As we end 2020, a lot of people are out of work. And even those who aren’t, are looking ahead to a time of unprecedented uncertainty.
It’s likely that all this means that many workers will be looking to education to get new skills or degrees to switch careers or get ahead in the careers they have. And our guest today thinks that that means that colleges and employers will need to rethink the relationship between the workplace and the classroom.
That guest is Michelle Weise, who’s currently a senior advisor at Imaginable Futures, a philanthropic investment firm. Weise is someone who has herself changed careers, from her start as a college professor. She’s out with a new book called Long Life Learning: Preparing for Jobs That Don’t Even Exist Yet. She started writing the book before the pandemic—responding to the rapid changes in the job market that were already happening due to technology shifts like artificial intelligence and automation. But now she believes the COVID-19 virus and all the disruptions it has caused may accelerate the trends she was already seeing.
In a nutshell, she thinks that we need to shift our thinking away from this idea that people go through a long period of education when they’re young and then shift to being a worker and no longer need to keep learning. She says to keep up with the way employment is going, people will need to find a way to combine working and learning throughout their lives.