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Future of Work

The Future of WorkDisruptive technologies that enable knowledge work automation through artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics are impacting work, workers and workplaces.

These changes are not to be feared, but it will require that we keep learning.  Therefore, professionals in career centers, human resources and workforce development are all talking about these changes and helping to prepare professionals to participate in this new kind of economy.

Research suggests that some demographic groups have traditionally lagged behind others in the adoption of new technology and when the workforce changes.  One of our goals at The HBCU Career Center is to ensure that the HBCU community stays aware and involved in technology changes driving workforce changes.

Our goal is to ensure that HBCU career center programs are focused on the emerging skills needed for career success today.

HBCU students and alumni are often very creative and innovative and this is an exciting time to solve problems using the emerging technologies.

Key Definitions

  • Algorithm-Based-Hiring (ABH):  This is a term I developed through my research to describe the process of using artificial intelligence, through algorithms, to automate recruitment and selection decisions at points within the hiring process.
  • Gig Economy: The gig economy is the concept of short term jobs and projects everywhere and all the time.  Forbes.com, the quintessential business magazine reports that 57 million Americans (36 % of the workforce) is earning money in the gig economy right now.  See the list below of popular gig opportunities that you can pretty much do from a college dorm room.
  • Future of Work: As defined by Deloitte, the future of work is being shaped by two powerful forces. First, the growing adoption of artificial intelligence in the workplace, and 2) the workforce that includes “both on- and off-balance-sheet talent” – that means regular employees and freelance or gig employees.  Now is a good time to learn a little bit more about the Gig Economy.
  • Recruiting Bots:  HR and recruiting professionals are using bots (robots) at many places in the recruiting and hiring process.  Essentially, these are artificial intelligence tools like your iPhone Siri or Amazon Alexa that can sift through a lot of information with relative speed.  Here are 5 Ways that Recruiters are Using Artificial Intelligence in Hiring.
  • Knowledge Work Automation: The use of computers to perform tasks currently being done by middle to high skilled employees that rely on complex analyses, subtle judgments, and creative problem solving.  This is work that is typically considered as only being able to be completed by humans (Source is McKinsey, 2013). 

Career Ready Skills for the Future of Work

Employers remind us every year about the Career Readiness Competencies that they seek in new hires.  The National Association of Colleges and Employers updates this list yearly.  Here are the ratings on importance (out of 5) from employers for 2019.

  • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving – 4.7
  • Teamwork/Collaboration – 4.5
  • Professionalism/Work Ethic – 4.4
  • Oral/Written Communications – 4.3
  • Digital Technology – 3.8
  • Leadership – 3.7
  • Career Management – 3.4
  • lobal/Multicultural Fluency – 2.8

Automation and the Future of Work

To get caught up really quickly, here are a few resources and articles to explore.  Some of the article are from my own research site at RayeMartinGroup.

Earn Gig Economy Money

The list of opportunities to earn money in the gig economy could benefit students on college campuses in remote locations where local brick and mortar jobs may be scarce.  You might not only want to work in the gig economy, you may want to brainstorm ideas of problems you can solve in the gig economy and start a business.


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