I remember very clearly when I did the labour law course during my HRM training. For four years, I learned all the ins and outs of what is and is not allowed on the work floor as well as all the legal details. In one of the last lectures our instructor gave us a final message: Forget everything you learned from me and figure things out yourself on the work floor. Laws and regulations change so quickly, that what you learn today is no longer relevant tomorrow!
I didn’t understand a thing. How could I excel in my profession if my profession today is not the same as tomorrow? According to my teacher, lifelong learning would be the solution, but I was so happy that I was finally out of school! This is no different in many sectors, including IT. The programming languages that are the focus of today’s training may already be out of date next week because there is a new language. What will this do to the future job market?
The world of work
We really have no idea what the world of work will look like in 2050. Even if you learn for life, you will have to keep on top of learning to stay up to date with digitization and all the consequences that entails. What will that look like? We just don’t know. We only agree that machine learning and robotics will change almost every profession, from truck driver to nurse. However, there are quite a few contradictory ideas about the real nature and especially the pace of change. Will we be economically superfluous in ten years? Or will the predicted automation actually create new jobs and greater prosperity in the long term?
Fear on the labor market
Fears that automation will lead to mass unemployment are not new. We know them from the nineteenth century and, so far, they have never come true. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, a new job was created for every job taken over by machines. We can no longer ignore ‘lifelong learning’. Fortunately, it’s not only happening in schools, but also on the work floor. For example, True Legends works with a Quest, in which every employee is always on their way to the new skill or the next assignment. How do you make sure you keep up in your field and in the world of work?