Workforce of the futureMay 3, 2019

Bridging the gap

Demand for technological skills in the workplace is rising, but workers who…
Avatar Maryann Dennehy

Demand for technological skills in the workplace is rising, but workers who have the necessary skills are in short supply.

Analyst firm McKinsey has been studying this trend.  Some key stats from their May 2018 paper, “Skill Shift: Automation and the Future of the Workforce” include:

  • Advanced IT and programming skills could grow as much as 90 percent between 2016 and 2030
  • By 2030 the time workers will spend using advanced technological skills will increase by 50 percent in the U.S. and by 41 percent in Europe

It isn’t just older workers whose skills are out of date; there are not enough new graduates entering the workforce with the skills that are in high demand. Naturally, this creates a high level of competition for the limited pool of workers with the right skills.  But because there is currently record low unemployment in many developed nations, it is in companies’ best interests to retrain the workers they already have.

Where are the skilled workers?

So how do companies get – and maintain – the workers they need?  The answer may lie in new and stronger partnerships with academic institutions who can provide not just initial, but ongoing training.

The most recent issue of Compass magazine explores this situation in an article entitled “Industry and Academia Team Up to Close the Skills Gap.” It examines the current challenges companies face, and looks at studies on the situation.  It also provides specific examples of a number of collaborative initiatives around the world that have been launched to tackle skills shortages by combining both traditional educational methods and practical, hands-on experience with digital tools in a constantly evolving digital environment. Additionally, the article looks at how workers must also evolve their soft skills  – communication and problem-solving skills as well as working styles that help them function effectively alongside technology.

Click here to discover the full story in Compass.

Watch this short video highlighting four other innovative universities that are developing to develop programs to teach the right skills for people to thrive.

Look for future posts exploring innovative university programs in more detail!

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