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The Great Skills Gap

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The Great Skills Gap

Optimizing Talent for the Future of Work

Stanford UP,

15 min read
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What's inside?

Business leaders and academics explore ways to prepare students and mid-career employees for the future of work.


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7

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As technology becomes ubiquitous in the workplace, the types of jobs available will change. Columbia University’s dean emeritus Jason Wingard and research director Christine Farrugia collated 23 perspectives from business and academic leaders exploring the challenges of workforce training. The book’s contributors cover a range of topics such as the need for continual learning throughout life and how academic institutions are moving beyond a four-year degree. The essays provide insightful solutions to help businesses, academics and policy leaders keep apace of change.

Summary

Advancements in technology directly affect the workplace and how universities educate students to meet employer needs.

As technology – particularly, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation – changes the workplace, universities and businesses need to work together to find better solutions. Employers’ evolving staffing needs should reverberate in what and how universities teach students. Some major employers today eschew degrees altogether and hire based on a specific skill set.

The changes that automation brings means employees need to have greater critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Higher education, in turn, needs to determine how to provide that mental agility. People also live and work longer now, requiring them to learn new skills, or new ways to apply those skills, to remain employable in the workforce.

The evolution of work is not proceeding exactly how people predicted.

The employer-employee relationship evolved a great deal between the 1980s to the 2010s. This period ushered in the era of contract employees: Companies could hire these workers to fill staffing...

About the Authors

Jason Wingard is dean emeritus and professor at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies,​​​​​ where Christine Farrugia is director of research initiatives.


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