According to The Future of Jobs Survey 2020 by the World Economic Forum, by 2025 more than 85 million jobs globally may be displaced by machines while more than 97 million new roles will be created.
Contrary to what many have predicted machines and technology as a whole will not completely destroy jobs, rather, they will displace redundant roles and build new ones that will require more creativity and ingenuity.
This means that big changes are coming, fast. As a matter of fact, some have predicted that the rate of creation has been far above the rate of ‘job displacement.’
What this also means is that people will have to re-educate and upskill to keep up with this rapid change. Demand for these skills and knowledge has drastically risen especially with the onset of the pandemic.
Traditional education institutions have been unable to keep up with this demand as many of them were simply not built for the world of today. Many of our schools, colleges and technical institutions lack the infrastructure to impart the required skills and knowledge at the desired rate and to the required level.
The result, as with many other things, is the rise of online alternatives. The last few years have seen the almost exponential growth of all sorts of online education resources to meet rising demand, especially for digital skills.
Platforms such as Code Academy, Youuni and Treehouse have been instrumental in training the next generation of skilled IT professionals to meet rising demand all over the globe. Moreover, with the rise of remote work as a proven model for the future of work, more IT companies have resorted to outsourcing talent from regions that had been previously marginalized.
Here in Kenya for instance, I have personally witnessed companies like Andela, Microsoft and Google aggressively hunt for talent from universities and colleges in Nairobi. Most of these foreign companies care less about one’s qualifications, rather they put more emphasis on desire, ‘innate talent’ and teamwork.
As a result, ed tech has become a lot more important and entrenched into modern society than many could have ever predicted. Today more and more students continue to opt for online education as it continues to prove to be better than traditional institutions.
As such ed-tech continues to adapt to the ever-rising demand for skills globally. Here are a few key trends that will shape the industry for the next few years.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) continue to grow rapidly all over the world. Even traditional institutions are changing the method of delivery to fit an increasingly digital landscape. However, these new platforms are far from perfect. They face a myriad of challenges including the massive dropout rate which is at a staggering 91 – 93%. This can be put down to the sense of isolation and lack of interaction with students that comes with online learning.
This is why we will see ed-tech companies and startups create solutions that facilitate more interaction between professors and students. Pre-recorded lessons, for instance, will not be enough to keep students’ attention. Live lessons will do much better as the professor will be able to monitor each of her students.
Speaking of engagement, what better way to do it than mixing it with entertainment? So-called ‘edutainment’. This majorly involves using games that have been proven to be very effective in teaching children and teenagers. And well, who says adults don’t enjoy games? I certainly do. Many Generation Y and Z’s grew up on Dandy Games, Tetris and Tamagotchi. It thus wouldn’t be a bad idea to use these games to make lessons more interesting. This is backed by its increasing demand which is expected to cross $10.11 billion by 2025 at a compound annual growth rate of 11.61%.
If there is one thing we have learnt from the ‘Great Resignation’ is that labour isn’t as abundant as it used to be. Employees today have many more options than they used to and thus companies have to keep hold of the talent they currently have.
What this also means is that there it is harder to get talent when you need it, a better option would be upskilling the employees than one currently has; a trend that has been growing in recent years.
As such we should expect employers to be very much involved in the ed-tech sector to upskill their employees for better performances at work.
Like it or not, by 2030, about 800 million people will be unemployed due to robotics and automation. Ed-tech will play a greater role in upskilling and thus helping workers adapt to an ever-changing world.