As technological changes continue at unprecedented speed, the world's workforce, schools, training institutions, and companies are working to keep pace and try to get ahead. Four Ways Work Will Change, written by Louise Lee for the Stanford Graduate School of Business Insights blog, draws on a symposium held at the university to begin examining today's young workforce, online learning, automation, and inclusion.

The article offers four changes young people and businesses will have to navigate:

  1. Non-technical skills: Quoting Harry Elam, Jr., Stanford’s senior vice provost for education, the article emphasizes the importance of a liberal arts education to "understand biases in data, facilitate collaboration, bring insight, provide historical perspective, and 'humanize technology in a data-driven world.'" The post emphasizes the value of "transferable skills that employers value," which, based on our experience and third-party research, IYF would argue should be enlarged to include life and work readiness skills such as teamwork and communication.
  2. Lifelong learning: The post describes how workers will need to continue refining and adding to their skillset and introduces the role of incremental online education. “There are all of these educational opportunities that are open to anyone who has the will and desire and ability to go through it, and as a result I think we’re going to see all sorts of new people come into fields they otherwise wouldn’t have access to,” says Julia Stiglitz, a vice president at Coursera, the online learning platform.
  3. Demographics and work-life balance: Not only workers need to keep learning and growing; businesses that want to be competitive must adjust. "Future workers’ attitudes toward employment will be different from those of today’s workers, forcing companies to change how they recruit and retain," Lee writes. The post points to a growing emphasis on work-life balance, prioritized by younger workers. IYF's Millennial Viewpoints Survey, a source for our 2017 Global Youth Wellbeing Index, found that job flexibility is the second greatest motivator, after income, for young people choosing a career path.
  4. Diversity, inclusion, and equity: More and more businesses value and are investing in creating a diverse workforce—whether they believe these teams are smarter and more creative or that is is "simply wrong to leave entire communities out of their teams." Experts quoted in the post emphasized that strategies that increase diversity also promote other positive outcomes, such as employee retention. “Diversity is a fact, inclusion is a practice, equity is a goal,” the article concludes, quoting Dereca Blackmon, Stanford associate dean and director of the Diversity and First Generation Office.

Understanding each of these four themes will ensure young people and businesses can succeed. To learn more, read Four Ways Work Will Change on the Stanford Graduate School of Business Insights blog.