The Future Of Jobs And Education

The world of work has been changing for some time, with an end to the idea of jobs for life and the onset of the gig economy. But just as in every other field where digital transformation is ongoing, the events of 2020 have accelerated the pace of this change dramatically.

The International Labor Organization has estimated that almost 300 million jobs are at risk due to the coronavirus pandemic. Of those that are lost, almost 40% will not come back. According to research by the University of Chicago, they will be replaced by automation to get work done more safely and efficiently.

Particularly at risk are so-called “frontline” jobs – customer service, cashiers, retail assistant, and public transport being just a few examples. But no occupation or profession is entirely future proof. Thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), even tasks previously reserved for highly trained doctors and lawyers – diagnosing illness from medical images, or reviewing legal case history, for example – can now be carried out by machines.

At the same time, the World Economic Forum, in its 2020 Future of Jobs report, finds that 94% of companies in the UK will accelerate the digitization of their operations as a result of the pandemic, and 91% are saying they will provide more flexibility around home or remote working.


If you’re in education or training now, this creates a dilemma. Forget the old-fashioned concept of a “job for life,” which we all know is dead – but will the skills you’re learning now even still be relevant by the time you graduate?

One thing that’s sure is that we’re moving into an era where education is life-long. With today’s speed of change, there are fewer and fewer careers where you can expect the knowledge you pick up in school or university to see you through to retirement. MORE FOR YOUThese Are The World’s Best Employers 2020The Value Of Resilient LeadershipEmployers Must Act Now To Mitigate The Impacts Of The Pandemic On Women’s Careers

All of this has created a perfect environment for online learning to boom. Rather than moving to a new city and dedicating several years to studying for a degree, it’s becoming increasingly common to simply log in from home and fit education around existing work and family responsibilities.

This fits with the vision of Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of online learning platform Coursera. Coursera was launched in 2012 by a group of Stanford professors interested in using the internet to widen access to world-class educational content. Today, 76 million learners have taken 4,500 different courses from 150 universities, and the company is at the forefront of the wave of transformation spreading through education.

 “The point I focus on,” he told me during our recent conversation, “is that the people who have the jobs that are going to be automated do not currently have the skills to get the new jobs that are going to be created.”

Without intervention, this could lead to an “everyone loses” scenario, where high levels of unemployment coincide with large numbers of vacancies going unfilled because businesses can’t find people with the necessary skills.


The answer here is a rethink of education from the ground up, Maggioncalda says, and it’s an opinion that is widely shared. Another WEF statistic tells us 66% of employers say they are accelerating programs for upskilling employees to work with new technology and data.Models of education will change, too, as the needs of industry change. Coursera is preparing for this by creating new classes of qualification such as its Entry-Level Professional Certificates. Often provided directly by big employers, including Google and Facebook, these impart a grounding in the fundamentals needed to take on an entry-level position in a technical career, with the expectation that the student would go on to continue their education to degree level while working, through online courses, or accelerated on-campus semesters.

“The future of education is going to be much more flexible, modular, and online. Because people will not quit their job to go back to campus for two or three years to get a degree, they can’t afford to be out of the workplace that long and move their families. There’s going to be much more flexible, bite-sized modular certificate programs that add up to degrees, and it’s something people will experience over the course of their working careers,” says Maggioncalda.

All of this ties nicely with the growing requirements that industry has for workers that are able to continuously reskill and upskill to keep pace with technological change. It could lead to an end of the traditional model where our status as students expires as we pass into adulthood and employment.

Rather than simply graduating and waving goodbye to their colleges as they throw their mortarboards skywards, students could end up with life-long relationships with their preferred providers of education, paying a subscription to remain enrolled and able to continue their learning indefinitely.

“Because why wouldn’t the university want to be your lifelong learning partner?” Maggioncalda says.

“As the world changes, you have a community that you’re familiar with, and you can continue to go back and learn – and your degree is kind of never really done – you’re getting micro-credentials and rounding out your portfolio. This creates a great opportunity for higher education.”

Personally, I feel that this all points to an exciting future where barriers to education are broken down, and people are no longer blocked from studying by the fact they also need to hold down a job, or simply because they can’t afford to move away to start a university course.

With remote working increasingly common, factors such as where we happen to grow up, or where we want to settle and raise families, will no longer limit our aspirations for careers and education. This could lead to a “democratization of education,” with lower costs to the learner as employers willingly pick up the tab for those who show they can continually improve their skillsets.

As the world changes, education changes too. Austere school rooms and ivory-tower academia are relics of the last century. While formal qualifications and degrees aren’t likely to vanish any time soon, the way they are delivered in ten years’ time is likely to be vastly different than today, and ideas such as modular, lifelong learning, and entry-level certificates are a good indication of the direction things are heading.

