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HomeEducationThe Time is Now to Prepare for the Future of Work

The Time is Now to Prepare for the Future of Work

It’s undeniable that the pandemic has had a profound impact on the global workforce, redefining the norms surrounding how people work and even how they think of work. The Great Resignation or “Big Quit” has spanned across virtually all industries and age groups, and even globally, though under different names.

All you need to do to understand the context is review the numbers being released regularly. The U.S. Labor Department reported that 34.4 million Americans quit their jobs in 2021 with over 24 million having done so since April 2021. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 4.2 million Americans left their jobs in October 2021 with the largest losses in leisure and hospitality, retail, manufacturing, and health services. According to Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index, up to 41% of global workers are considering leaving their jobs.

While it is common to see an uptick in people departing from their jobs when the economy is facing turmoil, the rates we’re seeing now are unprecedented. Economists are pointing to the rise in remote work as a catalyst for recontextualizing the way people view their lives and opening new possibilities related to work.  Remote work has also accelerated the trend of workers choosing to become freelancers due to the freedom and flexibility that it offers. Further, it has been observed that freelancers are 50% more inclined to upskill themselves than full-time employees.

So, as we look at the future of work, a few dominant themes are emerging – greater flexibility, greater mobility, greater work-life balance, remote work, greater upskilling, and reskilling. 

Preparing for The New Future of Work

The education industry, and online learning in particular, will need to play a key role in shaping the workforce, helping prepare employees of all ages and experience levels to reach new heights by advancing their current career or expanding into an entirely different field.

Given rapid digital transformation in recent years, in part motivated by the pandemic, many traditional jobs have been transformed or even eliminated and new jobs have been created. Digital communication tools like video conferencing have become a commonplace necessity connecting employees, sometimes thousands of miles away, and enabling employers to increase the scope of their talent search without being bound by city or state limits. Industries that had previously been slower to adapt to the burgeoning digital landscape were forced to change, and quickly – for example, schools had to base curriculums around remote learning, and healthcare providers needed to incorporate telehealth capabilities. In order for employees and employers alike to be prepared in this world of constant change and disruption, adopting a mentality of lifelong learning is crucial for success.

Upskilling Benefits for Professionals

Newly released research from the McKinsey Global Institute suggests that across the world’s eight largest economies over 100 million people, one in every 16 workers will need to transition to new roles by 2030. Learning new skills through guided online development courses, like the kind offered at Great Learning, can not only prepare employees for a future or current role but open their eyes to additional facets of an industry previously unknown to them or uncover a new passion. They also offer hands-on experience to further develop skills previously underutilized or not yet learned.

Great Learning’s highly personalized learning model, featuring faculty from and offered in collaboration with top universities such as MIT Professional Education, Stanford Center for Professional Education, Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Education, the University of Texas at Austin, Wharton Online and others, and facilitated by expert industry practitioners is enabling transformational learning outcomes for its learners with completion rates of over 90%, among the highest globally. One of the key differentiators of the GL programs is the personalized mentorship provided to learners from a pool of seasoned industry experts who provide dedicated mentorship and guidance, ultimately helping them move into the career they want to pursue.  Take this story from one of our learners as an example of how upskilling can impact career growth and development: 

Jamal had 10 years of experience in aerospace and biotech but wanted to augment his skills to leverage the cutting-edge tools and technology of machine learning. After finishing his three-month intensive Great Learning course in applied data science with MIT, Jamal applied his newfound knowledge while starting his own company, and has kept in touch with his mentors, who he now considers his collaborators and friends.

The Enterprise Case

Businesses also benefit from encouraging employees’ professional development. While hiring skilled new talent is a big part of the equation, the bigger challenge—and opportunity—lies in training existing employees to adapt and grow in tandem with the organization. As new technologies like machine learning and AI get increasingly adopted, businesses stand to benefit from having their employees, who already understand their business and have deep domain knowledge, now become skilled and fully equipped to use these technologies to improve and innovate business operations. Companies that adopt new technologies in relevant ways will not only be more innovative but will also stand out from the competition and in turn attract new clients and the best talent.

Savvy business leaders understand that encouraging and providing ample opportunities for employees to set aside time for professional development is a great way to keep current employees engaged and make them feel valued. Making an investment in the future development of an employee shows a willingness to help them reach their full potential at the company and demonstrates a belief in their ability to continue to grow as the business expands. It also keeps employees feeling challenged, reducing turnover and ensuring top talent remains at the company for longer.

In Sum

The Great Resignation has led to an abundance of open positions that need to be filled, and now more than ever, professional development and upskilling are crucial to prepare both individuals and businesses to fill the labor gaps. For professionals, it’s an incredible opportunity to move up within a current company or even take on a new position. For businesses, it’s a great time to rethink and reshape company culture to nurture talent and determine what areas of expertise are lacking.

Digital learning enables people from all backgrounds, generations, and experience levels to dive into a new topic and gain new skills at any time or place. Professional development courses like Great Learning’s are far more affordable than traditional degree programs and much more flexible, enabling individuals to learn as per their convenience.

Easily accessible education, in the form of professional development, will play a vital role in helping to grow the economy by bridging the skills gap and creating a more robust workforce. With greater access to a highly-skilled talent pool, businesses will be better equipped to solve complex problems and drive innovation forward. Companies will also be more likely to retain top talent by investing in employees’ professional growth and development, because employees will feel more valued, challenged, and engaged. Investing in education creates a thriving labor market, which contributes to a more prosperous economy, that then cycles back to boost the American economy and the workers within it.

0 Source: GreatLearning Blog

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