Are you ready for the future of work?

Calling all CEGEP students! Sign up now for a special post-secondary primer on Nov. 24, co-hosted by Concordia and Maclean's
November 3, 2016
By Sarah Buck

Maclean’s magazine and Concordia University are hosting a town hall on the future of education and work.

The demands of an ever-changing work world are a moving target. In response to this reality, Concordia and Maclean’s are joining forces to host a conversation about how universities can best help students open the door to meaningful, rewarding employment.

“The Future of Education, the Future of Work” is a town hall–style discussion including Concordia alumni, current students and industry leaders. It will be moderated by Kim Honey, editor of the Maclean’s College and University Programs Guide.

Concordia’s president Alan Shepard says the school is an obvious choice for leading a conversation about the future directions of post-secondary education.

“We see ourselves as a next-generation university. With that comes a commitment to helping students acquire the skills and knowledge to prepare for a world that will be dramatically different from today’s.”

Shepard notes that Concordia has already made strides in teaching for tomorrow, with initiatives like the startup incubator District 3.

“Hosting this town hall is an opportunity to welcome our own experts, students and graduates, to reach out to prospective students and their families, and to check in with outside professionals, to take a measure of who we are — and need to be, moving forward.”

‘Living a dream’

The event features guest speakers like Osheaga founder Nick Farkas (BA 90), who got his start as a concert promoter while he was a Concordia student, booking punk bands on the fly. He grew Osheaga into one of the hottest outdoor music festivals in Canada — earning the title of vice-president of concerts and events for evenko. Farkas says he is “living a dream.” 

Nick Farkas (BA 90) runs Montreal’s annual Osheaga music festival. | Photo by Susan Moss Nick Farkas (BA 90) runs Montreal’s annual Osheaga music festival. | Photo by Susan Moss

Doing a degree at Concordia was key to his future success, he adds, instilling critical thinking and a commitment to following through on projects.

Farkas and other alumni including Michael Kronish (BA 93), chief executive officer at Vice Media Canada, will elaborate on how their university experiences allowed them to get where they are now.

They’ll also talk about what they look for in new hires and the major challenges employers will likely face down the road.

Preparing for the future of work

Students will share the spotlight at the town hall, speaking about their program decision-making process and how prepared they feel to enter the job market.

Gabrielle Moroz is finishing up a major in supply chain operations management with a minor in data intelligence at the John Molson School of Business

Gabrielle Moroz says Concordia is preparing her for the future of work. | Photo by Nikitasha Kapoor Gabrielle Moroz says Concordia is preparing her for the future of work. | Photo by Nikitasha Kapoor

Through the Institute for Co-operative Education, she will have completed three paid internships  — in manufacturing and retail (Maax Bath Inc.), aerospace (Pratt & Whitney Canada) and transportation (CN Rail) — by the time she graduates.

For Moroz, learning how to use statistical analysis software to analyze demand trends and make sound business decisions is an example of the skills and knowledge that help build her professional confidence.

“A lot of companies are collecting massive amounts of data, and there are few people who have the talent to be able to translate it into concrete information for decision-making,” says Moroz. “I believe that someone who has computational and analysis skills will really thrive.”

What to expect

As a moderator, Honey says she's ambitious about what the upcoming town hall will offer, adding that prospective students, parents, higher education leaders, as well as guidance counsellors and academic advisors are all encouraged to attend.

“We want to make sure we tell audience members what to expect when students come to school and when they graduate, and how to bridge the gap between those two.”

Maclean’s is known for investigating the value of university education in Canada, and Honey is an expert in the concerns of future post-secondary students.

“It’s important that your educational experience is as fulfilling as it can be on a personal level, so you’re comfortable when you enter the professional world.”

Register for “The Future of Education, the Future of Work,”
 which takes place Thursday, November 24 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Alumni Auditorium (H-110) on the ground floor of the Henry F. Hall Building (1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W.).


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