On-Demand learning — Creating solutions in an ever-changing landscape
We all know that the world around us is changing at an ever-increasing speed. The developments in technology are light years ahead of where we expected them to be — and while we enjoy these modern marvels, an unintended effect is creating a dilemma for adult workers.
The workplace is transforming as rapidly as the technology in our hands. Overnight, skillsets are deemed irrelevant and the future of entire industries hangs in the balance. For workers that have made a career in manual labor, these changes are especially swift and harsh as their jobs are automated or made obsolete altogether.
These harsh reality is that robots are faster, cheaper, and far more efficient than a human worker could ever be. There is an additional profit increase since robots don’t require the quite expensive benefits that employers must provide workers — health and life insurance, medical leave, or paid time off for illness.
Even for college-degreed workers, as quickly as the workplace is changing, employees are suddenly finding their hard-earned (and quite expensive) education outdated and outmoded. In their higher-level roles, though, it is more related to the tides of natural change that forces their roles to evolve. The emerging technology can be a complement instead of replacement to their roles.
For this to hold true, though, people still need to be able to adapt in a multitude of ways. Aside from refreshing their knowledge to still be applicable to the latest developments and changes, they need to hone and integrate a skillset that machines can never replace — soft skills.
The very human traits of leadership, reasoning skills, empathy, strategic thinking — all of these are both essential to success in business and extraordinarily hard to automate. Using our judgment to navigate tricky business decisions or to innovate an industry aren’t skills that a robot can easily duplicate. They also can’t provide the human experience that so many people still crave. Have you ever quickly hit the zero key when you call into a customer service line and hear an automated menu? It is likely that menu would have been exceedingly efficient to solve your problem or route you correctly — but we feel reassured to be heard by a human.
Still, the presence of automation, machine learning, and AI and their inevitable effects on workplaces are here to stay.
The dilemma facing employees now is whether an additional investment in traditional education even makes sense anymore. Going back to school is promising in some ways, and a huge step back in others. The burgeoning weight of student loan debt still looms over many, for an education that did not serve them as expected. How do you make the decision between going back or starting completely over in a new profession?
Cue the newest trend in education — modular learning. Modular learning is best explained as taking the most important pieces of degree programs and advanced learning, and enabling the learner to structure their education however best fits them. It can be delivered through MOOCs — online learning platforms — to build skills more quickly and efficiently throughout the process (instead of the traditional reward of a very expensive piece of paper at the end of 4–8 years).
Want to learn while also being agile and exploring your interests? Not an issue — take programming courses alongside management and big data — no useless courses and time required.
Alongside convenience, the secondary and more important effect is the increased accessibility to high-quality education, anywhere. On-demand learning is putting power back in the hands of the learners, employees, entrepreneurs, and dreamers. We have more access to more information at our fingertips than anytime in history.
It can be said that the some of the best education at top-tier schools and Ivy Leagues is now, largely, available with little more than a Google Search and some dedicated YouTube binging.
The trend is upheaving the expectation for the next generation as well — those entering high school now see a new way to success and a fulfilling career. The “American dream” is shifting, and college is no longer the golden standard for creating a fulfilling, successful career. Self-education and open platforms are providing more than just access, they are providing an entirely new path.
Block Knowledge is doing its part in this education revolution to bring highly valuable, accessible education to diverse and underestimated founders. Our programs create an avenue to gain technical skills and secure a high paying position, without the sticker shock of a 4 year degree that will likely be obsolete before your first student loan payment is due.
Take control of your future, whether that means launching your own company or gaining a new technical skillset. Learn how here — www.blockknowledge.co.