Futurist Thomas Frey Predicts a Rise in Specialized Education

First of all, let’s address the elephant in the room, the first word of my title. What is a futurist? As much as I’d like to report that it’s a time traveler from the future here to prevent certain events that lead to disaster in their time, a futurist is really someone who thinks about the future and makes predictions. Thomas Frey is one such futurist. He is a published author and professional public speaker and works as the Executive Director of the DaVinci Institute in Westminster, Colorado. Back in December, Frey was interviewed by Anthony Sodd of Built in Colorado . He made many insightful predictions and comments, but one that stuck out to me was that he expects what he calls “Micro Colleges” to expand and change the job market and education of the future.

Pickens Technical College isn’t a “Micro College” in the way that Frey characterizes full-immersion programs aimed at teaching students one or two specific skills, like coding or cybersecurity, but it does have many of the immersion programs in highly specialized skills that Frey is talking about. He’s alluding to the rise of specialized education—classes on how to do specific things designed to develop talent in a few specialized skills that a few select industries need workers for. Traditional colleges today are based on antiquated models. They’re great if you want to be a writer or learn engineering so you can specialize your skills later in your career, but if you want to be an auto mechanic, for example, a four-year college will take too long, cost too much, and only give you a fraction of the skills you’ll need to run your own shop or work in a local shop. You’ll know how to write research papers for good grades but you’ll know almost nothing about how engines work.

Pickens Technical College is already working on teaching its students skills they can use in their specialized careers. Being a writer or an engineer is great, but if that’s not the career path you want (I wouldn’t blame you for not wanting to be a writer), there are better options to get the specialized skills you need to jump into a career after only a year or two after high school. Thomas Frey, being a futurist, also predicted the rise of the machines. Many jobs appear threatened by the rise of automation. For example, Frey predicted that house painters could be made obsolete with better house painting technology in the next few decades. But, he also said that there are many more jobs that can be created with new technology. Using the house painting example again, painters can become operators of house painting machines that paint houses in less than an hour. There will always be jobs for people who know how to use the latest technology to perform tasks that used to take much longer than they do now. PTC trains students to use technology better and get jobs at companies looking for qualified workers familiar with the tools they’ll be using.

Why You Should be Using PTC Career Services

If you’re enrolled in Pickens Technical College, you’re essentially already using the PTC Career Services office because all classes at PTC are specifically geared toward helping you find a job after you graduate. And the title of this post is a little misleading. You don’t use PTC Career Services, you visit them online or in person to get your career on track after you complete your education. It’s like visiting a doctor or the dentist. You’re not using them to stay healthy and keep your mouth clean, you’re visiting them so you don’t have a heart attack or get a cavity.

PTC has a unique system for setting students up with jobs when they’ve finished school. They partner with College Central Network, a professional network geared to help college students find jobs after graduation. This network allows you to find employers looking for candidates with your specific set of skills. PTC uses College Central (not “visits”) to communicate with both employers and would-be employees. Head to the PTC Career Services page on PTC’s website to check out the College Central portal. It has options for current students, alumni, and employers to match qualified workers with jobs they’ll love at trusted employers. Go. Look at it now. I’ll wait.

Not using this resource while you’re studying how to be an IT worker or an auto mechanic is like going to class without a notebook. You’re only cutting yourself off from information that can and will help you in the future. You’re not taking advantage of the resources PTC has to offer. And you wouldn’t want to hurt the feelings of all those people at PTC’s Career Services who worked hard to afford you these opportunities, would you? Don’t turn your nose up at the delicious homemade cookies (figuratively) offered by the PTC Career Services desk.

The Career Services online portal and offices both offer many opportunities for students to find employment in the area due to PTC’s excellent relationships with organizations looking for trained, prepared, young workers. Yeah, duh, you get it. But Career Services also helps students looking for work elsewhere in the United States. PTC’s relationships with employers don’t end at the state border. While there are plenty of career opportunities in Colorado, especially in the Denver area, don’t feel like you’re boxed into the state with PTC’s connections. The friendly folks at Career Services can help you find your dream job anywhere in the country.

If you’re reading this, you’re either enrolled in PTC, you’re thinking about it, or you used to be enrolled at PTC (I’m super insightful!). That means that you are, were, or will be looking for a good or better career in one of the many programs that PTC offers. You’d be doing yourself a disservice by never visiting the Career Services desk on campus or using its College Central network to find a good job in the industry that you chose to go back to school for. What are you waiting for?