Be a creative thinker for job security

We need to explore ways of bringing all students closer to the world of work while they are still students so that they better understand the context of why they are learning what we are teaching during their degree. The world is in a constant state of change and the world they enter after graduation will be different from the one they knew at the start of their degree. We need to help them learn to navigate this ever-changing landscape so that they remain in suitable employment throughout their career.

A number of recent reports show that more jobs are likely to be lost due to automation. Happily, more jobs are being created than disappear, but the types of jobs being created are not always as professional as the ones lost. The BBC even has a simple app, which will tell you the likelihood of your job being automated out of existence. The main jobs at risk are those which contain routine, repetitive work. This means an ever growing list of work is at risk of being lost to automation, as today’s algorithms become more complex and adaptable. This means more traditional managerial and administrative jobs are at risk than might’ve been previously thought as software moves into the legal field, and also other areas. Automation is found in more places that than factories now.

The key to future job security is to be working in an area requiring creative knowledge management based on human judgement. Yes, this can be in the creative industries in the widest sense to include ‘design careers‘ such software development as well as traditional fields found in art and design schools as well as the games industry too. This also includes education and those areas where processes are based around those work flows where each item is different and thus requires a judgement call.

Your job now is to consider where you are now and see what options you have to acquire the skills you need in order to develop your career in a direction that aligns along creative knowledge management. It might be that you need to form a portfolio of work to suit the career you desire, and not rely upon one specific option. While being more complicated, it also provides greater resilience for you and your career.
A good starting point for exploring where you are now, and where you might be able to transition yourself too is to work through the Business Model You worksheet. Ideally you should work through this with a friend or two, so that you each have someone to contribute to the discussion and remind you of aspects about yourself, which you’ll probably overlook.

Our role as educators is to see how we can bring in more opportunities for students to be ‘in the world of work’ while still students. This can be done through placements, students working with live clients on projects either individually, or as part of a group, and also interacting with professionals in events alongside their studies.

Entrepreneurship degree cancelled

We cancelled our Global IT Entrepreneurship degree, which is a bit sad. This is also why the site has been revised. We’re not sure why we didn’t get much interest in the programme. There is an ever-growing number of programmes around startups, and entrepreneurship in general, but we were unable to find the ‘sweet spot’ of overlap between those wanting to pursue a startup, and those wanting an academic degree. These people must be out there, but we had no luck finding them. So be it. Maybe the time wasn’t right for this venture.
The work I put into the programme has helped me clarify my own thoughts on how people can move from idea to implementation, and to better understand what stops people from exploring their ideas. If you’ve an idea and want to see it realised, then do the following:
  1. Do the simplest thing you can to try the idea. Build a prototype of some sort – use paper, or Lego bricks perhaps, but show it to someone who’s not a family member and get some feedback to help you decide if it’s viable or not. This information will help you decide whether to put more time and effort into the idea. Showing it to people also let’s them tell you what you’ve overlooked.
  2. Develop a customer journey map showing how your idea is used in practice. This will help you see what else might need to be put in place for your idea to have a better chance of taking off and growing. It could be that you need to find a partner with whom to work because they are the ones who pay for your service, but aren’t the ones who use your service. For example, we all use Facebook, but it’s the advertisers who pay for it.
  3. Know how to explain ‘why’ you are doing what want to do. If you can do this, then it is easy for others to explain your service. You need to explain ‘why’ you do what you do in a way that lets others extol your service easily to their friends. This means ‘how’ you do ‘what’ you do, should be easy to understand. But, most importantly, you need to explain ‘why’ it is important. All too often pitches cover what they do and how they do it, but don’t say why. Knowing a company’s motives makes it easier to trust them.
  4. Talk to people about your idea. The idea is less important than the implementation. If you keep your idea to yourself, then no one will take your idea and use it before you do. However, if you never share your idea, then you will also never see it realised. So, go talk to people about it, and get their feedback on what they think about it, and how it might be realised. There are lots of people out there, who can help you – for some people that is their job – so go find them and let them help you realise your idea.
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Each of these is a starting point for you to see your idea happen. There are many people who can help you, so go find them, talk to them, and don’t be shy about it. Also, if it helps, get in touch with me. Always happy to help others.