Five Essential Characteristics of our Future Workforce

“You must constantly reinvent yourself, in order to stay relevant, in order to exist.” – Allen Morrison, Thunderbird School of Global Management, Arizona State University

Our education system is working exactly for what it was designed to do, which was prepare people for industry as it used to exist.Our education system is working exactly for what it was designed to do, which was prepare people for industry as it used to exist. Our industries of yesteryear were stable, structured, controlled.

But today, our industries are experiencing rapid transformation. The rules of the game are changing. Because technology has accelerated the rate of globalization and the accumulation of knowledge, structures and systems are being forced to change. And so are career paths, reward systems, relationships.

And the implications are great. If knowledge is free and it no longer provides a significant competitive advantage, what does that mean for education where the structure and relationships in school are primarily designed around teachers imparting knowledge and students receiving knowledge?

How do we help students to develop the skills to adapt in these changing economies? Our future workforce needs the agility to:

  1. Observe and question
  2. Have curiosity and self-awareness
  3. Collaborate amongst diverse groups and settings
  4. Experiment and fail fast to succeed
  5. Be comfortable with uncertainty and change

We need to shift our mindsets and incorporate the same design thinking to our education system that industries are using to continue to stay relevant.

If we don’t act, our workforce of tomorrow will emerge, and we may not get what we need or want.

Download “The Future of Learning: Redefining Readiness from the Inside Out” for an in-depth look at the readiness skills students may need to be successful in the future.

Cris Charbonneau

Written by: Cris Charbonneau

Cris Charbonneau serves as the Vice President of Communications and Marketing for KnowledgeWorks.

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