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New talent: choice of career in the metaverse

These days, junior staff require greater guidance in their choice of career. They can try out activities in the metaverse

September 02 2022Merle Schmitz

School, apprenticeship, degree program – what now?

There are currently around 7.9 billion people on earth, and there are at least as many crises and challenges. These remain unresolved if only a few have the passion or determination to tackle them. Our world needs committed people who have enthusiasm for what they do and who want to make an impact. But how are young people supposed to get to this point if they don't know what careers are available and what the everyday business of these positions entails? How are they supposed to find their passion and, in a next step, turn it into their career, if the employment market appears to be an unfathomable jungle? This means that current job vacancies often remain unfilled.

Finding your own way

A man looks at a laptop and smiles

"Everything was better back in the day..." rarely actually rings true. But when applied to the labor market there is a grain of truth in it. These days, classic careers such as teacher, lawyer, and doctor stand side by side with job descriptions such as Identity Security Consultant, Digitalization Evangelist, and Vision Clearance Engineer. In addition to this, courses such as law, medicine and teaching are now only a fraction of the degree programs on offer to young people trying to find the right course for themselves.

The selection after finishing school is big for anyone interested in going to university: in 2021 there were 20,359 different degree programs at German universities alone. So what is the right course of study? At which university? Some degree programs are so wide-ranging that, on paper, you could become anything with them. Others, in contrast, are so deeply specialized that the accompanying practical role on the job market will be very hard to find. While the multitude of degree programs and job options means a big opportunity, young people are faced with an immense challenge when it comes to choice of degree program and career.  In trying to find the right way through the jungle of degree options and career opportunities, young adults often find themselves becoming increasingly disoriented and resigned. There is a lack of information about which degree program or career fits with their own interests. After finishing school, during the degree program, or even after starting their career, young people these days need new forms of decision-making tools in order to get to grips with the labor market.

Why not practice first in the metaverse, where it is low cost, you can do things in an infinite way, and you can make the impossible happen? Those types of things really offer people more efficiency and productivity.”

Richard Ward, McKinsey

Employer: supporting career entries

But why is it so important to give future generations the best possible support to identify and further develop their potential and to match it with the right jobs? The competition over new talent and the shift from an employer's market to an employee's market are in themselves already reason enough for a company to take a leading role in the recruitment and development of future employees. In figures, in 2030, there will be a global shortage of 85 million employees in the technology sector. Currently, Germany has almost 850,000 job vacancies. While the shortage of employees is posing a major challenge to companies in the technology sector in particular, on the flip side, only 16 percent of students feel sufficiently prepared for the world of work. According to a McKinsey study, it is precisely the skills in the digitalization sector, namely those that future-proof employees due to the digital transformation, that are below average in their development.

New perspectives in the race for new talent

So what can be done to tackle the lack of direction for new talent and the job vacancies? One important aspect has to be to give future employees the tools they need to navigate through the jungle of opportunities on the employment market. Strategies also need to be developed that allow upcoming generations to discover their potential, implement it efficiently, and close skill gaps. One option for creating guidance could be allowing new talent to test out careers in the virtual world – i.e. the metaverse. This allows junior staff to test whether a job is really right for them in a virtual "safe space". The metaverse then becomes a kind of job market or a tool to help students orientate themselves.

This is where the role of Chief Tomorrow Officer (CTO) comes into play. As Chief Tomorrow Officer (CTO), Deutsche Telekom and T-Systems are giving me the option to work on a concrete strategy of this kind to tackle the aforementioned challenge with current, digital expertise. In the Chief Tomorrow Officer program, Generation Z gains the unique opportunity to work on a problem, #questionfortomorrow, during an internship, and to finalize the internship with a concept or prototype as a solution. The program is a unique opportunity for young generations to discover the world of work and to work in the subject areas they are passionate about. It builds bridges between the current employees and the upcoming junior staff so they can move into a future filled with prospects and shape companies in a future-proof way. And this is precisely what it is about: discovering the potential of the future and developing strategies to make the future worth living.

About the author

Merle Schmitz

Former Chief Tomorrow Officer, T-Systems International GmbH

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