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We all want our children to achieve success in their future careers. As parents, we strive to provide them with the best educational opportunities that we can in the hopes that they’ll be ready to enter an increasingly competitive and fast-paced workplace environment. Not all strategies for preparing your child are created equally though.

It’s hard enough to keep up with the latest news and information on what skills and specialties are in demand for ourselves, let alone forecast the future for our kids. To help you to get them ready and armed with the tools they’ll need to succeed, here are 5 ways parents can prepare their kids for a competitive workplace:

The Many, Not the Few

While most traditional schooling is focused on individual academic achievement, your children won’t be able to succeed in the workplace if they don’t know how to work within a team. It’s important for them to learn to work together with others to meet business goals. Cooperative task management and leadership skills aren’t typically taught in schools, so you’ll need to help your child get prepared through other means.

Getting your kids involved in team sports is one great way to get them acclimated to functioning in a group. If they’re not athletically inclined, you can work with them on puzzles and other collaborative games. If possible, you can plan events that include their friends which incorporate team-based challenges such as scavenger hunts and relay races.

Focus on Art and Critical Thinking

Most jobs in the economy of the future will require creativity and independent analysis skills. Encouraging your children to develop their creative skills through art and graphic design is a great way to introduce these concepts to them. Take them to museums and science exhibits, and ask them to tell you about what they think of what they’re seeing. Make sure that you let them know that it’s always acceptable to ask questions to form an intelligent opinion.

Connect Their Knowledge to the Real World

Most kids go to school because they’re given no choice. Even the most gifted students can have difficulty seeing the real significance of what they’re learning. Follow along with your child’s academic development, and try to find ways to let them put their new knowledge into action. For example, as they learn mathematics skills, open a bank account for them and let them begin to manage their own money. It’ll make your child yearn to learn more practical skills and get them accustomed to applying themselves to tasks. Both of these tendencies will serve them well in the workplace.

Get Them Trained for an In-Demand Career

If you can identify something your child is interested in that’s in a growing career field, they can get an early start training for them. Some of the fastest growing industries today include technology, business management, healthcare, and graphic arts. They’re so in demand, in fact, that many schools focus directly on training students for them exclusively. Stevens Henager College is an excellent example of a school that offers future-focused training in these industries. They’re a great way to give your kids the advantage when choosing their career.

STEM to Compete

If your child is not sure what field they may want to pursue, the can still work to be prepared for a broad range of opportunities. Focusing on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) will prepare them for a multitude of careers in the workforce of the future. As computers and the internet become more integral to businesses everywhere, these are the basic skills that will be required of anyone hoping to land a great job.

To the Future and Beyond

If you’re able to get your child moving in the right direction using any of these methods, you’re already going a long way towards assuring their future success. Teaching them the right skills and helping them to develop a thirst for knowledge will allow them to thrive in whatever career they choose. When they’ve made it, they may even thank you for guiding them to a bright and fulfilling future. After all, what more could a parent ask for?

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