Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Future Work Skills 2020

 Interesting report from the Institute for the Future (and the University of Phoenix Research Institute), "Future Work Skills 2020".  Highlights from the report include:

  • Six drivers of change:
    1. Extreme Longevity - Increasing global lifespans change the nature of careers and learning
    2. Rise of Smart Machines and Systems - Workforce automation nudges human workers out of rote, repetitive tasks
    3. Computational World - Massive increases in sensors and processing power make the world a programmable system
    4. New Media Ecology - New communication tools require new media literacies beyond text
    5. Superstructed Organizations - Social technologies drive new forms of production and value creation
    6. Globally Connected World - Increased global interconnectivity puts diversity and adaptability at the center of organizational operations
  • Ten future work skills:
    1. Sense-Making - ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed
    2. Social Intelligence - : ability to connect to others in a deep and direct way, to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions
    3. Novel and Adaptive Thinking -  proficiency at thinking and coming up with solutions and responses beyond that which is rote or rule-based
    4. Cross-Cultural Competency - ability to operate in different cultural settings
    5. Computational Thinking - ability to translate vast amounts of data into abstract concepts and to understand data-based reasoning
    6. New Media Literacy - ability to critically assess and develop content that uses new media forms, and to leverage these media for persuasive communication
    7. Transdisciplinarity - literacy in and ability to understand concepts across multiple disciplines
    8. Design Mindset - ability to represent and develop tasks and work processes for desired outcomes
    9. Cognitive Load Management -  ability to discriminate and filter information for importance, and to understand how to maximize cognitive functioning using a variety of tools and techniques
    10. Virtual Collaboration -  ability to work productively, drive engagement, and demonstrate presence as a member of a virtual team.
  • Implications for Education:
    • Placing additional emphasis on developing skills such as critical thinking, insight, and analysis capabilities
    • Integrating new-media literacy into education programs
    • Including experiential learning that gives prominence to soft skills—such as the ability to collaborate, work in groups, read social cues, and respond adaptively
    • Broadening the learning constituency beyond teens and young adults through to adulthood
    • Integrating interdisciplinary training that allows students to develop skills and knowledge in a range of subjects

The report does a very nice job of showing how the drivers combine with the work skills needed for the future.  I encourage all to read the report (about 12 pages) and think how we are addressing these needs.

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