According to a May 2017 Pew Research Center survey on the future of work, jobs training, and skills, lifelong learning will be a necessary skill for success in the future employment environment. Compiling 1,408 responses by technologists, scholars, practitioners, strategic thinkers, and education leaders on the future of jobs, the Pew Research Center and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center noted several themes that emerged from the study, including the growing demand for employees who are lifelong learners, and increased online education and training.
An anonymous respondent stated that “learning will, in itself, become important. The skill to continue to learn will be important in all jobs.” Libraries play a critical role in assisting those who are job seekers and lifelong learners. This new report from Pew is particularly useful to libraries when read in tandem with their 2016 report on Libraries & Learning, as the full scope of both articles can provide libraries with ideas for how to best serve job seekers and lifelong learners in their communities now and well into the future.
For instance, the 2016 report on Libraries & Learning found that 38% of respondents didn’t know whether their libraries offered online career and job-related resources, and 49% didn’t know whether their libraries offered programs that certify that people have mastered new skills. In light of the new Pew report on the future of jobs, these two services are very likely to be of increased importance in the future employment market. All Wisconsin libraries are currently able to offer these services to their patrons through the Department of Public Instruction’s Job Seeker website, which shares resources for finding a job, connecting with local services, and learning new skills.
For these Pew reports and more articles and information relevant to libraries, visit the Pew Research Center’s Internet and Technology page.