There are loads of online articles showcasing the changing world of work – now, but especially in 5 to 10 years. Many articles point to a world where the majority of the working world will involve people multi-tasking their careers. In other words, they may have a “main” career where they work around 20 – 30 hours a week, and then several other sources of income. These other sources of income will be mainly passive in nature. They will utilise technology, driven by smart AI to sell / promote / arbitrage / service / produce and any other value-added verb, in order to create multiple sources of income.

At least that’s one of many models we see for the future, so let’s stick to this one for now.

The main career will probably have roots in a formal qualification which gave passage to an employer, whilst the other sources of income are a result of keeping up with the latest technology, learnt from shorter skills-based courses, probably online, with some form of online tutor support. When we refer to shorter, we mean less than 12 months.

And it is in these shorter courses where the magic lies. For one, short courses do not follow the formal education framework and as such if needed, their content can be changed quite quickly – as in hours. Formal qualifications take a lot longer to change. Secondly, when the end (potential) employer is involved in content creation, such as Google, IBM or Amazon, you know that you are learning relevant content, simply because the employer is producing content that they need. It makes sense. And finally, anyone can study a short course – even a scholar. And why not!

So at FutureProofMe, it’s no secret that we talk a lot about this simple tool – we encourage scholars to start learning online skills whilst at school. And not just any skill, premium skills, because premium skills command premium salaries. Imagine knowing how to do digital marketing using Instagram or Facebook, or knowing all about data science or data analysis by the age of 16 or 17. Wow!

We keep tabs on which skills drive the best chances of employment. Some skills courses have close to a 90% probability of employment – even if it is only part-time employment that requires only 5-10 hours of work a week. That’s quite something.

And as with everything in life – everything in moderation. Don’t wait till half way through matric to start this. Rather start slowly, and start now. But start.

So when your kid turns 18, they are just that little bit better prepared for the new world of work than their peers are.