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Future of Work: Envision, Educate, and Upskill

Going by the rapid rate of automation, technology will gulp down many current jobs. With this in mind, candidates for jobs of the future will have to gain new skills if they want to be competitive in the new labor market.

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Rapid automation, augmentation of digital technology, and artificial intelligence are revolutionizing the future of work, and changing the dynamics of demand and supply of the future workplace.

A rule of thumb in any sector is to match the supply with the demand, and it applies to the job market too. The future of work will revolve around data scientists, tech architects, etc. Taking a cue from the current scenario, the future workforce has to lay a stronger foundation in the present for building a sustainable career in the years to come.

This is only possible through investment in futuristic skills, which can be acquired through hands-on learning, product-based learning, entrepreneurial experience, and imbibing decision-making skills. 

The changes in the present hint at the future. Technologies like big data, the internet of things (IoT), machine learning, artificial intelligence, and robotics are dominating the present.

Technology has penetrated almost every walk of life, including 3D printing, biotechnology, and renewable energy. Let’s not forget satellite and drone technologies that are transforming our world, as never before.

Going by the rapid rate of automation, technology will gulp down many current jobs, but it will also throw up new kinds of jobs.

The World Economic Forum has reported that by 2022, 75 million current job roles may be displaced by the shift in the division of labor between humans, machines, and algorithms, while 133 million new job roles may emerge at the same time.

Also, experts predict that the future of work will see an incline towards freelancing, gig economies, and entrepreneurship.

What is the future of work? What would the job market be like? Why futuristic skills like STEM/STEAM learning, entrepreneurial skills, decision –making are important? 

If you can answer these questions, you can chart your future success saga.

A lot of research work is visualizing the future and its requirements. For instance, the World Economic Forum and Boston Consulting report have revealed that one million jobs will vanish in the US by 2026, with technology rendering most of them obsolete.

With this in mind, candidates for jobs of the future will have to gain new skills if they want to be competitive in the new labor market.

To fit into the framework of the future of work, focus on:

Hands-on Learning

Hands-on learning has penetrated the conventional curriculum and revolutionized it by replacing theoretical learning with practical learning and training techniques.

In other words, academic programs across the globe are matching steps with the changing times by giving prominence to practical learning. EdTech companies are further fueling the trend by providing hands-on learning and upskilling platforms.

For instance, the Innovator Program at Moonshot Jr is solely about hands-on learning. On this platform, children have to travel through the informative four stages of product-based learning that not just challenges their cognitive skills, but also empowers them by cultivating decision-making and entrepreneurial skills in them.

Problem-solving skills will be in demand in the future, and it can only be inculcated through practical learning. 

Creative and Innovative Skills

The phrase – the world has become a global village – is quite popular. Who made it possible?

Creative thinkers, problem solvers, and innovative entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos have made it possible. They are just a few names from the long list of innovators who have simplified our lives with their creativity and problem-solving skills.

This journey will continue and the future will seek more and more creative innovators to analyze the present, churn out solutions, and pioneer new solutions. This is why creative and innovative skills have become indispensable.

Automation is the creation of human minds. Machines or robots are smart but can’t outsmart the boundless creativity of human minds. 

STEM/STEAM Learning

The US Department of Education invested $578 million to support high-quality STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education, including computer science, for students through its discretionary and research grants, during the Fiscal Year 2020.

The entry of Art into STEM learning has made it even more important. HamiltonBuhl, a leader in the design and manufacture of electronics and presentation equipment for education and industry, sums up the importance of STEAM learning saying it allows children to take initiative, collaborate, prototype and problem solve, communicate and build ideas from start to finish.

In STEAM environments, students learn and develop skills by working in teams, investigate real-world problems, and engage in building workable solutions with art considered as an important part of learning as much as any other STEM fields. 

Emotional Intelligence

Yes, emotional intelligence falls in the category of futuristic skills. Psychologists describe emotional intelligence as one’s ability to understand, control, and test their emotions and that of others.

It is one of the crucial skills for the future workforce, as it can make or break their dreams. According to the World Economic Forum, human skills such as creativity, originality and initiative, critical thinking, persuasion, and negotiation will likewise keep or increase their value, as will attention to detail, resilience, flexibility, and complex problem-solving.

Emotional intelligence, leadership, and social influence, as well as service orientation, are also set to see a particular increase in demand relative to their current prominence today. Referred to as a soft skill, it is required for business development, programming, emergency response, and counseling.

Decision-making

A lot has been said about robots and their intelligence. But we forget they act according to the data fed in them. There is a possibility that these machines may not rise to the occasion.

Even in the future, the crucial decision-making job will rest with human beings. It is believed that the decision-making skills of humans make them an expert in solving problems. 

There are various training and learning programs where children are thrown into difficult situations and asked to decide to come out of them. 

The future of work is about powering decision-making abilities, critical thinking, problem-solving, innovation, and this is only possible through hands-on learning.

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