According to a recent study by tech firm Dell, 37% of Gen Z — or those born in the late 90s — said their education did not adequately prepare them with the technology skills they would need for their job.
These results could be surprising given that this generation grew up fully immersed in computers and phones.
According to Dell Senior Director of Education Strategy Adam Garry, there are two main reasons for this gap: the school system and employers.
“[Schools] are still very much designed the same way they were in the 1950s… It wasn’t until COVID that each child had a device. One silver lining of the pandemic is we went from 55% of children having access to a computer to 98%,” explained Garry.
Employers’ focus on creating cool office spaces is also distracting them from exploring creative ways to use technology.
“Workspaces have been created by older generations, while Gen Z is on their phones using TikTok and Instagram.”
The most effective solution to this dilemma is changing how schools test students’ abilities. Portfolio assessments could be ideal for kids to demonstrate more of their skills instead of answering test papers.
And this process is now being adopted by colleges and universities.
“Universities are realizing it’s not always about a four-year degree—sometimes people want to come in and get some skills, and come out. I’m hopeful that we’re going to have many more new structures and options for people to learn,” concluded Garry.