The advancements in technology have changed the definition of education, and this practice continues to evolve with every new innovation in the industry. Some of the highest paying jobs today, profiles like a Content Creator, Digital Marketing Expert, Medical Technologist, or a Coder or also a Programmer did not even exist a decade ago; skills such as basic communications (verbal and written), marketing analytics, corporate finance, data science were not even comprehended much less converted into recognized learning programs. We are in the process of creating a robust base of education in the present in order to adapt and meet the demand for what is called the future of work.
Even before the global health crisis hit, 92 percent of company leaders surveyed by McKinsey thought that their business model would not remain viable at the rates of digitization at that time, the pandemic has added a whole new spin to this situation. The Gartner 2019 Digital Workplace Survey found that India is the most digitally dexterous country in the world – followed by the U.K. and the U.S. due to having the largest Gen Z workforce along with the desire to learn new skills using digital technologies in the workplace. Needless to say, technology is a mandatory requirement considering that the most in-demand profiles in 2020 are Cloud Architect, Business Analyst, Web and Software Developer, Network Administrator, and few others on the same line.
How do we prepare for this?
Invest in technology-based learning –
Artificial Intelligence-based tools today have a huge bandwidth with respect to developing customized programs according to the individual learner. Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality add on to this medium of learning by making these programs more interesting and engaging. We believe that this approach of learning shall prepare the students for a future of work that would require them to move beyond the conventional mode of thinking especially while working across countries.
Create a balance between earning a degree and learning personal skills –
For most companies, a degree provides a brief understanding of a candidate’s abilities, but recent research shows that education qualification is just one of the pre-requisites, in fact, companies like Google, Apple, IBM, Starbucks and several others are now moving their focus from degrees and considering many other capabilities for employment (15 More Companies That No Longer Require a Degree). The attached report from the World Economic Forum shares a detailed requirement in terms of skills today.
Newer courses and better learning methodologies –
The educational institutions and universities will have to pivot to e-learning. They will have to cross stream education, provide better infrastructure to teachers along with the training for the same, develop a curriculum that shall give equal measure to classroom learning and e-learning with the required flexibility, will have to divide the focus between skills and academic learning and also give additional power to Edtech enablers in order for them to work towards developing better programs.
It is evident that the future needs a system of education that is dynamic as well as adaptive towards the work industry’s constant varying and growing requirements. The on-going pandemic has sped up this necessity and the process to at least into 5x, not giving a choice to the learners but to match their paces with it. On the other hand, we can also look at this as a major transformation period, not just for the education industry but also for the economy as a whole.