Posted by: Gregory Linton | 11/28/2018

New report argues for the necessity of “human+ skills” to succeed in the “Robot Future”

Robot ReadyOn November 13, a major report was released by Emsi, a labor market analytics firm, and the Strada Institute for the Future of Work titled “Robot-Ready: Human+ Skills for the Future of Work.” The report is based on analysis of more than 100 million social and professional profiles and applicant résumés and more than 36 million job postings. The thesis of the report is that “it is the integration of human and technical skills that will provide the best preparation for the future of work.” They argue that some of the high-skills work in demand today that involve mathematics, logical deduction, and encoding quantitative relationships will be automated in the future. However, “human skills” that cannot be automated will always be in demand. These human skills are primarily associated with liberal arts programs, which includes the humanities, social sciences, and interdisciplinary programs. These skills include cognitive flexibility, judgment, common sense, leadership, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, communication, emotional intelligence, and ethics. These skills will enable learners to transfer knowledge from one domain to another when jobs become obsolete in order to learn new skills in demand. The best formula for future success combines human skills with technical skills such as data analysis and digital fluency. Currently, many successful graduates stumble upon a layering of skills that fills the gaps in the workforce, but institutions should address this “translation chasm” by identifying the career outcomes of their liberal arts students and being more intentional about helping students translate what they are learning into the labor market needs and wants. For a summary of the report by Inside Higher Ed, go here.

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