You can watch my conversation with Jeff Maggioncalda in full, where among other topics, we also cover the impact of Covid-19 on building corporate cultures and the implications of the increasingly globalized, remote workforce. Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

Bernard Marr

 Bernard Marr

Bernard Marr is an internationally best-selling author, popular keynote speaker, futurist, and a strategic business & technology advisor to governments and companies. He helps organisations improve their business performance, use data more intelligently, and understand the implications of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, blockchains, and the Internet of Things. Why don’t you connect with Bernard on Twitter (@bernardmarr), LinkedIn ( or instagram (bernard.marr)?



World Economic Forum

The Future of Jobs report maps the jobs and skills of the future, tracking the pace of change. It aims to shed light on the pandemic-related disruptions in 2020, contextualized within a longer history of economic cycles and the expected outlook for technology adoption, jobs and skills in the next five years. Learn more and read the report: The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. We believe that progress happens by bringing together people from all walks of life who have the drive and the influence to make positive change. World Economic Forum Website ► Facebook ►… YouTube ► Instagram ►… Twitter ► LinkedIn ►… TikTok ►… Flipboard ►


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7 Rules For A Wealthy Retirement


s you enter the home stretch of your career, you may be paying professionals large sums for retirement guidance. Maybe you don’t have to do that. This 7-part series on wealth will give you the tools to make a lot more financial decisions on your own.

#1: Put It All In One Fund

This cheap index fund is an excellent one-step, five-minute answer to your portfolio needs. Read more →

#2: Create Your Own Yield

You don’t have to buy those complicated, fee-saturated Wall Street products that promise big payouts. Instead, create your own payout. Read more →

#3: Don’t Buy A Long-Term Care Policy

We have two better ways to fund nursing care. Read more →

#4: Cut Your Portfolio Management Costs

Are you paying 1% or 2% to have your money invested? Why? Read more →

#5: Pay Off Your Mortgage Rapidly

The Trump tax cut means that debt is for losers. Get rid of your mortgage. Read more →

#6: Moonlight

Take up a second career and take advantage of these tax breaks for the self-employed. Read more →

#7: Count Your Blessings

What makes a retirement happy? We veer off the money track. Read more →

I aim to help you save on taxes and money management costs. I graduated from Harvard in 1973, have been a journalist for 45 years, and was editor of Forbes magazine from 1999 to 2010. Tax law is a frequent subject in my articles. I have been an Enrolled Agent since 1979. Email me at williambaldwinfinance — at — gmail — dot — com.

Source: 7 Rules For A Wealthy Retirement

Why 8,000 Is The Most Important Number For Your Retirement Plan

What an 81-year old Uber driver can teach us about retirement.

My Uber driver and I struck up a conversation about the Orlando traffic and weather. The chatter soon drifted into stories about his experiences living and driving in Florida. I soon learned my driver’s name was Bob.

Raising his voice, and turning to get a look at my face in his rearview mirror, Bob asked me, “How old do you think I am?”

I am always nervous to make such a guess — uttering a number either too old, or too young, can chill the air.

But, before I could make a guess, Bob volunteered his age with a wry smile, “I am 81 years old and still working! Heck of a thing, don’t you think? 81, and still working.”

Bob’s voice trailed off, as he gently turned the wheel steering his Camry off the highway into the driveway of my hotel. At a volume almost too low to be heard, he muttered, “I had no idea it would be so long.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

Bob’s eyes darted to the rearview mirror again staring back at me. He replied flatly. “Retirement.”

Bob and millions of others are experiencing the new retirement. Yes, there have always been older people, and millions have retired before us, but retirement today is different.

There are many factors that can describe how life in retirement has changed. But, perhaps the biggest difference is time.

Social Security was enacted in 1935. More than an entitlement program, Social Security culturally framed how we think about retirement — particularly when to retire. While the ‘when’ of retirement, 65 years old, was simply a product of legislative negotiation, the number is now engraved into our social consciousness with nearly the same indisputable truth as Newton’s law of gravity. In the 1930s retirement was a story about a brief period of life that offered much needed rest from a life of work. As I observe in my book, The Longevity Economy, shortly after World War II, with the advent of pensions, social security, and modestly longer life, the retirement story framed older age as a short time filled with well earned relaxation, leisure, and family.

But, as my 81-year old driver keenly observed, retirement is very likely to be longer than planned and include more than simply play and rest. According to the Social Security Administration, an American male at 65 years old is likely to live an average of another 20 years. Likewise, an American woman, on average, is likely to live approximately another nearly 22 years.

Numbers alone, such as the cold clarity of 20 years, rarely provide insight. Instead, stories that explain what the numbers may mean can give context and inspiration to comprehensive retirement planning. So how might the 20-plus years in retirement be imagined?

