Careers and professions are about to go through a massive flux. A lot of these changes are already apparent, and a few are just around the corner. Three unstoppable forces are behind this unsettling change:
- The incredible progress of technology,
- The rise of global communities,
- The threat of climate change.
We will come back to how these forces are acting and interacting.
These unstoppable forces are creating a huge skill gap. The current school-college-university education system is slow in identifying and bringing about change to bridge this expanding gap. Meanwhile, MOOCs emerged in the last decade and filled a part of the gap by leveraging digital technologies. As a result, MOOCs made education accessible to billions. However, the gap in the contents is still unfulfilled because of three primary reasons. First, what is relevant and what is not is changing by the day. Second, online media fall short in teaching several topics that require hands-on work, viz. 3D printing. Third, personalization of teaching content is yet not possible at scale.
At UNP, our primary purpose is to proactively and continuously understand the impact of these unstoppable forces and be at the forefront of the changes required to address the impact. We track the emerging job market and the emerging skill gap. This task is incredibly challenging because the forces are acting and interacting in unexpected and complex ways. We accepted the challenge. The continuously refreshed understanding of the future is underpinning every education, research, and consulting program in UNP.
A strong network of like-minded and passionate partners is critical to achieving an ever-evolving education and research system. Professionals across the globe join UNP to share their knowledge, upskill, and develop future-ready professionals. Further, we connect with local colleges, universities, research institutes, startups, and established companies to speed up the delivery of relevant education. This way, we help our partner institutes to remain future-ready deliver future-ready curriculums.
As promised, here we come back on the three forces and some of their impacts:
Technology development is accelerating at an incredible rate. And the rate of change itself is continuously increasing. We will witness way more technology development in the next ten years compared to the past ten. Technology, in particular AI and computing, already has taken away millions of jobs. Not only blue-collar jobs from factory floors went away, some seemingly technical jobs, like software testing, are getting replaced by AI-enabled robotic process automation testing tools. And there are plenty of such examples across every possible discipline, including healthcare, engineering, education – you name it.
The rise of global communities is taking any job anywhere. Technology and digitalisation made this planet a melting pot. Politicians cannot stop jobs from moving out of their constituency anymore. Education, software development, back-office operations are just a few areas where jobs have already moved offshore. And with the recent pandemic, several healthcare services are now online. Cryptocurrencies moved the field to a different level. With crowdfunding platforms, small investors from anywhere can fund big starts in the US. Communities are not limited by geographical boundaries anymore; shared interests and goals now define them.
The third force, climate change, is posting a significant threat to the current civilisation. Though, no one knows exactly how and the quantum of the impact. Although some efforts are ongoing, many more are required to slow the effect or adapt to it. This force will change consumer habits, lifestyle, mobility and almost everything that adds carbon to the atmosphere. Several products will go out of the market, and together it will take several jobs during the transition period. For example, petroleum-based fuels in the next 20 years will be out of the market, and so will be the profession of petroleum engineering. On the other hand, more jobs will emerge in carbon capture, renewable energy, mining lithium, electric vehicle etc.
These three forces have one thing in common – they will wash away multiple jobs and professions while creating numerous opportunities that will seek new skills. At UNP, we will research to identify the trend and upskill on what is relevant.
Summing up the UNP thesis – we believe that future skill demand will continue to be very dynamic. Therefore, there is great value in understanding the skill gap in advance and upskill to create a future-ready workforce.