Gaurav Gidwani, Hong Kong/India (AC 08-10)
With improved transport and communication systems, it takes less and less time to travel to or exchange information with other people living half the way around the globe. In other words, the world is globalizing. As juveniles live and grow up in this ever changing world, what are the chances and challenges brought about by the globalizing world? I will look into the two main aspects of growing up – education and work.
Education and chances. With globalization, young students are presented with numerous choices on how to continue their education. Education now no longer resembles the linear system it used to, but rather a highly branched network system with a handful of choices at each junction. Take the average form five student in Hong Kong as example; twenty years ago ninety percent of his peers would stay in Hong Kong and the only way to continue education for them would be taking form six in a local secondary school. Now, more people choose to go abroad, to UK, to America, to Australia. And even if they stay in Hong Kong, they have more choices now than before. The main reason for this, no doubt, is globalization. Firstly, schools set up admissions offices all over the world and admit students on a worldwide basis. Secondly, educational systems are globalizing as well, local examination results are gaining worldwide recognition, and can be compared with the results of examinations held by a different authority elsewhere. Thirdly, students now can take a lot of exams held by authorities overseas in their home town, reducing the time and money wasted in transportation, thus allowing more students to take them. Therefore, students now can more easily fulfill the necessary steps of going overseas, and thus their choices are increased.
Work and competition. Globalization means that people all over the world can compete for the same job. This implies that competition for jobs, especially for higher paid jobs, is very tough. It is therefore necessary for young people to equip themselves with the best education in order to be sufficiently competitive. It is a growing trend for people to spend more and more time receiving higher education. The statement does not only refer to full time students, but to the working population also.
Language. Another important factor is a person’s linguistic ability. The world, though globalizing, is still complex and diversified enough to allow the existence of a large number of different languages. This situation is unlikely to change in the coming decade. Many companies have branches overseas and operate globally, so being able to speak different languages is definitely an advantage. Not only does it increase a person’s versatility for jobs, but it also improves a person’s possibility for future promotion within a company.
Talent rush. The “Talent Rush” is a special phenomenon brought about by globalization. Talents all over the world rush to the countries with the best opportunity, the best welfare and the best prospect for their career. This phenomenon goes both ways, not only do people compete for the same jobs; different countries compete for the same people. The country with the most and the best talents can guarantee its lead in technological development, which usually has financial returns. This poses problems for poor countries, because they usually do not have enough financial power to attract overseas talent, while their own people, seeing better prospects in developed countries, leave their home for a better career. This widens the development gap between rich and poor countries and causes unrest in some regions that lag behind in development.
No matter if good or bad, globalization is an inevitable process brought about by technological advancement. With it come greater competition and more opportunity. People who understand the trend and can grasp the opportunity can achieve what they want in life, while others may find themselves unable to follow the ever changing world. This is the challenge globalization has posed to the youth of our time.
– United World College Student Magazine –