DETROIT – OK, let’s put aside the stresses of working from home and supervising our kids for a minute and think about what the future workforce looks like.  One of the things this pandemic has taught me is that change is inevitable.  So, adaptability and agility are keys to success.  Now let’s take a look at some of the other things that the future workforce will need to keep in their toolbox.

Since I am a well-known proponent of preparing students to survive in a digitalized world, a basic grasp of cyber security is always my first concern.  But beyond any personal obsession to getting every school in the business of teaching cybersecurity, what other qualities will industry be looking for?

If you cruise the internet job postings, you never fail to see the following:

Communication Skills: ability to communicate in many mediums, by email, verbally, with lists and phone messages, on the phone and with body language.  As well as possessing listening stills and having the ability to follow directions.

Self-starter: Be at work on time, do what you were hired to do, meet targets and deadlines and work to the best of your ability.

Ability to Work on a Team: work with others effectively in different circumstances. Whether it is face-to-face, on emails, on the phone or in a web conference call, employers want folks that can work together.

Honesty and Loyalty: employers need to be able to trust their employees to work professionally to meet the company’s best interests. (ethics)

Flexibility/Adaptability: employees need to react quickly to changing conditions.

Determination: the ability to work hard and keep making forward progress on tasks assigned to you.

Problem-Solving Skills: Employee’s willingness to expand their knowledge base and find new ways to complete tasks and take on new challenges

During this pandemic we have all experienced how important technology has become in keeping America working.  I’ll bet that 80-90 percent of the people reading this rant are working from home as we speak, dependent on their internet connection and a personal computing device.  Now more than ever we need programs like the CyberPatriot program to help augment our children’s education.

The national virtual CyberPatriot program was designed to deliver all of the list of key attributes presented here.  We are entering the 13th season of this amazing virtual teaching experience, one that exposes students from kindergarten to seniors in high school to fun cybersecurity competition/games.

Tamara Shoemaker

So, please reach-out to [email protected] or check out the Michigan program at or the national program at for more information on how to make sure your school is in the game!