There are lots of unresolved contradictions as to what is happening in the world of work, which in turn makes any kind of prediction about the future difficult. At the
Research by the McKinsey Global Institute into the effect of automation and artificial intelligence adoption highlights key workforce transitions over the next 10–15 years. One of the major changes will likely be shifting demand for skills: The jobs of tomorrow will
Technological shifts are not isolated to any particular industry but are pervasive in a way that is causing everyone to rethink business models, social interactions, and education structures. Specifically, the way children and employees are trained and educated means we can no longer just watch this digital transformation. We must now begin to actively
This chapter explores the relevance of academic credentials for employers. As an employer, the author shares reflections on critical questions about the value of academic
Geography is much more than knowing where things are located. Without basic geographic knowledge, it is impossible to make informed decisions in our personal, professional, and civic lives. Geography is critical to our natural world and the health of the environment, to our culture and other cultures around the globe, and to the very future of humankind and our planet. Understanding geography helps us be better global citizens. Within those contexts, geography also has a vital role to play in the workplace. Geographic knowledge, skills, and technology provide a means to comprehend the rapidly changing physical and cultural environments of the world. Further, understanding geography is essential for a workplace that is characterized by economic globalization, diversity, and job mobility and that requires a sophisticated understanding of cultures other than our own.
Future-of-work discussions tend to focus on the impact of digital advances, but the significance of human experience is often neglected. Leveraging technology will be essential, but so too will be facilitating an organizational culture that galvanizes individual and team efforts around a worthy mission. Pfizer's Upjohn division recognizes that the digital revolution renders the "humanity" of the workplace more critical than ever. We pay careful attention to the assumptions and intentions that comprise our sense of purpose and to the practices that engender a positive culture. We're replacing a reflexive preoccupation with weaknesses with a focus on growing and leveraging naturally occurring talents. We're experimenting with novel ways to maximize global scale and empower local teams, and we're committed to learning together so that we may continually evolve. A next-level, human-centered workplace will be the true differentiator in an increasingly digital world.
How will we work in the future? This chapter discusses how we worked over the past twenty years and how we transitioned to how we currently work. The chapter examines
Artificial intelligence and robotics are affecting today's workforce, and further changes are anticipated for the near future. The current education system, however, is not set up to successfully reskill the workforce for tomorrow's job market. Weighing those trends,
People used to think that one graduated from a four-year college and immediately began working on the path toward retirement, only to return to school for a graduate degree down the line. This pattern has changed, and these changes are putting immense pressure on higher-education institutions to adapt to an environment in which a four-year degree is no longer sufficient—or even required. Instead, employers and employees are seeking continual, low-cost educational opportunities in specific skill sets that will allow them either to pivot to new careers or to stay relevant in their current roles. The chapters in this section paint a vivid picture of the struggle that universities, employers, and employees alike are facing. Higher education is more important now than it has ever been, but the pressure is on to respond to changing workforce needs and the looming threat that new educational pathways pose.
The average lifespan of the current generation of students is projected to be 90–100 years, so many of these students will need to work until their mid-seventies. They will face evolving jobs requiring expanding skillsets and multiple careers, as some occupations disappear and new roles appear in workplaces shaped by globalization, environmental crises, and artificial intelligence. As a result, society must help people of all ages through six decades of career growth and change—followed by retirement. Continuing education is faced with developing students' capacities for reinvention. A major barrier in helping students repeatedly upskill for new occupational roles—and in reinventing continuing education's models for adult learning—is unlearning deeply held, emotionally valued identities. This chapter
This chapter explores the shifting role of higher education as a response to the changing STEM workforce needs. New knowledge, especially in STEM fields, is being created at an increasing rate. Accordingly, STEM professionals, just as in many other fields, need to continuously engage in learning to stay employed. This renewed need for lifetime professional, continuing, and online education (PCO) moves PCO operations and capabilities from the fringes of higher education to center stage. This chapter explores efforts to deliver relevant, valuable, affordable education for the future of work and provides current examples from higher education STEM institutions.
Business education costs a lot and benefits only a few. Yet the changing world of work will require workers to switch jobs and acquire new skills multiple times throughout an extended working life span. New models of business education show promise for serving the needs of learners and providing critical revenue to institutions, but the paths to successful execution of these models are unclear. One model, offering short, asynchronous, credential-bearing, online courses at a low cost has been pursued by the Wharton School. But there is little scholarship to evaluate the value of these courses or the of the credentials. This chapter focuses on the results of a study-in-progress investigating which in-course behaviors correlate to post-course career advancement and whether these correlations are different for men and women.
This chapter presents research from a longitudinal study of low-income, working African Americans in Ypsilanti, Michigan, a former "single-industry" city that was home to two automobile manufacturing plants throughout much of the mid- to late twentieth century. We elucidate how a "back to the future" approach to these historical transformations makes these workers not just expendable but already obsolete for meeting the demands and requirements of the future world of work. These queries enable us to begin making explicit some of the normative frameworks and questions posed about the future world of work, especially around issues pertaining to race, class, and gender, opening up new lines of inquiry for American higher education.
