A new economy is emerging, the “gig economy” –a market where workers have short term contracts or freelance jobs as opposed to traditional full time jobs.
“By 2020, 40 percent of the workforce will be independent contractors,” recently stated Harry Elam, senior vice provost for education at Stanford University Additionally, experts suggest that 40-60 percent of jobs will be lost by 2030, because of automation and new technologies.
In this scenario, individuals will be required to be life-long learners.
Stanford University’s 2025 vision for higher education is based on an “open-loop education model”, where students would take a few courses to gain skills to fill a job, and later return to school to add needed skills, following a continuous cycle until retirement.
Anant Agarwal, CEO at edX, has suggested an model where individuals would subscribe to college like a magazine, taking courses when they need them throughout their lifetime.