To Win The Jobs Race, Head Out On A Learning Sprint

With fears that automation may soon replace many jobs, keeping up with new skills and industry trends will be a necessity to survive.

learn more about Majid Mneymneh

By Majid Mneymneh Originally published Mar 10, 2019


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The business world as we know is ever-changing in nature. There was an increasing number of lucrative jobs that are now considered outdated, followed by the creation of jobs that did not exist ten years ago. Backing this statement, various studies demonstrate that 40%-60% of the jobs of 2030 have not been invented yet. According to a recent report by the World Bank, 50% of today's most sought-after jobs will be completely eliminated by 2030-2040.

Disruption has affected all areas of business. The future of business with its evolution is sure to take this trend to another level. There is an increasing demand for new futuristic roles. Given this scenario, it is important that working professionals upgrade their skills regularly. Although it can be increasingly difficult for working professionals to take time off from their career to pursue up-skilling or formal education, many working professionals today are unable to progress in their career because they lack the right set of skills (soft skills as well as technical ones) that employers are looking for. For example, within the marketing and advertising industry, 90% of marketers report suffering from a shortage of digital skills, and only 8% of surveyed companies feel strong in the area of digital marketing.

Luckily, there has been a rise of flexible courses and programs that help working professionals bridge the gap. Micro credentialing or nano credentialing are certified higher education mini-degrees or certifications in specific topic areas that are delivered in small chunks. To earn a micro-credential, one would need to complete a certain number of prerequisite courses and activities. These programs are linked directly to the industry and provide skills required to get onto the job immediately. They span across in-trend fields, as diverse as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, business analytics, supply chain management, and many others. Professionals also have the option of stacking their credentials overtime to pursue higher degrees. Micro-credentials are ideal for those professionals who seek employment or career advancement opportunities.

Related: Stay In School: Five Reasons Why Wannabe Entrepreneurs Should Pursue Higher Education

Benefits include:

1. Flexibility
Micro-credentialing gives the career-oriented individuals the liberty to stay in their job and take the course when needed. This helps them to balance their career needs while managing their job at hand. The fact that they can also get back from where they had left off makes a perfect combination.

2. The online-offline mix
Blended programs offer additional benefits for those who are looking to progress at what they do or want to explore another career. Instead of just doing some training and assignments online, professionals have interactive group meetings with mentoring by an education career advisor. This helps them review their progress, address any challenges, discuss local case studies and participate in workshops. Blended programs provided by Person Professional, for example, are carefully contextualized to reflect local business realities. The micro credentialed programs involve the following: project-based learning, localized case studies, resolving business challenges, and capstone projects and assessments, amongst others. Overall, blended education ensures that professionals are result-driven and get support during the whole program. This is something that is missing in traditional online courses.

Related: Focused On The Future: Udacity COO Clarissa Shen On How Her Platform Aims To Fill The Global Tech Skills Gap

3. Good for employers
MicroMasters and other such education programs are not only designed to match an individual's need but also benefit employers who can be aware of the emerging skills and can implement programs for their employees.

Digitalization and automation of the business world are transforming the way professionals work. Newer forms of learning permit individuals to learn new skills, while still holding a full-time job. Professionals who feel that they are lagging behind must take advantage of these courses and programs. Through the application of blended education programs such as Pearson Professional in the Middle East, specialists can keep pace with the changing working environment.

Entrepreneurs, professionals, or any job-seeker would need to remain competitive by ensuring that they are continuously expanding their capabilities. Blended education makes learning flexible, portable, and cost-effective. It is natural that the future of business will see companies reviewing the blended form of education, and making it an invaluable part of their work.

Related: Google Launches Arabic Digital Skills Program 'Maharat Min Google' To Nurture MENA's Youth

Majid Mneymneh

Vice President, Higher Education and Corporate, Pearson Middle East

Majid Mneymneh is Vice President, Higher Education and Corporate, Pearson Middle East.

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