A Critical Crossroads: The Intersection of the Future of Work and the Future of Education

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We hear a lot of talk about how dramatic advances in technology will disrupt how we work in the future in very fundamental ways. The truth is: the future of work is now.

Robots, artificial intelligence, and automation are already transforming society and business. The workforce continues to shift further toward knowledge-based, highly-skilled jobs and away from industrial jobs.

As businesses adopt more automation and AI technologies, the nature of most jobs—the skills, tasks, and knowledge needed to perform them successfully—will continue to change. Some jobs will be eliminated altogether. And new jobs that we have not even yet conceived of will be created.

This is where the future of work and the future of education intersect.

We’re already seeing employers unable to fill millions of open positions because they can’t find enough workers with the knowledge and skills needed to get the job done. As the volume of unfilled jobs demonstrates, our education system and workforce training programs clearly aren’t keeping pace with the accelerated demand for tech-savvy workers.

Education must be an active part of solving this skilled worker shortage.

What is the future of education? How is it evolving to prepare students for the future of work?

Meet WorkingNation.

WorkingNation tells stories about solutions to the jobs skills gap and is helping raise this critical issue of education and workforce development to the level of a national discussion through articles, videos, podcasts, and live events.

Our mission is to reach people and entities that can effect change, to connect the dots for educators, companies, and communities looking for solutions to their own workforce issues, and to identify for workers and job seekers where the jobs of the future will be.

WorkingNation is listening.

WorkingNation is going to be at SXSW EDU, and we want to hear from you. We’ll be conducting taped interviews at the conference for our WorkingNation Overheard series of videos and articles.

WorkingNation is asking questions about the future of work and the future of education, including:

  • Is the education system arming students with the skills they need for a successful career in high- demand industries?
  • Is higher education changing fast enough to keep up with the career needs of this generation?
  • How can educators work with the business community to create a pipeline of workers needed in the workplace today?
  • Will education prepare students to be lifelong learners?
  • What will higher education look like in the next decade?
  • Should four-year schools be more like two-year schools?
  • Does everyone need to go to college to get a good job?
  • Is college providing a good return on investment for students and parents?
  • Which innovative programs, schools, and education leaders are getting real results?
  • How is YOUR program or school evolving to fit the needs of students and society today and in the future?

We’re scheduling interviews. Email us, let us know who you are, and share your thoughts on these important questions at Overheard@WorkingNation.com . We may ask you to share those thoughts on camera.

Don’t miss our WorkingNation sessions here at SXSW EDU:

    Combatting Recidivism Through Education
    Monday, Mar 9, 5:00 pm The recidivism rate drops when the formerly incarcerated are properly educated and prepared with job skills. Often, these men and women also are held back in their pursuit of meaningful work by a variety of obstacles including injustices in the justice system, a lack of career and skill pathways, societal bias, and, often, a lack of personal networks. We talk about programs that trying to give the formerly incarcerated equal access to opportunity.
    The Intersection of the Future of Work and the Future of Education
    Tuesday, Mar 10, 11:00 am Work in Progress is a 20-minute, weekly podcast focusing on the future of work and the future of workers. Advances in technology are eliminating some jobs, transforming others, and, in some cases, creating jobs we never imagined. The entire nature of work is changing—moving toward more highly-skilled positions—and there are men and women in need of training or retraining to acquire the skills employers need and want. Who is stepping up with innovative solutions?
    Empowering Latinas: Education and Entrepreneurship
    Wednesday, Mar 11, 5:00 pm Through education and opportunity, Latinas are making strides towards economic success and security by embracing entrepreneurship. Still: 27% of Latinas live below the poverty line, 20% drop out of high school, and only 15% of adult Latinas hold college degrees. This will be a candid discussion about creating more economic opportunity through STEM education, mentorships, and apprenticeships, and by equipping Latinas with the training and capital they need to develop meaningful careers and businesses.
    Education and Paths to Employment
    Thursday, Mar 12, 12:30 pm Educators must work closely with businesses and civic leaders to adjust curricula to prepare students for the ever-changing workforce in their communities. Is higher education changing fast enough to keep up with the needs of this generation? Will it prepare students to be lifelong learners? Should four-year schools be more like two-year schools?
    Putting Skills to Work: The Veterans Story
    Thursday, Mar 12, 2:00 pm Over the next few years, 1 million service men and women will transition out of the military into civilian life. It can be difficult. One in three veterans feels they are under-employed. 80% leave their first job within two years. Training military personnel with the skills needed in this tech- heavy world BEFORE they leave the service can help them find good, meaningful civilian jobs. Corporations are working with community colleges to ensure these men and women get the training they need.

Visit WorkingNation.com for articles, podcasts, and videos about solutions to closing the skills gap. Stay up-to-date on the issue by signing up for our newsletter.

Guest blog post courtesy of

Ramona Schindelheim
Editor-in-Chief, WorkingNation
@WorkingNation #futureofwork #workingnation

Sponsored content and photo provided by WorkingNation.

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