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Why should you study this course? In this introductory post we highlight key changes that demonstrate just how different the future of work will be.
looking at faces around the world through a mobile phone
© University of Exeter

The future of work will offer significantly different challenges and opportunities, shaped by digital and technological innovations as well as trends towards global organising.

The objective of this short course is to equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary for you to reach your intended career goals in a world where the future of work will require flexibility, adaptability and lifelong learning.

When we developed this course in 2018, the “direction of travel” for digital disruption was already clearly evident. Since then, Covid19 has accelerated the pace of change still further, particularly as regards home working, consumer behaviour, business processes, digital inequalities….

Developments in fields such as robotics, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence (AI) are proving to be highly disruptive to society and to ourselves as employees or entrepreneurs.

These technologies integrate physical, digital and biological systems in new and exciting ways, creating complex automated systems, and resulting in significant changes that we are only just beginning to understand. It’s said we are experiencing “disruptive innovation” and are now in the process of a “4th Industrial Revolution”.

In Week 1 we will investigate what these changes mean for the nature and structure of employment. What new job roles are being created, and what jobs could become obsolete? We will dig beneath the scaremongering language of “robots taking our jobs” to make some evidence-based predictions.

In Week 2 we will demonstrate how new technologies do not operate in isolation – they shape (and in turn are shaped by) social and cultural factors. The challenge for all of us is to focus these changes in ways that will benefit rather than damage our world. We will conclude by highlighting key skills we should be developing in order to navigate the future of work successfully.

We will showcase a number of projects highlighting key contemporary themes that are shaping the future, and outline some practical steps you can take in preparation for what are increasingly likely to be “portfolio” careers.

As a diverse group of learners based all over the world, you are strongly encouraged to join in with the discussions to share examples from your own experience and location for everyone to benefit from.

Through videos, articles, and activities, this short course will enable you to gain the knowledge and practical skills to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Please note that the Educators will be taking part in the discussions between 9th May and 31st May 2022. During this time a number of University of Exeter students will be joining the course as part of their module on Digital Business.

Outside of these times there is no active participation from the Educators, but the course encourages a strong learning community. The learning is focused around debate and discussion – supporting other learners, sharing your own experience and knowledge, and listening to new perspectives. We hope that you will enjoy interacting with and learning from each other in this way. Don’t forget to comment, reply to other learners and ‘like’ comments.

© University of Exeter
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