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Demand for Lifelong Learners

As technology automates routine tasks, human intelligence becomes even more important in the digital economy. More and more, companies will find that success comes from people who offer imagination, empathy, creativity, and ingenuity. According to LinkedIn research, interpersonal skills are foundational for people to be successful in the workforce, in addition to more specialized skills.

And as the pace and scale of change continue to increase, perhaps the most critical traits for humans to possess are agility and adaptability. A generation ago, the knowledge people gained in college probably served them well for most of their working lives. Now, according to a report from the World Economic Forum, about 50 percent of what students learn while earning a four-year technical degree will be outdated by the time they graduate.

Increasingly, we all need to become lifelong learners who embrace every opportunity to cultivate new skills. Because everything is changing so rapidly, people need to be able to adapt in real-time, often without a lot of training and practice needed for a given task. This means companies will have to play a different role in ensuring their employees are “job-ready.” In addition to traditional learning and development, such as on-the-job training and certification programs, companies will need to explore peer mentorships, open knowledge sharing, on-demand learning, and other new approaches.

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