The future of work

The world of work is changing rapidly. Can you keep up?

When work changes, everything else follows

Work is an incredibly important part of our human experience. It provides us with most of our income, occupies a significant amount of our time, provides social connection, can be a source of satisfaction, and it can be intellectually or physically challenging. Our work also forms a large part of our identity. If work changes, then so does everything else.

Globalisation and technology are driving fundamental change

The effect of rapidly advancing technologies over the last two centuries has seen our working lives turned upside down. Markets have become more global than ever before; labour can be traded without having to relocate physically; and the “gig economy” is creating exciting new ways to buy and sell our own labour and capital.

These advances, and the ongoing pace of innovation in this new world of artificial intelligence, automation and hyper-connectedness will continuously affect the tasks, and demand for skills, in many occupational roles.

The rise of artificial intelligence

The proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI) is changing everything about the way we live, work, shop and communicate. From helpful online shopping recommendations to diagnosing some health conditions more accurately than human doctors, AI is entering new areas of our lives at a staggering pace. In the workplace, AI is already starting to have an impact on improving decision-making, dealing with customers and enabling greater systems for recruitment and retention across many industries.


By 2023, the number of people with disabilities employed will triple due to AI and emerging technologies reducing barriers to access.

Source: Gartner, Top Strategic Predictions for 2020 and Beyond

Automation is coming for more than half of our jobs

There’s no doubt that AI will revolutionise the landscape of the workplace. An Oxford University study says that up to 57% of jobs worldwide are vulnerable to automation. But that doesn’t mean there will be no work available for those who lose their jobs. Technology actually creates more jobs than it displaces. In fact, it’s predicted that AI and automation will create over 2 million new job opportunities by 2025. The nature of these jobs are where our individual soft skills and ability to quickly adapt come in most handy.

So as the role of technology evolves in the workplace, so too must the workforce. By building our skill-set, or by having ‘human’ skills such as communication and problem solving recognised – we can evolve just as quickly as technology can, but in a different way.


of jobs are vulnerable to automation

Source: Frey and Osborne - Oxford Martin School, Oxford University

Continuous learning will be crucial to your success

In the past, it was typically enough to gain an education, find a career, and stay there without any formal skill development or verification. But in today’s environment, portfolio careers, greater competition and the need for workforce agility are increasing the demand for continuous development.

It’s not only when pursuing a significant career change that people need new skills. Now, a commitment to lifelong learning is required simply to stay relevant, competitive, and in-demand.

Learning that is self-directed, affordable, accessible and time critical – as well as independent validation of those learned skills – are now completely essential activities for both employees and employers to keep up with the world around them.


of students believe it is necessary for people to upskill to remain competitive

Source: Ernst and Young, The University of the Future 2030

Don’t hide from technology, adapt to it

While it is true that technology is threatening the traditional makeup of work and the workplace, it also presents a number of amazing opportunities. One of the greatest opportunities is that it will allow us to focus on what we, as humans, do best:

It’s these soft skills, and others like them, that present us with an amazing opportunity not just to remain competitive in the workforce – but to get back to using our minds for what they were made for. Solving problems, making connections, creative ideation and meaningful interaction are indelibly human. Repetitive, laborious tasks are not.

Learn more about soft skills

A reskilling revolution is under way

For individuals, particularly those under risk of displacement, simply to remain employed will require engaging in lifelong learning, regular reskilling and validation of learned skills. Additionally, for all workers, continuous learning will not only be key to securing employment but also to building stable, fulfilling careers and seizing rewarding job transition opportunities.

For organisations, relying solely on new workers entering the market with the right ready-made skills will no longer be a sufficient approach. And while predicting the exact nature of the demand for skills is impossible, recent research from the World Economic Forum reveals that across a wide range of scenarios, investment in workforce reskilling and human capital development is a ‘no-regret action’—that is, it will be a beneficial investment even in the absence of skills shortages.

You can stay ahead of the competition

Professional Practice credentials from Deakin University are a form of micro-credentialing. They’re skill-specific signals that provide tangible and globally-recognised proof of you or your organisation’s professional capabilities and achievements. From soft skills to leadership and technical knowledge skills, they’re a new way to ensure you stay up-to-date in an increasingly changing and competitive world.

Deakin University’s Professional Practice credentials are offered across three categories, and are aligned to international qualification and industry skills frameworks, meaning they are industry-relevant, globally recognised and tailored specifically to put you ahead of the pack.

Learn more about credentials

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If you’d like to talk about how credentials can better prepare you or your workforce for the future of work, contact us today.

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