How and what to study to get ready for the Jobs and the Workplace of the future?

In a recent report, Linkedin said that more than 35% of the subscribers present on the platform identify themselves as a Freelancer or as a Consultant. This is a growing trend. More and more people want to work in the Gig Economy. Check how to get ready for workplace of the future.

Workplace for Future

Be it in the name of solopreneur, entrepreneur, knowledgepreneur, Technopreneur, people today want to work for themselves. In a recent report, Linkedin said that more than 35% of the subscribers present on the platform identify themselves as a Freelancer or as a Consultant.

This is a growing trend. More and more people want to work in the Gig Economy.

Today, on one hand, we have high paying Data Science, Fintech or Technology Jobs. People are working on blockchains, Machine Intelligence, Internet of Things and many such other technologies, which will shape an entirely unknown future.

And on the other hand are the blood-sucking, painstaking Sales or Data Entry jobs. The jobs in between are absent.

A polarisation in the job market is evident. 

In the wake of such polarisation, this youngest nation of tomorrow called India is claiming to reap the benefits of the demographic dividend.

But is it even viable?

I mean this demographic dividend can very well become a demographic disaster.

The future is Volatile Uncertain Complex and Ambiguous. 

Can’t we identify the right techniques, technology, and content to fix this gap? Do we really understand, what the right questions are? And which one of those is the most relevant one today?

Is it

What are the challenges of the job market today?

or is it

How can India become a preferred workforce supplier to the world in the upcoming future?

or is it

What kind of education do we need to get ready for the workplace of the future?

I chose the third one and in January 2017, I started a research on the Futuristic Education, more precisely, ‘how or what can we study to get ready for the future?’ 

I would like to divide this entire article into 3 parts

  • The issues in current education
  • What are futuristic Jobs and workplace
  • How to get educated for the future

The issues in current education

For quite a time before starting EdMonks, I was focused on the concepts like the 4th Industrial Revolution, the Technology Mega Trends, the Gig Economy, the Social Entrepreneurship etc and so I was being invited to speak in various events around these topics, even in the most revered institutions like IIT, DTU etc.

And soon I realised that ‘What may come! the Higher Education can never flourish here in India without a long-term backward integration with the school education’.

If you notice, when India participated in PISA test by OECD in 2009, we ranked 72 out of 74 countries (https://www.thequint.com/news/india/indias-pisa-moment-are-we-turning-into-a-nation-of-nitwits) and we conveniently chose to condemn the assessment procedure of that test and boycotted the organisation.

And now in 2018, the latest ASER Report (http://indianexpress.com/article/explained/aser-report-2017-in-villages-as-they-grow-up-more-girls-drop-out-of-school-5027619/)done by a complete Indian entity, has again proved a similar case.

Majority of children in 5th grade cannot read at grade 2 level, do not know simple arithmetic operations, cannot communicate well in their own native language.

We have been miserably failing on the very basics of three R’s of Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic.

Amongst the hoopla around Personalised Education, Blended Learning, and the MOOCs, the big question still remains ‘How to fix the unemployability riddle, here in India?’

The answer is also very simple.

‘The unemployability may appear at the higher education level but the damage is already done at the school level’.

We inculcate ‘conformity’ in the very mind of our kids, be it in the name of so-called discipline or in the name of the mighty prescribed school curriculum, and then at the higher education level, we demand an Out of the Box thinker “What a joke?”.

What are futuristic Jobs and workplace?

World economic forum has given enough data to confirm the arrival of the 4th industrial revolution (https://www.weforum.org/about/the-fourth-industrial-revolution-by-klaus-schwab) and told that this is the biggest revolution in the history of mankind.

While all earlier industrial revolutions were caused by one or at max two technologies, this 4th one is being fed by tens of different technologies at the same time.

Robots, Drones, Big Data, Mobile Computing, Machine Intelligence, Mixed Reality, 3D Printing, Internet Of Things, Blockchains, Quantum Computing and many other such technologies, each one capable to lead their own industrial revolution, are changing the world, that we live in, upside down.

