How do UK universities prepare graduates for future jobs

The sole purpose of education is to prepare better humans for a better society. So, any academic degree should be focused on imparting education that raises the human standards. Still, it is undeniable fact that education is the main source of earning skills that are required in our society for earning livelihood.

Ideally speaking, education is not intended to prepare students only for jobs rather the main purpose of education is to prepare better humans for a better society. However, it is also a fact that every students acquiring some kind of degree hopes to get some skills so he may earn his livelihood through this skill.

The nature of job is changing very fast in every society. A few decades before every man possessing basic skills could earn his living by doing simple jobs like barbers, masons, tailors, harvesters, and hairdressers. With the industrial revolution, the nature of job changed to be skillful to operate machines used in factories and workshops. In the recent years, the revolution into the information technology has changed the nature of jobs altogether.

Amid the fourth industrial revolution, the future jobs will be even more different from the previous examples. The rapid development in the field of artificial intelligence and the robotics will eliminate the need of human beings in most of the fields. So, most of the jobs done by human beings done in the past will be carried out by robots leaving human being available for different purposes.

In this scenario, the question that needs an elaborate answer is: will our education system keep up? This question needs an exhaustive answer because currently 65% of the children entering the primary education system will work and perform jobs that currently do exist.

According to the research about Solving future skills challenges by the Universities UK, the academics in the UK are not even creating the workforce needed for the future jobs and this incapacity of the academic sector will result in the talent deficit of between 600,000 and 1.2 million workers in the financial and business sector as well as technology, media and telecommunications sector.

This would be a lack of wisdom on the part of the university leaders if they don’t pay attention to this fact, says Lancaster University vice-chancellor Mark E Smith.

“We look at the trends in the job market and the skills employers are looking for, and we listen to what employers are saying. We don’t want to be talking about yesterday’s problem.”

This is the main purpose of the university becoming a partner in the National Institute of Coding. This programme, led by the University of Bath, is bringing 25 universities together with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and global companies including IBM, Cisco, BT and Microsoft to create “the next generation of digital specialists”.

A survey conducted in 2017 on the topic, “Talent supply remains the number one challenge facing digital tech businesses in the UK” found that almost half of the UK’s digital technology businesses are facing the acute shortage of the highly skilled employees. Keeping in views of this shortage, a recent government report recommended to create an industry funded masters programme to meet the requirements for “a larger workforce with deep AI expertise”.

Now, the main concern of the UK academics is: how to anticipate the nature of future jobs so as to prepare the syllabus focused on creating a skilled workforce equipped for the future jobs. The fast pace of technological changes make it difficult to predict what will be the role of human beings in the future jobs. This is especially true amidst rapid developments of robots equipped with artificial intelligence capable enough to make decisions and perform certain tasks independently. If this pace of development is continues, the future jobs will be performed mostly by robots eliminating the need of human beings. So, what the UK universities should focus on for human skills?

It is evident that the future jobs will be focused on the artificial intelligence and improving and supervising the robots working in the workshops and factories. Are our universities well prepared for this? This is the main concern of today’s intellectuals to prepare the roadmap for the future jobs in the UK.

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