This webinar is hosted by the University of Phoenix Research Institute (www.phoenix.edu/researchinstitute.html) and The Chronicle (chronicle.com/). The Institute studies the career needs of adult students. Some studies include ROI of education investment.

A roundtalbe discusses future drivers and competency requirements for 2020.

Marina Gorbis of the Institute for the Future brings the foresight horizon of 5-10 years  (www.iftf.org/)

Dr. Leslie Miller of the Uof Ph RI talked about a national study on the perspective on necessary skills between employers and workers. Their findings found a gap between desired degrees, and employers could not find workers that demonstrated skills of teamwork and communication. Language skills were in demand, particularly Arabic and Chinese. Currently the workforce does not understand the skills necessary for the future. The report identifies 6 key drivers of change and 20 skill arenas most relevant to the workforce of the future ( (http://www.phoenix.edu/research-institute/publications/2011/04/future-work-skills-2020.html).

6 Key Drivers that reshape the landscape of work: extreme longevity, rise of smart machines that nugde humans out of repetitive tasks, computation world exponentially increases the amount of data, new media ecology requires new types of literacy, superstructed organizations create new ways to work, globally-connected world changes scope and scale of work.

10 Key Skill arenas: Sense-making of data by understanding larger patterns and creating unique insights, Social intelligence that can create relationships, Novel and adaptive thinking that does not follow rules-situational adaptability, Cross cultural competency ability to adapt and cross culture, Computational thinking and the ability to understand data-based thinking.

5 New Media Literacy skills: to access and assess information through new media: Fluency in all new forms of media is required, Transdisciplinarity is the ability to cross disciplinary boundaries, Design mindset is the ability to design platforms for any work problem, Cognitive load management is the ability to filter data from multiple streams of information through a variety of tools, Virtual collaboration is the ability to work productively by working as a member of a productive team in virtual environments.

Jim Sporhrer (IBM University Programs World Wide (https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/university/) explained Transdiciplinarity is vital to the adapatability of organizations. The term is defined as literacy and the ability to understand concepts across multiple disciplines) such as water, energy, sustainability, housing, government systems. He suggested looking at www.ibm.com/jobs to understand how varied the new jobs are. The interconnectedness of human systems requires understanding of cross systems in order to build a smarter planet. Life long learners tend to be the people that work well in these organizations. These people are often lateral movers that enjoy filling in cross disciplinary concepts.

Martha Russell, Stanford University drilled down into skills of Conginitive Load Management (ability to discriminate and filter information), Computational Thinking (translation of vast amounts of datae into abstract concepts) and Sense-making of data (finding the deeper meaning). She finds that these 3 skills converge. Multi-tasking is not the solution to the data overload and is over-rated.  People who are curious beyond the sound-byte, interested in both short and long term outcomes, and is good at both structured and unstructured thinking.

Amy Bernstein, ManPower Group: Talent is increasingly become a scarce resource. Talent is emerging as the new “it” as the competetive differentiator between corporations is the abiltiy to attract, mobilizem and liberate talent.  Employers are increasingly looking for specific skill sets, cross culture experience, and signs of flexibility. Companies must learn how to unleash and leverage potential. They are increasingly looking at their assumptions about learning, working and employees. Learning can’t stop once you get your degree. Organizations must focus on training and development beyond formal education. The most valuable employees will be the hardest to hold onto as professionals seek more flexible work arrangements.

Marina sums up with the statement that economic models are changinge. The implications for individuals, education, and business, and policymakers are:

Individuals must adopt a lifetime learning strategy beyond their degrees. You must reset yourself as the world and market changes. Specialize but be broad (?), be technologically and financially competent so you can be self supportive. Freelancing, virtual organizations, and microwork are the new work environments.

Education must adapt quickly to changes, emphasize soft skills and provide real world experience through internships, etc. Intergration of skills with experience are very important.

Business: Adapt workforce planning and strategies to changing environment. They need to reassess their assumptions about their strategies for workforce building and lifelong learning.

Policymakers: must be able to respond to the changing landscape by making education for life long learning and skill renewal a high priority.

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