How Far We've Come

Paul Messino - Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My oldest son is getting ready to enter kindergarten in the 2012-2013 school year.  Admittedly, choosing a school for him has taken entirely too much of my time and energy - I've been obsessing over this for the last 2 years.  Last night, my family attended an open house for a new STEM school (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math).  The things these children will be doing on a regular basis is amazing - Podcasting reports, using Legos to learn Engineering, an e-Library, the list goes on and on.  But one thing the principal said last night really struck me - they are preparing these kids for the jobs of the future, jobs that don't even exist yet.  That got me thinking about my own career path, which is one I never saw coming.

Growing up, I always wanted to be a lawyer.  Until I got old enough to realize the theory and ideology of the legal profession and the actual practice of it are not always one in the same.  Reality showed its true colors and I didn't like what I saw.  Being part of the first generation to grow up with computers, they were normal to me.  I was naturally good with them and solving problems came easy to me.  But I fought what I now call my "inner-geek" for a long time.  I'll go ahead and say it - who wants to be a computer nerd?

Designing databases, creating workflows and managing networks were terms that weren't even in my vocabulary.  Oddly enough, I feel like the reasons I wanted to be a lawyer are more applicable to my line of work now - solving problems, rationally thinking through to a solution, making peoples lives better.  I realized last night, that I actually have the job of the future that principal was talking about. Fifteen years ago, my line of work didn't even exist.  There was no table on career day at school to learn about CRM, or building websites or social media.

Technology has changed so drastically in even the last five years - smart phones, tablets, Wifi, and now the cloud, to name a few.  All of this has worked to completely revolutionize the world in which we live.  I've even gotten a soda from a high-tech machine that looked like something out of the Jetsons.  It's hard to see when you're living in it every day, but the "future" is here.  I can't wait to see what that looks like in the next 15 years.

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