Skills for a Changing World, a collaborative project written in 2016 by Rebecca Winthrop and Eileen McGivney, seeks to identify how a new generation of skills can best be developed and enhanced in young children and students so they can navigate education and work in the face of changing social,technological, and economic demands. The focus of Skills for a Changing World is breadth—breadth of skills, breadth across ages, and breadth of learning opportunities, both inside and out of school.
The way we work is being redefined for future generations.Harvard economists have shown that automation has “hollowed out” the U.S. labor market over the last 50 years. As the figure to the left shows, jobs that require mostly routine tasks are decreasing, including routine “cognitive” skills like accounting as well as routine manual skills like those on an assembly line. This means that many of the jobs that arose in the 20th century have been increasingly automated since 1960. Jobs requiring analytical and interpersonal skills, or “non-routine” skills, are on the rise and taking a larger share of the labor market