Preparing Students for the Rapidly Changing World of Work

August 6th, 2019

Jane Oates of Working Nation.

A quarter of all jobs in the United States face high exposure to automation in the next three years and every job will be impacted by technology in one way or another, an expert told career and technical educational leaders at their annual summer meeting in July.

Jane Oates, the president of, said those jobs with routine, predictable physical and cognitive tasks are the most vulnerable to complete automation. Between 2016 and 2018, the number of job postings with the “artificial intelligence” or “machine learning” increased by 100 percent, she said. (Her slide deck and presentation are below.)

“Schools don’t even know what machine learning is yet,” said Oates, whose organization runs a website that seeks to educate the public about changing economy. “We don’t know what the jobs in machine learning are yet.”

Oates, who served as assistant secretary for Employment and Training in the administration of President Barack Obama and as executive director of New Jersey’s Commission on Higher Education, said competencies are replacing other credentials.

“Seat time is becoming passé,” she said. “Students across the board are going to have to demonstrate what they know.”

Rutgers University Professor Forough Ghahramani moderated a panel with Stacey Medeiros of the New Jersey Hospital Association and Jim McGlynn of Public Consulting Group.

Oates said the jobs of today are in cyber security, healthcare, artificial intelligence, software development, cloud and machine learning, Java and Python programming languages and data analytics.

To be ready for college and careers, Oates said students need a combination of skills, including academic, technical, personal, employability and entrepreneurial.

The new education, she said, is industry led and driven, competency based, driven by project-based and experiential learning.

During their annual summer meeting on July 24, members of the New Jersey Council of County Vocational Technical Schools, which represents the 21 county vocational technical schools in New Jersey, also learned about careers in big data from leading experts in the rapidly growing field that is transforming nearly every industry.

A panel moderated by Rutgers University Professor Forough Ghahramani highlighted how data analytics is driving change in the workplace.

The panel consisted of  Stacey Medeiros, the senior director of Health Informatics and Policy at New Jersey Hospital Association and Jim McGlynn, a former teacher and data analyst for the state Department of Education who works for Public Consulting Group.

If you are having trouble viewing the slideshow on this website, you can view it on

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