Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Bosses believe your work skills will soon be useless

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Danielle Paquette reports in the Washington Post:

Nearly a third of business leaders and technology analysts express “no confidence” that education and job training in the United States will evolve rapidly enough to match the next decade’s labor market demands, a new report from the Pew Research Center finds.

About 30 percent of the executives, hiring managers, college professors and automation researchers who responded to the Pew survey felt future prospects looked bleak, anticipating that firms would encounter more trouble finding workers with their desired skill sets over the next decade.

“Barring a neuroscience advance that enables us to embed knowledge and skills directly into brain tissue and muscle formation, there will be no quantum leap in our ability to ‘up-skill’ people,” wrote Andrew Walls, managing vice president at Gartner, an IT consulting firm.

“Seriously? You’re asking about the workforce of the future?” added another respondent, a science editor who asked to stay anonymous. “As if there’s going to be one?”

Lee Rainie, Pew’s director of Internet, science and technology research, the study’s co-author, helped canvass, reaching out to 8,000 decision makers in Pew’s database. About 1,400 responded, and many of those told the researchers they were bracing for machines to transform the ways humans work — sometimes in unpredictable ways.

“People are wrestling with this basic metaphysical question: What are humans good for?” he said. “It’s important to figure that out because this blended world of machines and humans is already upon us and it’s going to accelerate.”

Most of the business and technology professionals expected new training programs to emerge, both at schools and on the private market, to better prepare the future labor force. But 30 percent of the 1,408 respondents doubted such a quick transformation could take place. They felt, according to the report, that “adaptation in teaching environments will not be sufficient to prepare workers for future jobs.”

Jerry Michalski, the founder at REX, a technology think tank in Portland, Ore., feared public schools and universities aren’t keeping up with changes in the economy.

“They take too long to teach impractical skills,” he wrote, “and knowledge not connected to the real world.” [Of course, the skill of learning how to learn efficiently and effectively is a highly practical skill, given that training is immediately outdated as technology evolves—having the skill of learning will not be outdated. The skill of learning is one of the skills learned in the liberal arts, which I a sure Mr. Michalski would discard in a heartbeat. He doesn’t get how liberal arts teaches highly valuable skills, but he does get that it leads people to think for themselves and question authority, and that’s the last thing on earth a corporate culture wants. It wants people who will follow orders and chase whatever kibble they’re doling out to motivate the workers to keep the wealth flowing to the top. – LG]

“I’m skeptical that educational and training programs can keep pace with technology,” added Thomas Claburn, editor-at-large at Information Week, a news site. [And thus the importance of learning how to learn. – LG] . . .

Continue reading.

Increasingly I am concerned that our government and other institutions are not planning their response to the upcoming vaporization of millions of jobs. What are they going to do? Is the plan to wait until it hits and then make a plan?

Written by LeisureGuy

7 May 2017 at 4:24 pm

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