77% more time using science and maths skills, and 17% more time using verbal communication and interpersonal skills.

Conversely, they will spend 26% less time on management, 14% less time on organisational coordination and 10% less time on teaching.

Technology and business innovation will create new and diverse roles in areas that technology can’t compete with. But rather than future-proofing ourselves against technology, we need to learn how to best use technology to future-proof careers and our students’ learning.

New research into the education sector

The 2018 Education Future Report, to be published in November 2018, aims to assist industry leaders, staff and decision makers to make better informed decisions relating to the future of education in Australia.

This will enable the sector to keep up with the changing times and discover the best ways to cultivate excellence in students, industry professionals and the sector as a whole.

The research explores the current and emerging trends that are impacting the education sector. These include, but are not limited to, the trends in technology, teaching methodologies, pedagogical styles, art in education, comparisons between Government and Independent schools and school funding.


Visit our Education Future Forum website to download the FREE 2018 report and infographic.