the link

Series to help students find careers amidst evolving technologies


The world is changing quickly. Too quickly, parents might say, to help their children prepare for the careers of the future.

Complicating the usual challenge of finding and pursuing a viable career is the ever-evolving technological landscape that will produce jobs that do not even exist yet. How can students and parents keep abreast of these developments and identify skill sets so that today’s youth will become tomorrow’s leaders – especially with the limited research time available in their busy lives?

Local technologist and entrepreneur Raghu Misra has proposed a solution. Beginning Feb. 2 his landmark facility, the link, will host a weekly series of interactive presentations titled “Future In _” This initiative is part of the nonprofit Sapna Foundation.

These sessions will resemble the widely popular TED Talks, and will consist chiefly of 1-3 experts on the topic of the week speaking for 10 to 15 minutes. Prior to, and following, each session, there will be time for networking when students – and adults – can chat with these experts.

It is also hoped that information regarding curricula, academies in the St. Johns County School District and colleges that focus on the topic under discussion for that week will be made available.

Though the series will have a great educational value, it will also be helpful to anyone of any age who wants to understand the changes that are taking place around them.

How will artificial intelligence impact our lives? Which careers will be forever changed by automation? What role will advances in robotics play?

Some topics are so big and evolving so rapidly that they will be addressed every second month. One example: blockchain.

A blockchain is an arrangement of data that protects it against alteration. It makes the data impossible or nearly impossible to hack. The applications of a blockchain are numerous, as are the ways it will impact various industries.

Thus, a single session would not be sufficient to address it.

The primary audience for these sessions will be students in grades eight through 12 and their parents. The hope is that it will save them valuable time when seeking out the right career.

“I truly believe our life is all a game of elimination,” said Misra. “The sooner we understand that we are not interested in something, we stop wasting time and energy on that particular thing and try to find something we are going to be more passionate about.

Because not everyone will be able to attend these sessions in person, they will also be made available online. In addition, Misra wants to archive them online so that students can benefit from them after the fact.

Working with Misra on this initiative are representatives of the school district.

Emily Harrison, director for career and technical education for the district, called the series a great collaboration tool between the link and the school system in identifying career clusters of interest to students.

The state Department of Education has identified 17 career clusters. These are general fields with uniform curriculum frameworks, so that the same information is available to students statewide.

“This is a great way of getting that knowledge to the students and their families so that they stay informed,” Harrison said with regards to the series.

The district offers students numerous career and technical education options. In addition to the academies, it has the St. Johns County Center for the Arts, junior ROTC programs, advanced academics and a technical college that offers dual enrollment.

Though there are many ways families can learn about these opportunities, the Future In Series will increase awareness about the trends of the future and plotting a pathway to get there.

The sessions are free to students, $10 for members and $20 for nonmembers. They start at 6:30 p.m. and are held on Wednesdays at the link, 425 Town Plaza Ave., in Nocatee.

The first session, Future In Smart Buildings, will be held on Feb. 2. Speakers will be Tim Miscovich, chief commercial officer at wtec; Usman Shuja, vice president and general manager at Honeywell; and Matias Klein, CEO at Kognition.

To register, go to The registration link can be found by checking the Future In Series box.