ECEC is a resilient career path in the age of automation
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > ECEC represents a resilient employment path in the age of automation

ECEC represents a resilient employment path in the age of automation

by Freya Lucas

November 16, 2023

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) is viewed as being a ‘resilient path’ in the age of automation, where many Australian teenagers aspire to jobs that are at high risk of automation. 


Recent research shows that 42 per cent of Australian students are still choosing from the same top 10 traditional careers their parents and grandparents chose, and that nearly half (48 per cent) say they felt pressure from their parents to do so.  


In a time of technological advancement, many school leavers and young job seekers find themselves at a crossroad, struggling and coming to regret their career choices or dropping out of their chosen course in their first year.


Often student’s career options don’t reflect the reality of the new world of work, creating what experts term a ‘perception gap’ between what students believe to be good or safe career paths and where the best and most exciting opportunities are.


Greg Miller, long-time STEM advocate, Wandr Board Advisor and co-Founder Faethm by Pearson, believes that as digital disruption becomes the norm, the truly ‘human’ attributes such as empathy, creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, and entrepreneurship will be in high demand.


These attributes and skills are also advantageous in the ECEC sector, where there is also a strong and growing demand for professionals, with an estimated 21.6 per cent increase in early childhood educators needed by 2026 as more parents are seeking high-quality early childhood education for their children.


Mr Miller believes that it’s vital for young people to actively seek out opportunities to build human-centric skills and careers that are less susceptible to the impacts of emerging technologies, and that jobs in education are, to an extent, ‘future proof’ because there isn’t a technology that can replace this work.


The Australian Government has also recognised the value of early childhood education, implementing policies to make quality early childhood education more accessible. This includes subsidised preschool programs and funding for professional development in the sector.


Miller’s recommendation is that students “take advantage of skill-specific short courses and micro-credentials, like those offered by Wandr, where you can access on-demand bite-sized content in transferable (soft) skills like communication, resilience and problem solving as well as a range of certificates across education, childcare and teaching.”


“By embracing opportunities in sectors like early childhood education and actively pursuing human-centric skills, the next generation can navigate the ever-changing landscape of work with confidence and purpose, forging careers that align with their passions and the demands of the evolving job market,” he said.


Learn more about Wandr’s ECEC courses here

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