Reframing Working, Rethinking Learning: The Future Skills Turn

Ulf-Daniel Ehlers
Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg Karlsruhe

Laura Eigbrecht
Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University Karlsruhe


Research on Future Skills is one of the current hot topics in education, management and organizational research. In times of global networked organizations and steadily accelerating product cycles, the model of qualification for future jobs seems debatable. Can we really prepare graduates and employees for the future by the predominant model of knowledge acquisition? Do we already have adequate concepts for competence development in higher education and work environments? An international study led to the identification of the change processes that the working and learning world are undergoing as well as of the Future Skills that will be needed in highly emergent future contexts – including digital competences, but transcending them. This calls for new strategies and concepts concerning structural, teaching and learning aspects and a new way of embracing lifelong learning concepts. “Future organizations” have been identified that have already set out for dealing with those new demands. By learning about their innovative approaches concerning employees’ competence and skills acquisition, a veritable turn away from specialist knowledge and towards Future Skills can be observed – and cannot be ignored by higher education.

Keywords: Future Skills, Higher Education, Learning, Competence, Delphi Survey, Education Research 

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