About this course
Are you concerned about the impact of new technologies will have on the workforce? Are you interested in what you can do to build a better work for yourself and the next generation? If we take the right actions, we can shape the future of work in ways that meet the needs of workers, families, and their economies and societies. To do so, we first have to understand how work is changing, how firms can prosper and support good jobs and careers, and how to update the policies, institutions, and practices governing the world of work. The goal of this course is to understand the relationship between new technologies, work and society and develop plans of action for improving the job and career opportunities for today and tomorrow’s workforce.
We’ll start by looking at the challenges we face today and in the near future in regards to globalisation and technology change, as well as the unique opportunities that they present. Then we will take a deep dive into the history of work and employment to understand how the it affects us today, as well as to look at solutions that worked well in response to similar problems. We’ll look at the impact advances in technology are having across industries, and the ways in which these technologies are transforming the nature of human work and skills needed. We will explore ways in which we as a society can and should shape and catalyse these new technologies to complement and augment human work, rather than replace it.
We’ll also take you on a personal journey, where you will learn what employers expect in today’s world of work–the skills, flexibility, and knowledge that are crucial for success in the contemporary workplace. We’ll examine what has to happen in order for employers, workers, governments, and educators to come together to forge new policies, rules, and understandings for governing the world of work in the 21st century, and together as a class forge a new social contract of work as well as a personal action plan to implement it.
Many colleagues and groups around the world share our deep concern for these issues and are studying how to address them in their specific settings. We invite each of you to join us and to share your insights and ideas about how we can make work, work better for all in the years ahead. In this spirit we will draw on our own expert group here–ourMIT Task Force on Work of the Future. Together we can make a difference for the next generation workforce, our economies, and our societies.
What you’ll learn
- A historical perspective and overview of work and employment policy in the United States and around the world
- How the roles of firms, employees, and public policy have changed and created the labor market we see today
- The status of the current labor market in more detail: What does it look like? What types of jobs do we have, and what skills are required? What are emerging trends in how firms organise work, and in the role of labor market institutions such as unions?
How emerging technologies are transforming the nature of human work and skills needed, and how we can shape technology innovation to augment human potential.
- Ways that the government and other civic institutions can ensure that the gains from emerging innovations contribute to equality of opportunity, social inclusion, and shared prosperity
Resources and tools you can use to plan your own career paths in the workplaces of the future – those of the next generation