Our current educational system is cracking at the foundations. The standard model of sitting in a classroom for 7 hours a day, 9 months a year, for 13-19 years is slowly becoming less-relevant in the face of technological progress.

A recent study by Oxford University found that up to 47% of today's jobs will disappear in 25 years, thanks to increased computer efficiency and the advance of artificial intelligence capabilities.

Q: So how can an educational system designed to train you for a job that no longer exists be sustainable?

A: It isn't. But there are new options...

The "plug-ins" necessary to reboot our antiquated educational system are developing quickly and people are using them to future-proof their careers in 3 unique ways:

1) Getting started without many resources? Options are popping up!

Life isn't an RPG, and not everyone starts from the exact same fair origin point. If you didn't start life with a full-ride at your finger tips, there are rising institutions answering the call of those in need. To jump the skills gap, train, educate, and prepare workers for the jobs of tomorrow, companies like Year UpCollege for Social InnovationOperation HopeAmeriCorps, and Service Year Alliance have sprung up with the necessary resources to get workers back on their feet. Taking advantage of these resources may be your first step for re-tooling your technical skillsets and landing a job that will take your career to a new level of opportunity. 

2) Established career? Time to level up!

So you managed to make it through your undergraduate degree, great! But after college it was exceedingly difficult to find a job as a Latin Theater Studies major, so you settled for a job at local retailer, and worked up to middle management. But it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Now is the perfect time for your to join a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) in an area of burgeoning growth, Machine Learning. Cognitive Class.AI, EdX, Coursera, Future Learn, iversity, Udemy, and Udacity are some of the top rated MOOC's that you can join today to get started on building a new career that will evolve with technology rather than being replaced by it. Once you complete a course, add it to your resume!

3) Already got skills? Get ready to work with machines & people!

In my previous posts on Ideation, Large-Scale Pattern Recognition, and Complex Communication, I outlined the top 3 skills necessary to keep pace in the evolving labor market. If there was one more I could add it would be Social Skills

Overall, social skills—such as persuasion, emotional intelligence and teaching others—will be in higher demand across industries than narrow technical skills, such as programming or equipment operation and control.
— World Economic Forum, 2016 Global Challenge Insight Report

Becoming familiar with programing software, hardware, data analytics, or managing these areas should be a primary goal for your next career move. It will help you land a sustainable job in a growing industry. However, without the proper leadership, teamwork, and collaborative skills necessary to nurture relationships, you may miss out on the one core factor necessary for the future of work; the human element

No one can be certain where the future will take us, but it is veering down a technological tunnel of wild turns and unpredictable outcomes that may disrupt the very fabric of our society. How to prepare for these challenges is a choice we all have to make.

I may not be able to predict the future, but I do know this: The longer you wait, the harder it is to change. 

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Want to learn about how machine learning is evolving to impact the future of your career? Find more at

Links to posts in this series & more:

1) Ideation

2) Large Frame Pattern Recognition

3) Complex Communication

4) Future-proofing Your Career

5) A.I. Stepping Into Life Series

Follow me on Twitter: @zacengler