What Is The Relationship Between AI And Employability

The rapid advance of artificial intelligence has made most university curricula obsolete. What to do in the face of this reality?

It is estimated that by 2025, up to eighty-five million jobs will be replaced by some type of artificial intelligence. However, before panicking, we must also consider that up to ninety-seven million new jobs could emerge at the same time, but more adapted to the use of new technologies, so employability will begin to depend much more on digital skills.

This reality is already very close and, according to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Employment Report, up to 50% of the workforce will have to go through a general reskilling process focused on the use of emerging technologies and algorithms, and development of soft skills, such as critical thinking and problem solving.

But what about the new generations? They will enter a work field in which artificial intelligence will have already made profound changes in the work paradigm, shaping the way we use our time, automate tasks and even the way we relate and interact with other people.

Academic vocational training plans, for the most part, continue to respond to a reality that was still in force just a few decades ago, but that has changed at a dizzying pace, which is why it is more urgent than ever to make profound changes for employability in institutions. of higher education.

Today we’ll explore targeted strategies that universities like yours can implement to better equip students with all the skills needed to thrive in an AI-driven world.

How are AIs going to change the world of work?

The main difference between other technologies that were disruptive at the time and AI is that it advances at a much faster pace and demands a practically immediate ability to adapt. Luckily, this agility in learning can at the same time be achieved thanks to technological tools.

The most important impact of AIs at work has to do with the automation of tasks. Artificial intelligence can take care of tasks at a deeper level of complexity than most of the computing systems we are already accustomed to using; However, they do not replace (nor are they expected to) advanced cognitive skills that involve reasoning, critical thinking, aesthetic sensitivity, empathy, or all of the above.

For example, in the information age in which we live, although tools such as Chat GPT can be used to automate information schemes and generate content structures, for them to be truly useful texts it is necessary to pass them through contextual criteria filters, style, economy of resources and, on many occasions, ethics and inclusion, something that until now only the human factor can offer.

Artificial intelligences not only generate speech with human language, they are also powerful engines that can analyze enormous amounts of data in seconds. Even so, to convert data into relevant information, a person is needed to ensure that it is interpreted appropriately and that there are no biases or errors in the feeding and operation of the algorithm.

In conclusion, AIs will push work talent towards increasingly abstract activities that require a combination of qualitatively different and integrated skills, such as mathematical reasoning along with social sensitivity.

Most important skills for employability in a world dominated by AI

Broadly speaking, the most important skills for employability in a work context permeated by artificial intelligence will have to do with creativity, critical thinking, emotional intelligence and problem solving.

On the other hand, although it will not be necessary for everyone to know how to program and configure an AI, it will be essential for people to know how to use them efficiently for work.

Perhaps the simplest analogy to understand this is that of computers; Most of us don’t know exactly how they work or how to program them; However, we can use them quite efficiently to carry out our daily tasks.

Of course, advanced skills such as programming, the development of new AIs, data analysis or machine learning will allow you to have a much broader and more in-demand job field.

Finally, we must consider that the era of AIs at work also coincides with the so-called “era of remote work” and with accelerated globalization, so the skills of the global citizen, such as languages ​​and interculturality, will be equally important for the employability of new generations.

How to prepare your students for the labor market of the future?

To adequately prepare your students for this near future, it is essential that you integrate the following topics into all your study plans with an approach that is as practical, experiential, and relevant as possible:

1.- Applications of Artificial Intelligence in different disciplines

Starting from the question “how are AIs permeating this specific field or discipline and what innovations are they driving?” is one of the best ways to map the aspects of these new technologies that need to be integrated into the curricular plan. of each race.

In some cases, it will be necessary to know the latest tools powered by artificial intelligence for task automation and data analysis, in other cases, it will be necessary for students to learn to program and shape the algorithms and databases themselves. They feed the AIs.

In any case, graduate programs can always be expanded with specializations in fields such as machine learning, natural language processing and ethics in AI, among others.

2.- Emotional intelligence

Today any curriculum needs to include spaces to nurture genuine and meaningful interpersonal experiences, that offer a safe place for vulnerability and empathy, that make resilience visible and that encourage dialogues and exchanges related to work ethics, social responsibility. , inclusion and tolerance.

It is not only about studying a career to be as competitive as possible, but also about learning to collaborate with others to put our talent at the service of a better world for everyone. To do this we need to strengthen soft skills such as empathy, communication and teamwork.

3.- Verification of skills in the real world

Today, recruiters are placing less weight on college degrees and more on other ways for emerging talent to demonstrate their skills in practice. The traditional CV is quickly being left behind and is being replaced by portfolios of projects already completed and by digital micro-credentials that directly validate and demonstrate that you have specific competencies. 

As higher education institutions we need to ensure that, upon graduation, students of all majors will have the necessary skills and understanding of the labor market to make attractive applications to the companies with which they wish to collaborate.

4.- Practical learning and multidisciplinary collaboration

Our universities must provide hands-on learning opportunities that involve real-world projects and experiences related to AI. This may include internships, research projects, innovation challenges and collaborations with local businesses. These experiences not only provide students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and develop strategic skills, but also to establish valuable professional connections.

It is important to remember that AI is not limited to a single field, but has cross-functional applications in a wide variety of industries. Encouraging collaboration between different faculties and departments to promote interdisciplinary activities is a great way to prepare your students and at the same time be a more innovative university.

5.- Humanities, ethics and artistic sensitivity

Those in roles involving leadership and decision-making in the future will have an enormous responsibility on their hands, especially as AI poses significant ethical and social challenges.

Universities must encourage, from the humanities, reflection and debate on topics such as data privacy, algorithmic bias and social responsibility in the development and use of technology. Also create sensitivity regarding how it can positively and/or negatively affect tasks related to artistic creation, interpersonal sensitivity or accompaniment in crisis situations.

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