Someone passed this interesting set of articles from The Futurist to me. It is a Special Report on Jobs (Nov-Dec 2005).

Hyperjobs: The New Higher-Level Work and How to Grow Into It

  • Hyperjobs by Richard W. Samson
  • Working in the Future by John A. Challenger
  • Career Planning for the 21st Century by Joyce Gioia and Roger Herman

I cannot find a direct link to the articles (I think you will have to ask your reference librarian to find it for you… or look in your library) but I thought I would share a few of the interesting predictions:

“White-collar worksers may currently feel comfortable about their own prospects, but in fact service occupations – including the most technical and intellectually demanding – are the new targets of technological advance.” The article goes on to discuss, among other professions, how colleges are replacing professors with with less-costly adjunct professors, launching distance learning programs, and using fully-automated learning systems. “If you behave like a robot, you risk being replaced by one.”

A “hyperjob” is more of a collection of jobs or tasks that will replace careers as we know them. Hyperjobs will be based on, they predict, five “aliveness” skills: Discovery, Creativity, Implementation, Influence, and Physical action. The “enabling” skills that a person will need to have to be employable are:

  1. Basic mental skills (perception, classification, emotional release)
  2. Symbolic thinking and interpretation (language, mathematics, scientific notation)
  3. Responsibility (global consciousness, ethics, religious sense)

Did you catch that? Mental skills, symbolic thinking, mathematics!!!

“Today’s college classes could disappear, along with testing administered by college professors. But the title “college professor” could persist, standing for the person who organizes in-depth discussions, advises on paths of learning, and gives feedback on research projects.”

One last passage from the 3rd article (Career Planning for the 21st Century) predicts the following as the new job of an “instructor”:

Job title: Educational Experiences Designer/Coordinator

These professionals will design, develop, and deliver educational experiences to learners of al ages, backgrounds, and growth levels. They will utilize an expanding body of knowledge in learning theories and emerging technologies to enable multimodal learning. This means they will create lessons that can be accessed and absorbed in a number of ways – via the Internet, over headsets, or in a Web-enhanced classroom setting. These professionals will be familiar with distance-based, electronic, and satellite-based education practices. They will also be familiar with state-of-teh-art methodologies such as knowledge osmosis, virtual-reality learning, and audio absorption.

Qualifications and preparation: The educational experiences designer will hold a master’s degree in learning or a related field and will be able to demonstrate proficiency in current learning technologies for individuals and groups.

How many of us mathematics instructors have even taken one course on learning in our traditional education experiences? (let alone a Master’s degree)