Call for Papers: The Future of Work

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The Future of Work and the Change Imperative for Higher Education

The School of Professional Studies at Columbia University, at the initiative of Dean Jason Wingard and in partnership with UPCEA—the association for professional, continuing, and online education—invites paper proposals on the future of work and its implications for higher education. Authors with successful proposals may be asked to present their papers and/or facilitate breakout sessions related to their work at a convening/conference that will take place at Columbia University in New York (tentatively scheduled for June 2019). Papers and other proceedings from the conference will also be published in an edited volume. Proposals should expand the body of knowledge around the future of work, and its impact on curriculum, instruction, and career development in the field of professional studies. Thought leaders from higher education and industry are invited to submit paper proposals by January 25, 2019.

Target Audience

The volume is aimed at a broad audience of those responsible for developing and managing talent for the future workforce, including industry executives, higher education leaders, and innovators in the field of education. 

Suggested Topics

Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies and UPCEA are seeking paper proposals on topics related to The Future of Work and the Change Imperative for Higher Education. Suggested topics for proposals:

  • Generation Z and/or Millennials
  • Big Data and How It Is Changing Industries (AI, Autonomous Vehicles, Kiosks, Healthcare, Bootcamps, revised MBA curricula)
  • Alternative Credentials: Top Employers (Google, IBM, Apple) No Longer Requiring A College Degree
  • Leading Cross-Border/Cross-Cultural Teams
  • Social Responsibility: Employee Recruitment/Retention and the Talent War
  • Expanding Access to Higher Education (2020 vs. 1960)
  • The Future of Learning (HS→Work, Degrees, Certificates, Bootcamps, Apprenticeships, Executive Education, Tailored/Boutique Learning, Evolution of Pedagogy)
  • Professional Master’s Degrees
  • Education as a New Safety Net
  • Career Fluidity (Career transitions/changes, job tenure, retirement at 35 vs. new careers at 65)
  • Evolution of the Liberal Arts
  • Additional related topics addressing the overall theme of this volume not specifically listed above

Essential Elements

  • Paper proposals should be between 300 and 600 words.
  • Papers are expected to highlight a deeply relevant topic and to: explore trends and developments in the field of professional studies and related areas; share best practices and innovative solutions; and/or examine controversial ideas which evoke debate and discussion.
  • Authors should be thought leaders in higher education (including UPCEA members) or industry serving in a variety of roles, such as: corporate/non-profit executives; academic experts with a strong focus on application (as opposed to theory); and college and university administrators.
  • Proposals must include complete contact information for the author(s).
  • Authors with successful proposals are expected to present their papers at the June 2019 convening In New York and to cover their own expenses, including lodging, and travel.
  • The completed volume will feature 12-15 papers, and final essays should be between 2,000-4,000 words.
  • Columbia University and UPCEA reserve the right to request changes to accepted paper proposals, and to make final edits to completed papers prior to publication.


January 25, 2019: Paper proposals due
March 6, 2019:  Selected proposals notified
June 15, 2019:      First draft of papers due
June 2019:  Author convening/conference
September 30, 2019: Sign off on final paper drafts
February 2020: Volume published



Please contact Molly Nelson, Vice President, Marketing & Communications, UPCEA,, 202-659-3130

Submit your proposal by January 25, 2019!