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Bheki Dlamini
 
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Parents, learn from the kids?

16 May 2014, 19:15
Today, one can get dumped for not responding to a text within 30 seconds, or for posting a Facebook status after having said good night to one’s partner. Can parents relate to this?

Forgive me for using the word “parent” loosely, but by parent I mean the parent of the millennial, more specifically those born in the 80’s and 90’s, considering the fact that some of those millennials are also parents now.

You see, I was born in the 80’s and by the age of 25 most of my best friends were older than 40 and had families. I used to see them struggle to understand the impact that technology had on their lives, be it professional or social.

I enjoyed spending time with them so much so that the friends I had before, of my age, felt like kids and hanging out with them felt completely awkward.

One of my greatest friends was in his early fifties at the time. I learned a lot from this gentleman. I started realizing his, and like the rest of my new friends’ frustration with the pace of technological advances when he asked me to help him out with one of his MBA assignments.

He only needed me to type it out but then I started noticing a number of mistakes on his paper. I told him about it and he challenged me to write a better one. How could I say no to another challenge? I always love to challenge my mylf.

By then, everything I knew was self-taught. I aced the assignment, literally. He submitted my assignment instead of his own. Well, I only knew about it a few years later but I still celebrated.

While I was learning a lot about life from him, he was learning a lot about the new trends from me. I thought he was my mentor when in fact I was his. He ended up employing me and prepared me to take over, but that was a public company and I had other interests. Thanks Mr ST, you indeed changed my life!

The point I am trying to make is, most parents seem to resent the new trends and are oblivious to the fact that their children know no other way of life. To them, everything that is happening today is the norm. Mobile phones, Computers, piercings, social media, etc.

Careers paths have changed, but most parents are still clinging onto the ancient trades and not preparing their children for the new paths that they have to travel.

One of our partner companies in the US has trained over 3500 candidates in the past 2 years that were employed immediately and went to earn an average of well over US$80 000 on their first jobs. No formal tertiary education.  It’s all over the news, just google hack schools!

As said, these institutions are referred to as hack schools and theirs is to develop the skills that are in demand and inline with current trends and transforming their candidates into experts. 

Varsities require 3 years or so to teach one about a specific computer system and by the time one graduates that system is in the museum. Let’s face it, the third iPhone is coming out in a few months from now and the students that started university three years ago have not yet graduated.

I so wanted to attend one of these hack schools but couldn’t leave my business to go spend 6 weeks of intensive training in the US. So I brought the school to South Africa.

The world is changing fast and instead of trying to slow the millennials down, parents should learn from this. Technology is not the enemy for without it I wouldn’t be able to share this with you.

I love books but someone may prefer a kindle. It’s modern and fancy. Two different media same purpose, except I don’t have to worry about battery power when I go camping.
Inspired by the movie "The internship, 2013"!
Thanks for reading!

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