The impact of changing technologies, opening of economies, privatisation and shrinking global societies on the job scenario is quite evident. Industries that did not exist a decade ago, are the largest employers today. Similarly, some of the most in-demand jobs today didn’t even exist five or ten years ago.
Today, as we enter a new decade, trends suggest that some of the next big opportunities would be in artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, process automation, robotics and blockchain. At the same time, there is growing polarisation between high paying and low paying jobs, underemployment and migration which causes unrest and needs attention holistically.
While we cannot completely anticipate what the future would look like, we can be sure that the pace of change in work-environment, type and kind of jobs available will only accelerate in the coming years. Predicting this, the World Economic Forum’s report, The Future of Jobs’ 2018, stated that new categories of jobs will emerge, partly or wholly displacing others. The very fundamental nature of work is changing, and one needs to prepare for the future.
The report: Jobs lost; jobs gained
McKinsey Global Institute (McKGI1) report “Jobs lost; jobs gained” says 60 percent of occupations have at least 30 percent of constituent work activities that could be automated. It will also create new occupations that do not exist today, much as technologies in the past have done.
So how can we prepare for the future of work? Here’s the answer.
Short term courses for upskilling
Short term courses are essential to bridge the growing skill gap in the industry as they can be updated frequently and give students an opportunity to explore different interests. Short courses also help those looking to shift careers or rethink fundamentals. The McKGI report “Jobs lost; jobs gained” also mentions that 75-75 million people may need to switch occupational categories by 2030. Short term courses will play an important role in this transition.
For example, with short term courses, today anyone can specialise in emerging fields of data science and find their foot in the industry. In the past, digital marketing grew in the same way.
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Experiential courses for holistic exposure
Experiential courses help blend learning and actual experience, giving participants a chance to explore emerging markets or move territories. For e.g., a course at the American University in Cairo on Egypt’s history and ancient civilizations helps students not only understand the role of Egypt’s history in current consumption patterns, but also an in-depth study of the social, cultural and political nuances of the audience. This would also assist those looking to explore opportunities in Cairo. Overall, experiential courses help change the “transactional” nature of education to an attitude of lifelong learning.
Innovative courses for relevance
The World Economic Forum report also suggests that “Workers will need to have the appropriate skills enabling them to thrive in the workplace of the future and the ability to continue to re-train throughout their lives”. The old school by-the-book knowledge helps build the foundation of an individual, but innovative courses help sustain that base by focusing on bringing education closer to work requirements. . Hence, innovative courses which are built in collaboration between employers and educators will help impart skills closer to employers’ needs.
Courtesy: India Today
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