Education, Disrupted

Education, Disrupted

Confronting sizable skills gaps, companies have stopped waiting for higher education to meet their rapidly shifting competitive needs.

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Traditional educational institutions and many business leaders are proving slow to respond to digitalization’s educational demands – resulting in massive skill shortfalls in the workforce and severe implications for organizations’ competitiveness. Education consultant Michael B. Horn’s alarming article for MIT Sloan Management Review describes both the crisis and some bold emerging solutions, and also speculates about the future shape of education in a digital world.


A shortage of skilled workers is forcing employers to take education into their own hands.

The traditional educational system is failing to prepare workers to fill roles in digitalized companies – and in this intensely competitive labor market, companies are struggling to hold on to key talent. An estimated seven million roles remain unfilled because applicants lack the necessary qualifications.

More than three out of four business leaders point to talent shortages as a top business threat, and more than 90% recognize the imperative to devise new talent strategies – but the majority of leaders admit they have taken no action. Institutions of higher education, too, have failed to offer adequate solutions.

Amazon is preparing to spend $700 million to train a third...

About the Author

Michael B. Horn is the chief strategy officer at the Entangled Group, an education venture studio, and cofounder of the Clayton Christensen Institute, a nonprofit think tank.

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