Preparing for the Future
Many of the jobs of the future have not yet been imagined or created. Ten years ago, an app developer was not on the career radar screen. According to Burning Glass Labor Insights there were over 200,000 job postings by U.S. employers for emerging tech skills, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and related during 2017, an increase of over 30% year-over-year. While this figure is still relatively small in relation to the total number for tech job postings, it represents an increase of 27% year-over-year growth, a sign that employers are starting to ramp up hiring in emerging tech fields. One estimate by the World Economic Forum predicts that 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types. While the disruptions we see today are significant, we should not simply act out of fear about the impact of automation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and many other technological disruptions. Rather, we need to recognize that many of the skills and disciplines that are required to adapt to these “new” technologies are more likely to be refinements of the operational functions that we already employ today.
As technology continues to change our workforce, the “blue collar” job of the future may look more like what IBM CEO Ginny Rometti has coined as the “new collar” job – jobs in IT that do not necessarily require two- or four-year college degrees. Instead, these jobs may require experiential learning opportunities and alternate learning paths.
CTWS will work to help demystify the perceived challenges presented by emerging technology and educate policy makers so that we enter this “fourth industrial revolution” with optimism —rather than fear — and clear thinking about how best to prepare the workforce. In particular, CTWS will look at new tech job creation trends for both degree and non-degree workers; how new technologies might be creating efficiencies and opening up opportunities for existing workers; and what fiscal and social policies are needed to both facilitate and ease the transition from traditional blue-collar jobs to “new collar” jobs.
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