Fast-forward to the future
What are the key skills that will define the future of work? Old workplaces rules, recruitment practices, robust economic models and ways of thinking have been shaken by changes that are redefining careers, industry skills and demand. Our immediate ecosystem has vital clues and answers to what the future could hold for students and young professionals.
Today, technological changes have led to the re-imagining or creation of new jobs and roles and this has ushered in behavioural changes, offsite work options and scaled down travel. In view of all this, higher education , including management education, needs to change. Take the hospitality industry as an example. Multinational hotel chains are not only competing with individual hotels but also with homestays, vacation rentals, and others.
In education, the growth of MOOC platforms and edtech has led to visible changes that are offering stiff competition to our Higher Education Institutes. What we now need are D-Schools built on the philosophy of:
Disruption: The destruction myths, taboos and conventions related to education and a disruptive model meant for tomorrow.
Design-centric: An approach that brings creativity, design thinking and innovation to solve complex problems.
Digital: Meant for a world where digital transformation, social media, digital marketing and a digital mindset is a way of life.
Mental well-being has become a key issue at workplaces and organisations are aligning business goals around their employees. HEIs are also modifying their outlook, teaching-learning practices to align student skill sets with future demands. With learning becoming immersive and experiential, what can students do to build their futures?
The first step is to forge connections and become a self-starter. The college/university becomes the starting point. Students must also build skills that will help them thrive in a gig economy. Apart from being tech-savvy and learning in a multidisciplinary way, being self-driven, disciplined, building problem solving and people skills, emotional intelligence and a global outlook are becoming increasingly important.
Students must know how to work in teams and organisations. This is where industry projects and assignments in class help. They need to be consistent, good communicators and capable people who are aware of the importance of physical and mental well-being. A fine balance between these factors is now a part of conversations and actionable insights inside and outside classrooms.
From an industry perspective, recruiters and employers are looking at building and strengthening relations with the new generation to retain talent. This includes engaging with teams on a human and humane level, besides giving a big thrust to values such as transparency, humour, communication, empathy and changes such as flexible work hours, more leaves, well-being initiatives and aggressively wooing prospective candidates over social media. In the end, the future on both sides is about people power with human skills and values are focal elements.
The writer is CEO, Asia Pacific Region, Global University Systems (GUS)
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