Adult Learners in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Pioneers or a Lost Generation?
Advanced applications for big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence can take us to new heights, or plunge us into a dystopian future where robots absorb jobs, unemployment soars and precious few humans are qualified to guide the machines ethically.
Higher education will have a big say in which path we go down.
It’s tempting to focus this discussion on traditional, 18-22-year-old undergraduates – digital natives whom schools can address through their core programs.
Overlooked are adult learners, who could become the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s first generation of leaders – or a lost generation.
Themes to Build Upon
In the white paper, we’ll discuss several concepts that adult education programs can weave into their offerings to help prepare their students grow to into the kinds of lifelong learners who matriculate into sustainable, fulfilling careers:
- From STEM to STEAM
- The Power of Systems Thinking
- Humanics and the Robot-Proofing of Education
- Bringing Agile Methodologies to the Academy
A Moral Imperative
We simply cannot expect adults to disrupt their professional and personal lives by returning to college, to take on debt in exchange for a credential that AI and machine learning can obviate 5-10 years later.
In both the blue collar and white collar realms, advanced automation is already displacing workers at an alarming scale, many of whom may form the next cohort of adult learners.
From Vocational to Holistic
While still addressing immediate vocational needs, nontraditional focused programs must also infuse in their curricula the skills that will continue to distinguish humans from robots: judgment, creative problem solving, systems thinking, cultural agility, ethics, and communications.
In the white paper “Adult Learners in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Pioneers or a Lost Generation?”, we tackle many of the challenges ahead for adult and offer examples of possible long-term solutions.
To download the white paper, please fill out the short form below.