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How to Equip Today’s Workforce for the Jobs We Need Tomorrow


We spend a lot of time talking about 40% of jobs expected to disappear to AI and automation in the next 15 years (according to Fortune’s estimates). But what about the rest of the jobs?


Do we know how to equip the workforce we need today, and the workforce we’ll need in the future, to ensure people are skilled in the right areas, and adept in the disciplines that will be most valuable?


Employers, professionals, parents, students, and educators must understand which skills are essential, and how to develop them.



Starting in our education programs and moving into business-level reskilling and upskilling programs, continuous learning must be the core value of any program. On-the-job-training as well as multi-disciplinary STEAM-based programs that integrate an array of skills can better equip employees and students to navigate future change.


Defining the right skills

As new jobs emerge because of the technology changes, professionals are required to have an increasingly diverse set of skills. Those skills, based on research conducted on LinkedIn Learning, were most often:




These skills, both hard and soft, are skills that can’t be automated. The World Economic Forum backs that up, determining that skills like originality and critical thinking, which are unique to humans, will rise in value as technology advances.

While automation, robotics, and AI can enable some jobs to disappear, it will be increasingly critical to have well-rounded, collaborative, creative people at the helm to lead the people engineering cloud migrations, designing AI, analyzing issues, managing the teams of people, and ensuring the latest technology is easy to use.



Traditional education paths don’t always enfold all these hard skills and soft skills, and many professionals need to be reskilled now. By 2022, 75 million jobs are expected to be displaced across 20 major economics, according to the 2018 Future of Jobs Report.

If we can equip the workforce we need, both today’s professionals and tomorrow’s graduates, we’ll all be better off when skilled people move into the 133 million new roles expected to stem from rampant growth in new products and services.

How business leaders can reskill their companies

We’ve now enfolded AI into most software, shifted our ever-increasing datasets into the cloud, and developed lightning-fast Internet speeds. These technology advances fundamentally change the way we work, which means even top performers who have excelled in an organization for years may need reskilling and new tools to adapt to the change.

Entrepreneur advises four steps business leaders can take to help stay on top of – or maybe even get in front of – these dynamic needs.

1. Keep up. Business leaders must make staying on top of technology a true priority. Of course, this does often come with a cost (computer upgrades for employees, purchasing a new software, and so on), but business who don’t keep up will flounder as competitors increase their speed of service, refine business processes with more powerful insights, and boost productivity across their organizations.

2. Invest in hands-free technology. It’s time to revamp how employees interact with technology, and looking at hands-free computing is a great launching pad into other creative ideas. Productivity gains fuels by technology leaps post World War II have been stunted in last decade, dipping from 2.5% between 1948 and 2007 down to 1.2% in 2007, according to Market Watch.

3. Swap out paper for digital. Instead of endlessly filing hard copies, go digital and embrace cloud storage. This access can boost productivity and better take advantage of connected devices. Added bonus: your organization can save money on the switch.

4. Explore more. The best way to avoid being overturned by technology advances is to discover them first. Encourage investing and exploring cutting-edge technology for find new areas that could pay off in the future. Today, that means blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) but it’s important to keep looking ahead.

Future-Centric Education

Education and training needs to embrace a marketplace prone to new disruptions as emerging technologies evolve. Starting in our education programs and moving into business-level reskilling and upskilling programs, continuous learning must be the core value of any program, the World Economic Forum advises. On-the-job-training as well as multi-disciplinary STEAM-based programs that integrate an array of skills can better equip employees and students to navigate future change.

Business can show they take this seriously by including professional development in performance assessments, a program AT&T launched in 2013. Peer-to-peer or hands on learning can also help cultivate problem-solving and innovation, the World Economic Forum highlights.

Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Jobs

Education Unbound is building up STEAM in education, to ensure today’s employees and students are prepared for tomorrow’s jobs. Learn how you can join our efforts by visiting http://www.educationunbound.org/programs.

Sources:

1. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/the-hard-and-soft-skills-to-futureproof-your-career-according-to-linkedin/

2. http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs_2018.pdf

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