Struggle to Prepare the Workforce for a Fast-Changing World

Businesses and families expect national education systems to train students for future jobs. “In truth, we know embarrassingly little about tomorrow’s jobs,” explains Joergen Oerstroem Moeller, author, economist and a visiting senior fellow with ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore. “Education and research are increasingly out of touch with demand for skills. The tendency to focus on cognitive skills, including the STEM topics of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, cannot preclude the productivity benefit of soft skills – applying knowledge and finding opportunities offered by technology.” The World Economic Forum has warned that many of today’s high-demand occupations did not exist a decade ago and educators cannot be sure which skills will be most essential for the next decade. Workers must be open to learning new skills at every stage of their careers, and educators must also evolve. Moeller recommends that educators promote interdisciplinary and holistic education, including more interactions among businesses, governments and all segments of society. Preparation and flexibility may ensure that future workplaces pose less uncertainty. – YaleGlobal