The traditional university curriculum is unfit for the future. For three reasons, the university model is failing students. Traditional education imparts knowledge, but not skills or behaviors; it provides only one opportunity to learn; and it takes place in a classroom, not in the real world.
Rise of AI
Last year at this time, we hadn’t yet experienced the novelty of using ChatGPT as a virtual assistant, the world’s largest tech companies weren’t yet scrambling to launch their own competitors, and the general public hadn’t yet imagined how life-changing this technology could be.
When it comes to teaching students how to implement this technology, universities frequently lag behind. This is despite the fact that universities are at the forefront of technological research and development. Even in this age of extraordinary change, university students are taking the same courses, working from the same syllabi, and sitting the same exams as their contemporaries – sometimes for decades.
Current education sytem
Look no further than computer science graduates to see the effects of a manner of learning that is not applied. Despite having the highest unemployment rates of all university degrees, you would assume they would be best positioned to thrive in the digital age. It is not due to a lack of knowledge, but rather to the university’s failure to cultivate skills and behaviors.
This creates a stark disparity between what we teach students in universities and the reality they will confront when they enter the workforce.
Our flawed education system fails more than just our youth. Digital transformation poses challenges for everyone, regardless of age or stage in their careers. We are all wondering whether our livelihoods are threatened by AI now or in the future. While the World Economic Forum predicts the creation of 97 million new positions, it also predicts the displacement of 85 million clerks, secretaries, and customer service representatives.
Currently, we expect three years of university education to prepare individuals for thirty years in the workforce. We must adopt a system of lifelong and on-the-job learning to equip the workforce with the skills necessary to make the most of AI, whether that entails constructing the next transformative tool or learning to leverage what already exists.
To accomplish this, we require a framework for the development of educational programs that deliver pertinent competencies (knowledge, skills, and behaviors) and are adaptable to the changing needs of the workforce.
How should this framework appear? It should provide education that integrates knowledge, abilities, and behaviors. It should be continuous, provided throughout existence in a manner that adapts to the changing nature of the world. It should be tailored to the individual’s position and career goals. It should be implemented: assisting the individual and their organization to see immediate value. And ultimately, it should be delivered in a practical manner, not in a lecture hall.
Moreover, this system must be accessible to everyone regardless of their capacity to pay.
Apprenticeships meet all of these criteria. Applied learning, led by businesses who know their industry better than anyone else, is the most effective and dynamic method of providing people with the necessary practical, current, and pertinent skills while also providing an income.
But in addition to considering what competencies are being taught, we must also consider how they are taught. There is a significant function for artificial intelligence in this scenario.
We expect teachers to be subject-matter specialists, lecturers, schedulers, mentors, and disciplinarians simultaneously. We do not ask any other trained professionals to shoulder such a substantial additional load.
AI can create more time for educators to instruct. For instance, AI tools can serve as digital assistants, allowing instructors to spend more time instructing and less time on administrative tasks. The outcome is a higher quality of education and funding that can be redirected toward creating new apprenticeships, opportunities, and career paths for workers throughout their working lifetimes.
At Multiverse, we have been developing artificial intelligence (AI) tools that will assist hundreds of our trainers with tasks such as assigning and evaluating work and developing individualized learning plans for apprentices. Apprentices will benefit from attentive coaches who are solely focused on their education, data-driven insights that can individualize learning, and unrestricted access to a vast array of resources.
These developments are bringing apprenticeships, a centuries-old path, into the digital age. Apprenticeships provide a means to implement a radically new educational philosophy that emphasizes applied, ongoing, and hyper-relevant learning. Where learning matters for the actual world, not just for the exam hall.
Achieving thru political will
Government should increase its efforts to safeguard apprenticeships. This necessitates regarding apprenticeships with the same esteem as any other route, combating the long-held notion that apprenticeships are a subpar option. Any alternative model must, at the very least, incorporate the most beneficial aspects of apprenticeships, such as the rigor and discipline they instill along with the principles of applied learning.
Second, it is crucial that the government encourages workers to acquire new skills at any age, not just at the outset of their careers. Without the ability to reskill, it is inevitable that people’s jobs will undergo significant change or even be threatened in the midst of their careers due to the rapid advancement of AI. In addition to apprenticeships being a golden opportunity for those at the bottom of the career ladder, the government must prioritize the availability of training options at all phases of a person’s working life to ensure that we can reskill at the same rate as technology advances.
Apprenticeships place employers at the center of learning programs, ensuring that the skills apprentices acquire on the job are applicable to their business, industry, and the contemporary economy. Government-business collaboration to open these doors for employees of all ages is the key to unlocking the massive reskilling effort required for the next generation of AI.
We are stepping into a brand new world that has an incredible amount of promise, and the opportunities that innovation and digital transformation provide are abundantly evident. Now is the time to make sure a whole generation of workers is prepared for it by providing them with flexible and continuing training that is appropriate for the present day.