The “Coming Gig Economy” is Already Here
Bryan Alexander reports on a new survey of Harvard Business School alumni and the interesting ramifications for education. You seriously need to read the whole thing, but here are a couple of points that jumped out at me as someone concerned primarily with K-12 education and as the owner of two teenagers.
First, almost half of the firms represented in the survey report that they “prefer to invest in new technology to perform work rather than hire or retain employees.”
And second, almost half say that they “prefer to rely on vendors that can be outsourced rather than hire additional employees.”
Bryan’s somber summary:
Critics and outside observers have noticed this, but it’s something else to see business leaders openly declaring their plans. As I’ve noted earlier, the American workplace continues to change. Full-time lifelong careers decline, and the gig economy rises. Overall employment may well decline.
There’s more in Bryan’s post, but if that in and of itself doesn’t give K-12 educators (and parents) pause, I’m not sure what will.
What new skills, dispositions, and literacies are required to succeed in the “Gig Economy?” How might we need to rethink the culture of schools to acclimate students to a more entrepreneurial, independent world of work? And how do we assess our students’ readiness for a much less predictable world of employment and work?