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Tech shaping career landscapes for 21st century

On April 15, 2013

  • 3-D printing, where real plastic products can be designed on the computer and produced on a printer, is one trend that will revolutionize the industry. Courtesy of Stratasys

The saying goes: success is when preparation meets opportunity. As technology continues to affect our lives, workers in today's ever-changing labor market need to be prepared with skills to adapt and succeed in the workplace.
 Job opportunities in technology are growing up to three times faster than other career fields in the U.S. Long gone are the days of a linear education and career trajectory as technology continues to reshape the world's workplace landscapes. Nowadays, the career paths of most individuals resemble a scaffold rather than a conservative straight line.
 Changes in the education and workplace landscape not only impact job seekers, but educators and employers as well. It's estimated that by 2025, we could have 20 million jobs without enough qualified people to fill them, according to a report by Georgetown University.
 Daniel Burrus, a globally renowned corporate strategist and author of six books including The New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller "Flash Foresight," recently released his inaugural "certainties list," based on a scientific method aimed at providing various employment sectors with a clearer outlook of their respective futures. As a strategist, he advises a wide range of Fortune 500 firms to develop projections by analyzing trends.
 Burrus' list of certainties, which highlights 12 technologies that will continue to transform present and future careers, uses his proprietary scientific method of separating "Hard Trends" - trends that will happen - from "Soft Trends" - trends that might happen.
 Over the past five years, Burrus has collected certainties from thousands of senior executives from every industry around the world, providing a clear picture of the direction different sectors are heading.
 "The goal is to give people a road map regarding how technology will transform their careers and how to ensure they're not caught in disappearing careers, but rather preparing and positioning themselves for the predictable changes in their current fields as well as emerging careers with real, long-term demand," said Burrus.
 According to Burrus' Certainties list, some of the technologies that will transform our world and careers include:
3-D web and 3-D printing - Employment for graphic artists, designers and programmers will grow as the Web-surfing experience transforms from a one-dimensional "flat" page to a dynamic 3-D experience for the user.
Additionally, the manufacturing industry will be revolutionized by 3-D printing, which will allow any size company to manufacture goods quickly, locally and at lower cost.
Gamification of education - Both employees and students will have training and teaching methods delivered to them in a highly-personalized and accelerated way, through the use of simulations and skill-based learning systems transmitted through smartphones and tablets.
Cloud services and virtualization - As more organizations maintain and store information using cloud computing, the demand for professionals skilled in information technology is expected to rise. Employees who can safeguard important company and client data will be vital to business success.
 In order to meet the anticipated demands of the 21st century, individuals must reassess their skills to make certain they are equipped with the necessary knowledge to remain relevant in their field.
 Burrus recently teamed with DeVry University to launch his certainties list. He believes the institution exemplifies the kind of forward-looking curriculum development necessary to ensure degree programs adequately prepare students for the future.
 "DeVry University is committed to effectively aligning our students' academic experience with the plausible future demands of the industries in which they seek successful careers," said David Pauldine, president of DeVry University. "As a university, we are continuously interfacing with Fortune 100 companies to ensure our educational programs prepare our graduates for current and emerging job opportunities."
 Burrus urges employers, employees and educators alike to give serious consideration to these career-transforming certainties so that the American worker is better positioned for careers of the 21st century.
To learn more about Burrus' full list of career-transforming "certainties," visit www.DeVry.edu/Certainties. 


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