Every person has the opportunity of a lifetime of learning. Some capitalize by taking advantage of every means and manner -- regardless of the local quality of formal education available. Most learn the basics but, having a false sense of job opportunities or grown up within an entitlement mentality, fall short in comprehension and competencies, math and science skills. That failure will be magnified by two factors. The belief that the work environment, though cyclical by changes in the economy, will remain largely unchanged and lack of comprehension can be recovered, over time, on-the-job. After all, since WW II that’s always the way it has been. If you work hard you can/will work your way up the organization for better income and benefits. Yes, it is after all the American Dream, but the workforce composition has changed and so has the play-book to manage a flatter organization of "un-siloed" teams.
With an expanding globalize economy and labor cost redistribution accordingly, the work environment will continue to move to an ever more technical (math and science) set of requirements. Those entry level jobs since WW II will have been already outsourced or have been permanently eliminated by technology. Most large organizations have less than 60% of their work processes completed by actual paid full time employees -- using outsourced resources and contingent skilled workers to fill the gaps or for projects for everything from major software implementations to janitorial services. More of the same will continue.
More than 60% of the entry worker population are not yet aware of these phenomenon, let alone able to improve their skills formally fast enough for any sustainable employment. Repurposing your skills and capabilities will become a lifelong necessity, as will the need for more "corporate university" enrollments. With a widening skills gap and global labor shifts, many U.S. enterprises have no choice but to provide a variety of skills development methods. Performance must then be adequately measured with appropriate feedback by both team members and leaders. Data from tracked performance will need to refreshed and repurposed to keep talent progression aligned with business and individual goals and to keep pace with global market and technology shifts.
While enterprise technologies such as LMS, HRIS, ERP, CRM and TMS have opened the “C” suite to increased recognition of the true reality, it has also added to confusion of options and their impact. Accessing the means to integrate HR tools to learning and talent management technology is underway. However, we already know how the incoming multi-generational, multi-cultural chose to learn. The use of the social network and movement of full streaming video to the SmartPhone platform is ample evidence and that technology is already commoditized. The remaining issues are that of content format for many different smartphones, differing O/S, corporate security and "big data" management solutions.
An analogy is that it took only a few hours to learn how to drive a car and a few months to not even think about it when driving. Learning to pilot a complex combat jet and land it safely on what often appears as a moving postage stamp in the ocean takes thousands of hours of learning and performance checks. And, it never really becomes automatic. The latter is the challenge for rapid adaptive learning to be agile enough to adjust to rapid change.