October 3, 2022
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Lessons for the future as technology is transforming the skills development sector

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The skills development sector has undergone a dramatic transformation in recent years. New technologies are changing the way we learn, and the traditional model of education is no longer fit for purpose. Robert Greene quips that the future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways. In this article, we explore the implications of the technology revolution and what it means for the future of skills development. We also will share some top tech skills to consider and platforms to engage for mastery. Tony Robbins, a skills mastery coach, has said that repetition is the mother of skill.

The skills development sector is under pressure as technological advancements transform the workplace. Many jobs that have existed for years are now being replaced by automated processes or artificial intelligence, and this trend is expected to continue. This means that the skills required to succeed in the workforce are changing, and the traditional educational system is not always keeping up.

Fortunately, many initiatives are underway to adapt the skills development sector to the needs of the future. For example, online learning platforms are becoming more popular as they offer a flexible and convenient way to learn new skills. And in some cases, companies are taking matters into their own hands by developing internal training programs or subscribing to existing platforms to ensure their employees have the right skills for the job.

Looking ahead, it is clear that technology will continue transforming the skills development sector. As such, it is crucial that we stay ahead of the curve and adapt our approaches accordingly. By doing so, we can ensure that everyone has the opportunity to develop the skills they need to succeed in the modern world. Some of the top globally demanded skills are: 1. Artificial Intelligence, 2. Machine Learning, 3. Data Science & Analytics, 4. Data Engineering, 5. Data Visualization, 6. Network and Information Security (Cybersecurity), 7. Cloud Computing/AWS, 8. Extended Reality (Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality), 9. Internet of Things (IoT), 10. UI/UX Design, 11. Mobile Development, and 12. Blockchain. It will only be wise to start your journey to mastering one or more of them in the coming days.

Moreover, these advances result in a more flexible and adaptable workforce, which can quickly learn new skills and adapt to changing circumstances. The skills development sector must embrace these changes and use technology to its advantage to remain relevant in the future. The traditional 6-3-3-4,5 or six as it is in Nigeria, say, is no longer sufficient or going into obsolescence.

The deployment of digital technologies is rapidly changing the skills development sector in Africa. This is particularly true in digital skills development, where new technologies are helping to improve access to quality education and training. Some great platforms doing fantastic work about the skills mentioned include 1. Udemy (www.udemy.com), 2. Coursera (www.coursera.org), 3. Job ready programmer (www.jobreadyprogrammer.com), 4. Pluralsight (www.pluralsight.com), 5. Cloud Academy (www.cloudacademy.com), 6. O’Reilly (www.oreilly.com), 7. DataCamp (www.datacamp.com), 8. Cybrary (www.cybrary.it), 9. Udacity (www.udacity.com), and 10. LinkedIn Learning (www.linkedin.com/learning). The great thing about these platforms is that they all offer free courses and good discounts on a lot of their shared content. Primary and secondary schools in Nigeria and Africa and parents across the world should already start pointing their pupils in this direction to keep their work content relevant to what the world of work requires.

One of the most critical changes digital skills development brings to Africa is increased access to quality education and training, plus parents can take the lead by engaging with platforms and bringing along their children. In the past, many African countries have relied on foreign aid and donor funding to support skills development initiatives. However, with the advent of new technologies, African countries can now develop their digital skills development programs and platforms or leverage existing platforms to transform their citizenry.

Furthermore, there is no question that technology is transforming the skills development sector. With the advent of new technologies, the way we learn and develop new skills is changing rapidly. This presents both challenges and opportunities for those involved in skills development. On the one hand, we need to be able to keep up with the latest technologies and understand how they can be used to help people learn. On the other hand, we have an opportunity to use technology to create more engaging and compelling learning experiences. There are a few key lessons that we can take from the way that technology is transforming the skills development sector:

  1. Technology can be used to create more engaging learning experiences. School owners and governments should already be exploring this to remain relevant.
  2. Technology can help us to tailor learning experiences to individual needs. Artificial Intelligence is one great go-to to achieve this reality, and subscribing to a course on AI is a good starting point.
  3. Technology can help us to assess skills more effectively. I got congratulated by Udemy the other day for putting 1000 minutes (more than 16 hours) behind my personal development within the month, a feat rated in the top 90 percent of learners globally – tech measures with ease.
  4. Technology can help us to connect with learners in new ways. Making learning fun and rewarding (gamification) is one area parents, teachers, and school owners should consider supporting the knowledge assimilation process.
  5. We must be open to using new technologies to stay ahead of the curve. The rapid change in the knowledge space demands a commensurate attitude on the part of learners. We can turn wait times into university on wheels.

The skills development sector is under pressure as technological advancements transform the workforce. Training and development programs must continuously adapt to keep up with the latest trends. Here are some lessons for the future of skills development:

  1. Flexibility will be key – both in terms of content and delivery methods. There needs to be a shift from traditional, one-size-fits-all approaches to more flexible models that can be tailored to individual learners.
  2. Technology will play a more significant role than ever before – not only in the content being delivered but also in how it is delivered. eLearning and other learning management platforms will become increasingly important, so it’s essential to have a good understanding of how these work.
  3. The focus will be on outcomes, not inputs – this means that programs need to be designed with specific goals and objectives and then measured against those standards. There will be less emphasis on the course length or the number of hours spent in training. A lot of the curriculums that we teach to students today are obsolete, and even more, are the approaches used – learning can be more fun and rewarding with a bit of thought addition.
  4. There will be a greater emphasis on continuous learning – as the pace of change continues to increase, it’s vital that learning is not seen as a tiresome endeavor. Business owners in the eLearning platform space need to employ game developers to build fun into what and how their digital content is being delivered. Traditional school owners and governments also need to follow suit to engage tech experts on ways to rejig their teaching curriculum and method of delivery. One platform doing some great work in this area is Sabiteach (www.sabiteach.com). This Nigerian-based platform leverages technology to deliver home lessons and teachers for the home lesson in simple ways. Their one-on-one style makes it a hybrid of the traditional and digital options.

In conclusion, the skills development sector is undergoing a significant transformation, driven by technological advances. This is creating new opportunities for learners and educators alike. However, it is also presenting some challenges which need to be addressed if the sector is to continue to thrive in the future. By embracing new technologies and keeping up with the latest trends, the skills development sector can ensure that it remains at the forefront of learning and development. I will conclude with the thought from Tim O’Reilly, Founder of O’Reilly Media, that every industry and every organization will have to transform itself in the next few years. What is coming at us is bigger than the original internet, and you need to understand it, get on board with it, and figure out how to transform your business – school (emphasis mine).

Thank you for the sustained investment in time. Please share, comment, reach out and follow me on Medium: https://medium.com/@roariyo, Twitter: https://twitter.com/ariyor, and LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/olufemi-ariyo-923ba6130/ or email me: [email protected]





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