Educating people for the rise of AI and digital technologies

By Joe McKendrick for Forbes

There is plenty of discussion about the need for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills as the gateway to employment opportunities (and for employers, staffing requirements) in the artificial intelligence-enhanced economy ahead.

There's no question that STEM skills now form the basis of the fastest-growing job categories. A study released by the World Economic Forum shows that data-related jobs will be the most in demand within the next four to five years, along with AI and machine learning specialists. Shifts in the global job market will result in 58 million net new jobs -- 75 million jobs will be eliminated, but the rise of digital enterprises will create 133 million new jobs. The leading job categories that will be the most in demand include data analysts and scientists; AI and machine learning specialists; software and applications developers and analysts; and something called "big data specialists," though it's likely these people will have other titles in the coming years.

But emphasizing STEM skills may not be enough -- there needs to be a greater emphasis on the way people interact with each other and manage their workplace challenges. Shirley Malcom, for one, sees a need to recalibrate the educational system to not only teach STEM, but also lead and succeed in digital organizations. Malcom, head of education and human resources programs of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, says creating a workforce ready for the challenges of an AI and digital future requires teaching people to think differently.

To learn more, read "Beyond STEM: Why AI Demands Higher-Level Skills" from Joe McKendrick for Forbes.