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Automation, Education, and the Future of Work: A Reading List

Source | LinkedIn : By Sara Holoubek

Most conversations about the “future of work” focus on how new technologies and ways of working — such as artificial intelligence and the gig economy — will dramatically reshape modern industries. But very few answer what the earth’s 7.4 billion humans should be doing now to prepare for an unpredictable future.

As it turns out, the future of work conversation is inherently a future of education conversation.

If the hallmark of 20th century learning was access to a college education, the 21st century will emphasize frameworks that support lifelong learning. Education is no longer a linear process with the endpoint of a single diploma, but a continuous and fluid process that should help us adapt to changing technological, economic, and social conditions.

If AI and automation are the new offshoring, we need to prepare students of today for the jobs of tomorrow while also helping today’s workforce reskill and upskill to meet changing requirements. Both are Herculean tasks that require closing the gap between education and industry, as well as developing a stronger framework for credentialing in a highly fractured education landscape.

Over the past three years, our ongoing work on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education has included hands-on approaches to developing critical thinkingattaining next-generation skillsexploring career pathways, and upskilling American adults — all of which suggest that the the future of education is really about the future of work. If you share our curiosity, these resources will help you understand the complexity of the problem at hand.

  1. How to prepare the next generation for jobs in the AI economy (Harvard Business Review) — Experts from Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science look at skills we’ll need to effectively work alongside AI and the changes education must make to bring our future workforce up to speed.
  2. The Math Gap: Implications for investing in America’s workforce (Power in Numbers report produced by Luminary Labs under contract with the U.S. Department of Education) — Most jobs already require math skills, and math-related careers are expected to grow at four times the average rate over the next decade. Meanwhile, more than a third of adults have low math skills. This report outlines the demand for skills and resources, and the opportunities for using new tools to close the skills gap.
  3. To close the skills gap, start with the learning gap (Brookings) — In addition to cognitive competencies (literacy, mathematics, science), humans will need to hone uniquely human capabilities — critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, collaboration — to succeed.

Read On….

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