The high cost of higher education, along with employers' concerns about finding qualified employees, have fueled skepticism about the value of higher education. The liberal arts have been one of the main targets of this criticism due to its perceived inability to prepare students for the transformed future of work. Yet studying the liberal arts provides many of the skills employers claim college graduates are lacking and which numerous reports identify as essential for the future of work. This chapter highlights different approaches taken by higher education institutions—including West Point—to provide students the benefits of studying the liberal arts while also preparing them for the work world. These approaches represent an evolution from the traditional liberal arts model.
The current model of liberal education is organized around discrete, siloed disciplines. The next wave of liberal education will encourage an increasingly diverse (age, race, nationality, gender) population of citizens who are self-critical, ethically aware, and open to other cultures. The evolving liberal education will develop a reflective perspective that is adaptable and in synergy with other cultures, histories, literacies, and technologies. This chapter explores the need for increasing interdisciplinary curricular approaches to prepare students for a globalized, interconnected world, and provides examples of curriculum design from Georgetown University that illustrate how to implement them. It includes interdisciplinary models of liberal education at the baccalaureate and graduate levels, a method of blending a liberal arts and a professional education, and pedagogy based on the Jesuit tradition for teaching values such as social justice values.
The liberal arts or general education core is an essential part of undergraduate
Institutions are rethinking their alumni learning strategies. New models are emerging to engage learners throughout their lives and to address the problems that matter most to individuals and society. What opportunities should institutions consider for this century, given our changing economy and its rapidly accelerating technology? This chapter explores the strategic considerations for supporting learners, showing the unique role played by colleges and universities—roles not played by employers, government agencies, and individuals. Universities have long provided access to expertise and trusted alumni networks, which can now be married with learning platforms that scale. The result is a new set of opportunities to reconfigure alumni networks for the benefit of universities and the societies they serve.
Despite an explosion of learning opportunities, employers still report that they struggle to find qualified workers, that the candidates they see frequently lack technical skills, soft skills, or both. This is commonly known as the skills gap. Fortunately, there are lots of examples of effective, employment-oriented training, often created as partnerships among employers, education providers, and, in some cases, nonprofit groups that act as intermediaries. At the moment, these efforts are fragmented and difficult to scale, and they generally serve people with the luck to live near a major employer or organization that's investing in these opportunities. With a combination of technology, ambition, and respect for the central role that work plays in people's lives and identities, we can create a talent pipeline that serves workers, employers, and the broader good.
Employers and higher education institutions share concern for generating a pipeline of diverse talent with the skills and training necessary to have successful careers, participate in civic life, and contribute to business success and innovation. As the US population grows in diversity and our global interactions increase, developing diverse talent and cultural competence will become even more important in the future of work. Tomorrow's workers need to understand and be equipped to respond appropriately to the needs and interests expressed by racial minorities, women, different age cohorts, the disabled, veterans, religious groups, and other groups comprising an expanding gender and sexual orientation spectrum. Employers and institutions can and must help create environments that nurture and value an understanding and appreciation of differences, and in which all can achieve their potential.
Young people will enter a workforce—and a world—buffeted by continuous innovation and disruption. Navigating change will be a constant. To thrive in the future of work will require lifelong, continuous learning. Jobs that pay a living wage will demand human interaction and social skills, including the ability to work well in teams and with dynamic configurations of partners and clients. Today, employers say they have the hardest time finding new workers with "soft skills" rather than technical skills. Finally, America is becoming even more diverse, which can be a powerful driver of economic progress—for those with cultural competence and the ability to create value out of diversity and pluralism. Within those contexts, this chapter examines the current state of secondary education and its ability to establish a foundation for students' advanced learning in postsecondary institutions and across the lifespan.
Research shows that, by 2030, automation and technology may displace 400 million workers worldwide. In conjunction with the aging workforce, such that one in every five
Apprenticeship is a centuries-old model of teaching and learning that is finding a new home in leading-edge industrie. It is an education and employment strategy that addresses some of the key challenges facing job seekers and employers alike, including the rising cost of higher education and the need to develop systems of continuous and lifelong learning. But expanding apprenticeship into new sectors and for jobs that require more advanced knowledge and skills depends on close coordination with higher education systems. Some European countries are developing strategies for integrating their higher education and apprenticeship systems: degree apprenticeships in the United Kingdom, applied universities in Switzerland, and dual-study programs in Germany. A growing number of US colleges and universities are doing the same. This chapter explores opportunities and challenges for connecting higher education and apprenticeship in ways that address the needs of future students and employers.
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills are essential for the future of work, both to guarantee workers high-quality jobs and to ensure the stream of innovations that propel the modern economy. This chapter reimagines the delivery of
This chapter first addresses the concept of agility in the business community and its implications for the future of work and learning. Next, the chapter examines the agility
Recent market intelligence from the Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF) demonstrates the demand for professionals across a wide range of functions within
Fundamental goals for American public education are to ensure that each student is prepared to be an active participant in a robust democracy and to be successful in the
The contributors to this book present viewpoints that reveal key tensions between traditional approaches to skill development and the innovative, transformational change that the future of work will demand. Six themes emerge that align visions for the future along continuums in the following areas: disruption vs. transformation; credentials vs. skills; technical skills vs. human skills; vocational education vs. liberal arts; learning vs. unlearning; and higher education solutions vs. employer solutions. The relationship between higher education and employers must evolve to address future workforce needs. Employment-oriented curricula and co-curricular offerings, and improved communication, will address employers' needs for skilled talent and students' needs for employment.