Are students prepared for the four future worlds of work?

Are students prepared for the four future worlds of work?
What does the future of work hold for students? Source: Saketh Garuda/Unsplash

“We should remember that intellectual complacency is not our friend and that learning – not just new things but new ways of thinking – is a life-long endeavour.”Blair Sheppard, PwC Global Leader

2030, a year of fundamental transformation and automated machines.

Are you ready for it?

This is a question that multinational professional services network, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is asking everyone through the recent Workforce of the future: The competing forces shaping 2030 report.

To kick-start student thinking and prepare them for a planet crammed full of innovative automation and incredibly smart technologies, the report outlines four future worlds of work in 2030 and connects them to four key concepts.

To further explore these unknown realms from an educational perspective, I’ve paired them with a number of student survival tips so you feel extra-prepared for your future world of work:

The Red World – Where innovation rules

Running alongside innovation. Source: Aziz Acharki/Unsplash

Welcome to the Red World.

Despite the colour red signifying danger, here it signifies innovation.

Workforces in the Red World value winning business ideas and out-of-the-box thinking. Where innovation outweighs regulation, you’ll have more freedom to take risks and evolve as a serial entrepreneur.

Student survival tip:

If you want to keep up-to-speed with digital platforms and fellow innovators, you’ll need to integrate technology and big data into your ideas.

In this world, leaders rely on outsourced services and automation for people processes, since HR will no longer exist as a separate function.

So, while you’re at university, don’t be afraid to trial your ideas with the resident entrepreneurial hub or student innovation centre. They will embrace your talents and encourage you to take the next steps.

Plus, who knows – you could end up being one of the major players in the Red World in 2030.

The Blue World – Where corporations are king

Where corporate lives clash with control. Source: Fred Kearney/Unsplash

You have entered the Blue World, where corporations are king and capitalism reigns supreme.

As the report explains, “This is a world of extreme talent. Exceptional people are in high demand, so employers secure a core group of pivotal high-performers by offering excellent rewards.”

In this world, corporate careers matter.

Student survival tip:

If you’re keen on becoming an integral part of a large corporation, and look forward to your efforts being maximised through the sophisticated use of physical and medical enhancement techniques and technology, be sure to pursue work experience in large organisations while at your university.

The Blue World will expose you to immense competition and aggressive new companies, so it’s a smart idea to build up your portfolio through industry insights and placements that elevate your business skills.

The Green World – Where companies care

Flourish in the Green World. Source: Carlos Dominguez/Unsplash

Characterised by a strong social conscience, the Green World is open to workers who favour companies that prioritise ethical and environmental agendas.

A world where companies care about their ecological footprint, these organisations expect employees to do the same.

Overshadowed by climate change and the rejection of sustainable resources, workers will take organisational pledges in a bid to benefit the wider world.

Student survival tip:

If you’re interested in joining an organisation that cares about its people and the planet, you’ll be immersed in the Green World when we hit 2030.

While at university, why not make a few pledges of your own to prepare yourself for the future workplace?

This could be through campus clean-ups, student-run charity trips or eco-awareness events. The current world is your oyster and it needs your help.

The Yellow World – Where humans come first

A world where humans take the lead. Source: Christian Sterk/Unsplash

Here, you’ll certainly enjoy your stay, as this is a world will put your needs first.

The Yellow World is where companies and workers seek out greater meaning in everything they do.

“Crowdfunded capital flows towards ethical and blameless brands. It’s a world where workers and consumers search for meaning and relevance from organisations, ones with a social heart, ” adds the report.

Student survival tip:

Here, humanity is highly valued.

If you gravitate towards like-minded colleagues at your university, you’ll most likely enjoy a workplace built on teamwork and collaboration.

In this world, a conflict will remain with technology – but that’s where you’ll thrive. Despite its overbearing effects, some work will still need to be carried out by humans.

So while at university, work on what defines you as an individual. Whether that’s writing, the arts, sports or something else, this future workplace will value individuality.

Though the above worlds of work by PwC appear to be well mapped out, we must remember that this is just an outline of what they think will happen. The future is not certain.

There might be additional worlds of work to discover such as purple, orange or indigo.

But in the face of uncertainty, it’s always better to be prepared.

So, if you’re eager to find out which world of work you belong in, you can take the PwC quiz here and view the results.

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