Learning is something every organism engages in. While simple organisms don't learn in the same way humans take in information, they do modify themselves over time to adapt to environmental and situational conditions. Primates, on the other hand -- ranging from chimpanzees to humans -- acquire new skills and behaviors, change existing ways of doing things, and reinforce or refute existing trains of thought. We don't understand how brains and the learning they facilitate work, but humans are undoubtedly the best learners in the known universe, our brains propelling us farther than any other species thus far.
Public education roots as far back as the 1500s. While education undoubtedly provides a wealth of benefits -- economic, social, personal, and more -- subjects taught in modern schools aren't usually applicable in practical situations. This piece covers five careers that modern schools should prepare us for, rather than geometry, calculus, and science most may never use.
People all across the United States struggle in filing tax returns each and every year, and likely will for some time. Taxes are difficult to understand, with the Internal Revenue Service's complex tax code spanning more than 400 unique forms. Filing one's own taxes requires the knowledge of nuance and ins-and-outs of laws and regulations, something schools currently don't teach us. Even though many computer programs take information and regurgitate it onto tax returns -- correctly, somehow -- recent high school graduates should still understand the basics and intricacies of taxes in the United States of America.
While some public schools teach economics, accounting, and managerial theory; nearly all universities teach business courses; and graduate schools focus on advanced econometrics, advanced financial formulas, and business theory; many schools don't teach soft skills necessary for being a good businessperson. Real estate, for example, requires nothing but a GED or high school diploma and a realtor's license. Selling realty is certainly competitive and difficult to succeed in as a result. Formulas and ratios learned in school may help balance one's portfolio and assess financial risk, as purchasing land and homes for resale is invariably expensive. However, the most successful real estate agents are personable, mesh well with clients, relatable, and smooth talkers. Speech teaches the fourth skill, to an extent. Hooray traditional schooling...
Computer coding, or programming, forms the language of computers. Without coding, there would be no such thing as computers, software, smartphones, mobile apps -- any of that. Demand for programmers in the workforce is expected to drop in coming years, although pay is considerably higher for computer-related jobs -- $79,390 -- than the national United States average of $35,540. Programmers are able to modify computer programs, create new ones, and form mobile apps, each of which are highly desirable skills for anyone who uses a computer.
Cooking is a skill that often comes in handy. After all, humans live on food. Being a chef or dish designer doesn't pay as much as other careers, but skills learned are transferable into real life. Besides, many people end up in food services because their careers fail. Why not set high school graduates up for actually being trained in culinary arts?
Real Estate is the business that makes the average millionaire, according to Amoso Properties. While high capitalization makes this a challenging business for young people to get into, and it requires a more hands-on approach than investing in securities, this lucrative career track should be taught in ever high school and university in the country: how to find a deal, how to save up and pay cash for properties, how to manage a property so tenants don’t bring their pet tiger into the unit to tear apart the furniture.
There are tens, if not hundreds, of skills not taught in schools that should be. These careers should undoubtedly be taught in school, although they currently aren't. The only thing we can do about it is lobby for modern-day public education systems to change, broadening the types of classes offered to students.