The Great Disruption

Report: We’re in the Great Disruption
To better understand today’s rapidly changing employment landscape, researchers at Boston Consulting Group, the Burning Glass Institute, and Emsi Burning Glass used artificial intelligence to analyze millions of online job notices and create a “Skill Disruption Index,” which enabled them to compare the speed and significance of changes in 680 specific job roles (Shifting Skills, Moving Targets, and Remaking the Workforce, May 2022). The pace of change has accelerated to the point that the authors refer to the current period of time as the Great Disruption. The main driver of change is technology, not just in intrinsically technological fields such as IT but in many fields (e.g., marketing and HR). The authors identify four big trends: digital skills in nondigital occupations, soft skills in digital occupations, visual communication, and social media skills. The implications for educators and public-sector leaders are this: “Educators, training providers, and governments need to prepare for their role in this challenge. Not only does the lifelong learning challenge change the focus in education, but the pace of skill change also requires educators to rethink both the curriculum and the process by which they review and adapt curriculum, to make learning more agile and responsive to changing circumstances and available to learners in productive, easily accessed formats. They must also guide individuals to the right kind of learning. Workers also need actionable information about how their jobs are changing. Failing to acquire new skills is bad, but so is acquiring the wrong skills—those that don’t provide a return on investment in pay or advancement. Both employers and educators should provide clear guidance on how skills link to career pathways” (p. 26). Download the report here.

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