Predictions for the future of work

I have recently read an article written by Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork, on the World Economic Forum (WEF) which title is: 4 predictions for the future of work. Although he is talking there about the labour market in Northern America (the USA, especially), his remarks are noteworthy as Upwork has been stated as one of the major global freelancing company. 

According to Wikipedia, Upwork reported 14 million users in 180 countries with $1B in annual freelancer billings as of March 2017. The Upwork operation system allows clients to interview, hire and work with freelancers and agencies through the Upwork’s platform.

What is a freelancer ? Well the definition in Wikipedia of a freelancer or a freelance worker says that it is a term commonly used for a person who is self-employed and is not necessarily committed to a particular employer long-term.  Thus the concept of the Upwork operation is about the same as for Uber and Grab in the ride-hailing business, where people in need of transportation are connecting with people possessing transportation means.

The success of Upwork has lead to the multiplication of copycats and there seems to be a substantial amount of Vietnamese freelancers right now which can be cristallized in the apparition of Vietnamese freelancer platforms like Vlance.

Thus the insights of Stephane Kariel on the future of work, and thus of jobs, are quite worth listening to. Here are his 4 predictions on the future of work:

1. AI and robotics will create more jobs, not mass unemployment as long as we responsibly guide innovation

2. Cities will compete against other cities in the war for top talent

3. The majority of the US workforce will freelance by 2027

4. Education breaks out of the silo

This 4th prediction needs some further explanation which cannot be better than the own words of the author himself:

Our education system is broken. The way we educate future generations no longer prepares them adequately for the skills and jobs of today. The idea that you study math and science and art in your youth as separate disciplines, and then work to solve real world problems in today’s economy, does not add up. Preparing students for tomorrow’s jobs requires breaking down the silos within education.

More simply written, it states that the education system is no more able to prepare students for to-morrow’s jobs. And the solution to that problem, according to Stephane Kasriel, could lie with a better flexibility in the education system as shown by the emergence of project-based schools, like Holberton in the Silicon Valley region, that set the stage of what future education may look like.

Link to the full article by Stephane Kasriel here.


Readers may also be interested by this article titled: What does the future of work look like, written by Anna Kučírková, based on an article written in May 2017 by Lee Rainie and Janna Anderson on the Pew Research Center website.

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