Tim Goral, the editor of University Business, attended a Campus of the Future conference recently held in Hawaii. There was a lot written about themes. Goral was inspired by Thomas Friedman, author of the book 'The World is Flat.' Here's what he took away. It builds on the concept of the versatilist...
"Key to that strategy is the emergence of new "middle jobs," or jobs that can't be outsourced. But how do we prepare today's students for those jobs? "We don't just need more education, we need the right education," he said.
That education must satisfy the unique needs of the future job market. It will encourage and build upon skills that define the types of jobs that will encompass the global economy. It will involve new ways of teaching. It will also likely involve combining two or more disciplines to create a new area of study specifically geared to accommodate "flat world" economy.
Friedman outlined eight new middle jobs for which educators must prepare their students. The new middle jobs will be held by people who are:
Great collaborators. Those who have learned to work effectively with others whether in the same office or on other continents via internet technology.
Great "leveragers." People who have learned to do the job of 20 people using technology will always be in demand.
Great synthesizers. This is a person who can take two different products or ideas to create something new that enhances the value of both.
Great explainers. Friedman's "flat world" is so complex it will need new "guides" to lead the way for the rest of us.
Great localizers. The internet has made every small business a potential global player.
Green adapters. "Deriving alternatives to fossil fuels and sustainable societies will always be in demand," he said.
Passionate people. Those who have the ability to bring a unique personal touch to "vanilla" jobs will keep them safe from the threat of outsourcing.
Great adapters. Friedman said the winners in the future job market will be those who make quick changes. He said it's like training for the Olympics without knowing what sport you'll compete in.
Once the unquestioned leader in technology, he said, America won't win this race by default, only by understanding the new flat world and becoming part of it.â€