The bigger issue with these technologies is that majority of jobs of today will disappear in the future. For example

  • Automation and Robots will replace factory workers
  • Drones and Artificial Intelligence will sweep jobs across the profession.
  • (Just imagine, soon we will not need drivers because vehicles will go driverless)
  • Delivery of almost anything may now be done through Drones.
  • 3D Printing will disrupt the prototyping world, which will open phenomenal possibilities.
  • Blockchain may actually make your governance free of people.

Although each of these technologies is capable of mass layoffs, they will also introduce new kinds of opportunities.

The delivery of job will now be done through a new ecosystem that we call ‘The Gig Economy’, which have three prime segments

The BLUE World | It will primarily include big corporates with huge turnovers but a very small number of people directly working for them.

The ORANGE World | It masses will be here, who offer their services to the BLUE world not as a job but as a one time GIG and will be compensated for it. Majority of the work by the BLUE world that cannot be done by machines, will be given to the ORANGE world through GIGs.

The GREEN World | Here will be the people, who are working for a cause. They will be working on sustaining earth resources and stopping or at least delaying the extinction of humans. For more information, you can please read 17 Goals of Sustainable development by United Nations (https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/envision2030.html).

So, to work in the Gig Economy, it will be very important to develop an online brand. The personal brand only will decide the kind of fee, you can charge for your gig and hence it is going to be a very important thing in the future.

When a student develops her or his resume, available information is usually very limited like the educational percentages, the biological data and the institutions one has studies on. A few of the bright one’s may have some academic or sports achievements too.

But imagine, if the student put in a couple of months to develop

  • An online portfolio of her or his designs?
  • or Write an e-book on one’s passion?
  • or Start an Online Course as an instructor?

Do you see an improved chance of acceptance of her or his application with the above stuff on the resume?

It may look difficult to you in the beginning but the world of the Internet is full of opportunities. In my research that I did at 18 schools in Delhi, I was happy to see that 6% of the students, who participated in my programs were involved in some kind of GIGs already.

A recent report of Linkedin said that out of all the subscribers it has worldwide, around 35% of them claim to be either a freelancer or a consultant. This is the world of Knowledgepreneurs now.

Join my FREE webinar ‘The Knowledgepreneur & their Personal Branding’  (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeRSaDjMx5npPhrLCKWsX3cNeCwgnML4GpR8yDsG4n0wwQZrg/viewform?usp=sf_link)

How to get educated for the future?

Conventional education today is all about data accumulation, years and years of cramming, and surprisingly we call it knowledge-based education.

But with the help of Automation and Artificial Intelligence, a simple robot or in future a humanoid robot will be able to process the entire knowledge that you have acquired in years, in a matter of few hours or less.

And hence to stay relevant in the future, the need of the hour is to learn the skills that will keep you relevant in future and that cannot be easily implemented in machines, like Complex Problem Solving, Critical thinking, Technology, Global Perspective, Service Orientation and there is a list of skills that are not being taught in the current education.

So why not try an altogether new way of five steps of futuristic education

1. Get a Mentor – The biggest question today in education is, What is worth learning, especially when the world is so volatile that new terms and technologies are coming by a score like a flip-flop. You can really expedite your learning speed, by making mistakes that are worth making. Choose your mentor wisely.

2. Self Learning – Once with the help of a mentor, you have finalised, what is worth learning about your goals. Identify relevant content Books, MOOCs, Tools, Softwares etc and start exploring.

3. Tinkering / Making / Hacking – The next step is to explore, what you have learned, make mistakes and learn from the mistakes.

4. Deep Immersion Program – Join some deep immersion program, which can be a short or long term and are focused on your niche that you want to work upon. For example, if you have chosen Machine Learning as your niche worth learning about, now you need to join programs that are focused totally on this niche only. You can learn directly from best of the people in that niche through these programs.

5. Create your own Community (or join an existing one) – Once you have started networking with people in your niche, where you want to make your career, it is good to make a strong community, so that you are always learning and are updated on all the new development in your niche.

You may also Join my free webinar, ‘Five Steps of Futuristic Education’.  (http://edmonks.com/featured/the-future-of-education/)

Anupam Kaushik

The author of the article is an Author, a Public Speaker and the torch-bearer of disruptive innovations in education. He is developing an alternative education for young kids and adults to get ready for the 4th Industrial age. Click here (www.anupamkaushik.in) to know more about him

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