Lifelong learning is an admirable goal, but it is even more than that. In today’s technological society where new advances may make some jobs obsolete, lifelong learning may be necessary to keep you employed in the long-term.
Automation Brings Changes to Many Jobs
A study by McKinsey showed that about 45 percent of all labor could be automated with the current technologies available, which would eliminate a lot of jobs or at least lead to big changes in how those jobs were performed.
It has become increasingly difficult to get skilled jobs without knowledge of how to use computers and other technologies. A receptionist used to be able to get a job by having decent typing skills and a good command of English grammar, but now, applicants may be expected to know a whole host of software programs and computer applications in order to effectively do their job.
Lifelong Learning Helps Weather Changes
The jobs that are currently available in today’s economy depend greatly on lifelong learning because they continue to change and evolve. Technology hasn’t changed what jobs are available, but it has changed what those jobs involve. Grocery store clerks now scan grocery barcodes instead of typing in prices. Bank tellers electronically scan checks.
Even those with incomes over $200,000 per year spend an average of 31 percent of their jobs doing things that could be automated, according to McKinsey. Stockbrokers, for instance, spend a good portion of their time gathering and processing data, which could be done automatically with even greater accuracy than the way it is now done.
It’s great when an employer provides training to update job skills, but not all employers are equipped to do so, and smaller employers often can’t afford to pay for continuing education. Even when employers do provide training, the knowledge gained may only help for the current position or in limited ways that benefit the employer more than the employee.
Soft Skills Training
Besides lifelong education in new technical or task-oriented skills, it can be equally (or even more) beneficial to be a lifelong learner of what employers often call soft skills. Soft skills include learning about how to get along with people, how to collaborate on projects, and how to lead a team.
Learning soft skills can help you in all of your future jobs, no matter what you end up doing as a career or how often you change jobs. Employees who show mastery of soft skills are in high demand, and can often obtain more advanced positions because of the unique skills they possess.
Interested in staying ahead of the curve? Central Connecticut State University offers continuing education courses that can give you important skills to keep up with ever-changing careers and technologies. Join our mailing list now to see what he have to offer!