The workforce of the future
A recent editorial article in Bloomberg Magazine (Aug 14, 2019) brings up an issue of interest to college students. The article is entitled “Employers can’t retrain the U.S. by themselves” and it deals with the issue of preparing the workforce for the future, where a great deal of the work will be done by robots. It reveals that more than 7 million job openings remain unfilled and that 20% of employers say that applicants lack the skills necessary for those jobs, not only competency in digital technologies but also in communication and problem-solving skills.
It is also interesting to note that Amazon has recently announced it will spend $700 million in a six-year program to retrain a third of its U.S. workforce in automation, machine learning, and other technologies. Other companies, such as AT&T, WalMart, and Accenture have embarked upon similar efforts.
These companies understand that a societal effort is required to properly prepare the workforce of the future.This effort would include industry, government, and academic institutions as partners working together toward a common goal: the worker of the future.
How can Lincoln students prepare for this new environment? By ensuring that the elective courses allowed in their programs include the technical subjects mentioned in this article and that their internship choices are pointed in a technical direction whenever possible. One other alternative could be to obtain technical certificates (some are online and at low or no cost) that will make resumes more competitive. And, of course, being proactive in the classroom by asking questions that connect the subject with industry reality.
Dr. Walter Kruz
Chairman, MIS Department