Lifelong Learning Will Prepare Students For Jobs That Don’t Yet Exist

by Jeffrey S. Russell | Dean of Continuing Studies and Vice Provost for Lifelong Learning, University of Wisconsin-Madison

News flash: The future is murky.

We all know that accelerating technological change makes it hard to tell what the workforce will look like 20 years from now. Or even two years from now.

In its report The Future of Jobs, the World Economic Forum found that, by 2020, most occupations will require core skills that weren’t considered crucial in the mid-2010s. We can’t even safely predict which occupations will still be around in the next decade.

“Together, technological, socioeconomic, geopolitical and demographic developments and the interactions between them will generate new categories of jobs and occupations while partly or wholly displacing others,” the report says.

So where do all these disruptions leave higher education? With the seemingly impossible task of preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist.

Lifelong Learning Will Prepare Students For Jobs That Don’t Yet Exist