The Future of Work Is Already Here

The impact of the pandemic and the key questions we should be asking

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Used with permission. Credit: Ryan Brandenberg, Temple University

The Future Is Now 

It’s no secret that institutions of higher education and businesses have been grappling with the impact automation and digital technologies have had on the way people learn and work. And, although robots and artificial intelligence have played a role in rethinking and reshaping our approach to work, a phenomenon even more disruptive accelerated the arrival of the future of work: the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Prior to the pandemic, efforts to keep pace with innovation and disruption affecting nearly every facet of workplace productivity provided the opportunity for organizations to assess their ability to prepare for, and evolve with, the changing employment landscape. And then, in the blink of an eye, that “opportunity” turned into an “imperative.” 

Seemingly instantaneously, employers and employees were required to adapt to new technologies and new ways of working. The swiftness with which many organizations adapted to these changes demonstrated the necessity of a nimble workforce that is prepared to both meet current demand and anticipate and adapt to future change.

The Great Skills Gap » explores the shifting of the skills and preparation that employers need from their talent pool, and how both higher education and business can collaborate to keep pace to support a workforce that is technically proficient and exceptionally agile in their capacity to think and act creatively and quickly learn new skills. As we all learned throughout the pandemic, agility, creativity and adaptability—along with a growing set of technical skills—are and will remain essential to being a successful worker in the future of work.

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