Online: Trending Now

Unique biweekly insights and news review
from Ray Schroeder, Director of the National Council for Online Education

Preparing for Future Jobs and Careers

Online: Trending Now #140 

Jobs and careers are changing rapidly, influenced by emerging and maturing technologies and an evolving marketplace mix for human and AI skills and functionalities.

It seems that the most popular book for summer reading this year at my university has been Robot-Proof: Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Northeastern University President Joseph E. Aoun. It recognizes that we have moved beyond mere retention of facts as the primary descriptor of the best qualified applicant or worker, to such areas as critical thinking, depth of understanding, mental agility, literacy in the 21st century technologies, and leading human/intelligent computer interaction. Publisher MIT Press describes it in this way:

A “robot-proof” education, Aoun argues, is not concerned solely with topping up students’ minds with high-octane facts. Rather, it calibrates them with a creative mindset and the mental elasticity to invent, discover, or create something valuable to society—a scientific proof, a hip-hop recording, a web comic, a cure for cancer. Aoun lays out the framework for a new discipline, humanics, which builds on our innate strengths and prepares students to compete in a labor market in which smart machines work alongside human professionals. The new literacies of Aoun’s humanics are data literacytechnological literacy, and human literacy. Students will need data literacy to manage the flow of big data, and technological literacy to know how their machines work, but human literacy—the humanities, communication, and design—to function as a human being. Life-long learning opportunities will support their ability to adapt to change. 

Long gone are the days when we professed to prepare students for a life-long career in a given field. Facts are near instantly accessible in an internet environment. In a sense, the World Wide Web becomes an appendix to areas of the brain where memory is stored and processed. Facts are easily accessed and updated. But, it is much more difficult to build creativity, social and emotional intelligence into a machine, as Lee Raine of Pew Research says:

But there are skills that may help you protect your career from robots, according to a survey of more than 1,400 technologists, futurists and scholars, released Wednesday, by the Pew Research Center. “The vast majority of these experts wrestled with a foundational question: What is special about human beings that cannot be overtaken by robots and artificial intelligence?” says Lee Rainie, director of internet, science and technology research at Pew Research Center and co-author of the report. “They were focused on things like creativity, social and emotional intelligence, critical thinking, teamwork and the special attributes tied to leadership.”

Updated facts and processes are the material for periodic employee trainings. Education, on the other hand, is where we must cultivate the creativity, social engagement, cross-cultural communication, critical thinking, teamwork strategies and leadership abilities of our students. We have been doing just that for some time.  But, now we must focus on these and related skills and abilities for our students to succeed in a competitive marketplace of humans and AI. 

And, we must not lose sight of the fact that the very same is true of all of us and our careers in this dynamically changing field of professional and continuing education. Our value within universities no longer resides primarily in historical knowledge, but rather in the processes, engagements, and interactions with both our fellow humans and our AI-enabled bots and programs that make our colleges thrive.

Of course, I will continue to track the developments in emerging trends, technologies, pedagogies and practices, in the Continuing and Online Education Update blog by UPCEA. You can have the updates sent directly to your email each morning – no advertising, no spam!

Best,
 
Ray Schroeder Founding Director

National Council for Online Education

 

Ray Schroeder 2016 Summit for Online Leadership

Ray Schroeder is Professor Emeritus, Associate Vice Chancellor for Online Learning at the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) and Senior Fellow, and Founding Director of the National Council for Online Education at UPCEA. Each year, Ray publishes and presents nationally on emerging topics in online and technology-enhanced learning. Ray’s social media publications daily reach more than 12,000 professionals. He is the inaugural recipient of the A. Frank Mayadas Online Leadership Award, recipient of the University of Illinois Distinguished Service Award, the United States Distance Learning Association Hall of Fame Award, and the American Journal of Distance Education/University of Wisconsin Wedemeyer Excellence in Distance Education Award 2016.

Whether you need benchmarking studies, or market research for a new program, UPCEA Consulting is the right choice.

We know you. We know the challenges you face and we have the solutions you need. We speak your language and have been serving leaders like you for more than 100 years. UPCEA consultants are current or former continuing and online higher education professionals who are experts in the industry—put our expertise to work for you.


The National Council for Online Education is dedicated to advancing quality online learning at the institutional level. The National Council is uniquely focused on excellence at the highest levels – leadership, administration, strategy – applying a macro lens to the online teaching and learning enterprise. Its engaged members include the stewards of online learning at most of the leading universities in the nation.

The National Council for Online Education offers a variety of custom research options through a variable pricing model.


Click here to learn more.

Other UPCEA Updates + Blogs

Generating So Many Leads and Losing Them in a Blink of an Eye

Higher education marketers are faced with significant challenges in attracting new adult students into their professional, continuing, and online (PCO) programs. The target market is now primarily spread across four generations of adult learners, recent Generation Z graduates (those 22 or younger) and Gen Zers not going to college, Millennials (those 23 to 37 years…

Read More

UPCEA & Other Associations Urge HHS Not to Pursue Definition of Sex

​Shortly before the November election, word leaked that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was considering developing a definition of “sex” that would, in effect, maintain that an individual’s sex was determined at birth and was unchangeable. In a letter​ last week, UPCEA, along with ACE and 27 other higher education associations, urged HHS not…

Read More

Giving Thanks for the New Economy

With the holidays near, we need to give thanks for the many opportunities that 2019 should provide to higher education. The next few years (including 2019) bring the promise of a new and exciting economy, one based heavily on automation and efficiencies and fueled by the once-mocked Millennials (born between 1980 and 1996; now roughly…

Read More

University of Delaware Associate Vice Provost, Professional and Continuing Studies & Online Initiatives Jim Broomall to Retire

Dr. James K. Broomall will retire as associate vice provost, professional and continuing studies & online initiatives at the University of Delaware effective January 15, 2019. Jim holds a secondary appointment in the College of Education and Human Development. Before returning to Delaware in 1988, Jim held program and leadership roles at the University of…

Read More

Exposing Generation Z and Millennials in the Enrollment Management Process

With Halloween only recently past, ghosts still are among us in society. They live among and can frequent colleges and universities, even our professional, continuing and online education units through “ghosting.” Ghosting is a term often associated with younger generations regarding relationships. However, the phrase has recently started entering the workplace with new hires not…

Read More

Announcing: 2019 eDC ThinkTank Roadshow

After successfully piloting virtual ThinkTanks in 2018 with Utah State University and Oregon State University, we’re happy to announce the 2019 eDC ThinkTank Roadshow schedule. We’ve tweaked things a bit and the 2019 eDC ThinkTanks will now be free and open to all members of UPCEA! Non-members will be charged a nominal registration fee. We…

Read More

The Nation's Top Universities Choose UPCEA Consulting

Informed decisions. Ideas that work. The data you need. Trusted by the top universities in the nation.