The Future of Work – this has been a trending topic for the past 3 years, with many predictions and expert reviews on the subject. Some experts believe that the increasing adoption of artificial intelligence in our workplace may affect people’s jobs. Some believe that technology will only replace tasks and not jobs. Either way, these key factors will reshape the future of work: artificial intelligence, globalisation and digital education.
Joe McKendrick, a Forbes contributor noted in 2018 that artificial intelligence (AI) will replace tasks, not Jobs. He further suggested that instead of worrying about job losses, company executives should help reduce jobs in which AI and machine learning can do. Therefore, humans should spend more time with higher-level tasks. Whether we believe that technology advancement will increase the labour force or will decrease it, the future is already here. For instance, businesses today are beginning to adopt AI to enhance productivity.
Various reports which have surfaced noted that the adoption of technology by some businesses led to decreasing demand for a human labour force. Other reports also cited how technology is used to deliver advanced and complex tasks. Nonetheless, one thing which is pertinent to note is that those who will benefit from the rapidly dynamic future of work are those who have properly equipped themselves with knowledge and in continuous learning.
How is this affecting your employment opportunities?
A major factor which has been fondly argued to reshape the future of work is globalisation. As we may already know, globalisation affects workplaces too. An organisation in the UK, with only one office in the UK, could source talents and have a workforce from different parts of the World. Today, a number of talents resource platforms are rising with different business models. Recruitment and selection are becoming more seamless than ever. You can find talents through freelancing and consultancy platforms, talent hire platforms, among others. Interestingly, these remote workers also make up the workforce of an organisation. There are predictions by experts that with the increasing internet penetration, and ubiquity of digital communication devices, more organisations will hire and manage more talents remotely.
Many innovative platforms are already providing remote jobs. Globalisation is here at the workplace, and businesses are embracing it to hire the best talents across the globe. This will reduce the need for expatriation. Start-ups, SMEs, MSMEs and even large-scale enterprises are adopting this to feel their work gaps.
Digital education, another major factor, is already reshaping the future of work. Today, an increasing number of institutions of higher learning now offer online programmes. Some institutions operate purely as online institutions, while some operate a mix of online and on-campus. Whichever the case may be, an interesting thing to note about digital education is that it allows students to work and study. With the growing digitisation, big data and technology, everyone needs to engage in continuous learning stay relevant. The rapid adoption of digital education is already reshaping the future of work. Digital education is already helping to equip workforces. This has helped to enhance skills and knowledge of the workforces, at an even lesser cost.
How does education fit into this new reality?
Universities across the globe are offering fully accredited online degree programmes. Interestingly, these degree programmes are recognised as many accreditation bodies across the globe are now issuing accreditation for online programmes. Furthermore, the certificates awarded by most of these institutions offering online programmes do not state or indicate the mood of study as ‘’distance-learning’’.
While conventional brick and mortar institutions continue to take the lead for students’ enrolment, there is a high increase in online higher education enrolments. In many cases, brick and mortar universities now have an online version for selected programmes. In some other cases, institutions offering online programmes are purely online universities.
A good number of institutions of higher learning are already adopting Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) to tutor thousands of students across the globe. An example is Unicaf, the leading online platform offering affordable, quality higher education to underserved markets, in collaboration with reputable universities in the UK, US, Europe and Africa. Programmes are taught through a mix of online and on-campus learning. Unicaf delivers its programmes mainly online, through a VLE. Students in Unicaf are tutored by lecturers across the globe online, through the VLE. Students can also opt-in for an on-campus study where they can receive lectures on Unicaf University campuses.
Unicaf offers graduate and post-graduate degree programmes, and interested candidates can apply for any of these programmes online. They can apply from any part of the world and also study from any part of the world. Upon their graduation, their academic certificate shall be issued to them at their choice location, or they can graduate on campus.
Here are 7 steps you can take to prepare yourself for the future of work:
Today, most key sectors such as legal, finance, ICT, energy, healthcare among others are evolving rapidly and embracing the 4th industrial revolution. The best form of preparing you can make is to be the best in your field, and embrace the 4th industrial revolution when it breezes in. Here are some steps aptly put together to help prepare you for the future of work.
The best way to prepare yourself for the future of work is to learn continuously. A certificate will no longer be sufficient to prove your expertise, you will need to prove yourself on the job.
Familiarise with Trends
Many skills will soon become obsolete. If your skill requires a repeated task, it is likely to be replaced by an Artificial Intelligence (AI). But these AIs will be supervised by humans who are experts in the field. Those who have quickly familiarised themselves with the trends of these technologies will likely be the supervisors of these technologies. Attend business events, conferences, seminars and workshops, where you can learn quickly on emerging trends.
Improve your virtual collaboration skills
Team bonding is critical to ensure the success of your job. However, most team collaboration will now be done remotely, due to the globalised workforce. If you are familiar with virtual collaboration, you will find it easier engaging at the workplace. By 2020, an Intuit study estimates that more than 40% of the American workforce, or 60 million people, will be independent workers. They will provide services such as freelancers, contractors, and temporary employees and so on. Africa won’t be an exception in this emerging trend.
Be able to adapt to new skills
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. — Charles Darwin. If you can easily adapt to new skills, you can fit in on the future of work.
Build your creative intelligence and critical analytical skills
Of course, there will be a limit to AI. Those whos their job requires more creativity and critical analytic skills will still be relevant. There may be a higher demand for such profession.
More About Unicaf
Unicaf has established support centres in 11 African countries The institution offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes of top quality through online and on-campus study system. Candidates with an interest in Unicaf’s partner programmes can apply by visiting the application page here.
Josephine Uche Chikwue (Writer & Educationist)