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Non-Digital Competencies for a Digital World: Why Higher Education Needs Humanities and STEM Disciplines

Evelyn Korn

Pages 95 - 109



This publication is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives 4.0. (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Forecasts on the future of the workplace abound. Predictions vary from a “smart,” network-based, and still human-centered organization of work to scenarios in which artificial intelligence and algorithms take over repetitive as well as complex jobs by 2030. Either way, questions arise regarding the set of skills that will be necessary for successful participation in the workplace and what role higher education will play in shaping and providing these skills. Currently, demand for graduates from the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) disciplines is high in politics and industry. In addition, the workforce also needs people who are able to harness technological developments for the economy as well as for society. Think tanks have described the skills necessary to establish this connection between technological progress and societal needs. They show that skills from the humanities and the social sciences are as necessary as technological capabilities because future members of the workplace—and, even more importantly, responsible members of society—need to contextualize technological developments. Thus, the challenge will be to combine digitalization in higher education with critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, communication, and social and ethical reflection.

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