Translating years to days, two-plus decades of retirement is about 8,000 days. 8,000 days is also roughly the same amount of time from birth to legal drinking age – 21 years old. Put another way, life between 21 years old and what many might call midlife in their later 40s, is another 8,000 days. And, from midlife, to the seemingly preordained retirement age of 65 years old, is – you guessed it – about another 8,000 days.

The point is retirement is not a brief period of life after full-time work. Rather, retirement is equal to one-third of your adult life.

Moreover, life in retirement is equal to other major life stages that benefitted from countless people, institutions, media, advertising, social norms, and more that guided how you lived in, and moved from, one phase of life to another. And, during each of those 8,000-day periods there were many transitions as well as planned and unplanned events that punctuated life.

Unlike other life stages, there are far fewer guideposts to help navigate the later one-third of adult life. Images of golf courses, bike trails, cafés, beaches and other trite imagery often found in retirement brochures may provide dreams and inspiration to some, but 8,000 days sitting at a café is not realistic for most. And not even desirable for many. Why should we assume that retirement, another 8,000 days of adult life, should be somehow more predictable, or any less filled with transitions, celebrations, and revelations, than any other life stage?

Viewing retirement as a full, long 8,000 days stimulates the imagination and raises many questions about later life.

There is the seemingly singular retirement planning question that becomes even more critical when realizing that there is the real possibility that our lifespan could out live our wealth span. How much money will be needed, not for a brief time, but for a much longer time than most of us imagine?

Then there are the less obvious considerations that are not typically part of our retirement planning story. Here are just a few.

What will we do with all that time – work part-time, play, travel, learn something new, remarry, volunteer, provide care? Have we made the plans, and established the connections, and formed the relationships necessary to engage in those activities before punching-the-clock one last time and entering into retirement?

Where will we live? In the previous 8,000 day periods of life we may have moved at least one or more times. Why shouldn’t we assume that we might move once, twice or more in older age as our preferences, health, and perhaps finances demand?

Retirement planning for most has been about numbers – savings and the amount of money necessary to ensure financial security through the years – certainly not incorrect, but woefully incomplete. Reframing retirement for what it is, one-third of adult life forces us to realize that there are far more opportunities, and challenges, than our current story of retirement planning includes.

8,000 days of retirement. As my 81-year old driver Bob might say, “heck of a thing.”

I lead the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab ( Researcher, teacher, speaker and advisor – my work explores how global demographics, technology…

Source: Why 8,000 Is The Most Important Number For Your Retirement Plan

Employers Say 64 Is Too Old To Get A Job – Ashlea Ebeling


When is someone too old to work and too old to hire? Employers and workers don’t agree, and that’s a problem. With so many people living well into their late 80s, 90s, even 100, many older workers need a job past 65, not just to stay engaged and healthy, but to save more for retirement.

“It’s important to raise awareness that these disconnects exist,” says Catherine Collinson, ceo and president of Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, and author of the center’s latest annual retirement survey report, which delves into these issues. “So many workers are looking to extend their working life past 65 and gradually transition into retirement, from full-time to part-time. Employers recognize the need but haven’t updated business practices to be supportive of them.”

Here are some of the surprising findings.

Question 1: At what age is a person “too old” to work? Almost two-thirds of employers (65%) say “it depends on the person,” compared to 54% of workers. That’s encouraging, but the not-so-good news, Collinson says, is that among employers who cited a specific age when a person is “too old” to work, the median response was age 70—five years younger than age 75—the median age cited by workers. So, there’s a five-year gap.

Question 2: At what age is a prospective candidate considered “too old” to hire? Some 64% of employers say “it depends on the person.” Another 12% are unsure. “The remaining employers say age 64!” says Collinson, alarmed, noting that’s the median response. “This illustrates the opportunity for employers to open their hearts and minds to older workers.”

Most employers offer a 401(k) or similar retirement plan, and that opportunity to save for retirement through work is key to workers’ retirement security. Still, only 54% of workers age 65-plus are offered a workplace retirement plan, Collinson says.

Among those who are offered a plan, the uptake is high: 78% participate, and their annual contribution is 10% (median) of pay. Part of the solution is encouraging more employers to offer retirement plans and to extend participation to part-time workers. Among employers that offer a 401(k), only 41% extend eligibility to part-time employees, she says.

Collinson suggests additional moves for employers to be more age-friendly. Employers should consider adopting a diversity and inclusion policy statement that specifically includes age among other characteristics including race, gender and physical ability. Just 23% of employers in the survey have done so.

And employers should consider offering a formal phased retirement program. Only 20% of employers in the survey have one in place; yet 47% of workers envision such a future. It’s one she sees for herself “when retirement grows closer on the horizon,” even though, now 55, she’s been stuffing a 401(k) since age 24.




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