ST-SMU Future of Work

ST education forum on coping with changing job landscape

Singapore Management University board of trustees chairman Ho Kwon Ping will give the keynote speech on the topic of the forum: The Future of Work, Universities and the Economy.
Singapore Management University board of trustees chairman Ho Kwon Ping will give the keynote speech on the topic of the forum: The Future of Work, Universities and the Economy.PHOTO: ST FILE

Amid the rapid spread of technology and the rise of artificial intelligence, the job landscape is undergoing fundamental shifts.

What will this changing world of work mean for workers and students, and what skills will they need to succeed in the future economy?

Panellists at this year's The Straits Times Education Forum, organised by the newspaper in partnership with the Singapore Management University (SMU), will explore these questions on March 25.

SMU board of trustees chairman Ho Kwon Ping will give the keynote speech on the topic of the forum: The Future of Work, Universities and the Economy.

He will then be joined by SMU president Arnoud De Meyer, Google's Asia-Pacific director of people services D.N. Prasad, and ST senior education correspondent Sandra Davie for a panel discussion.

  • About the event

  • The Straits Times Education Forum on the Future of Work, Universities and the Economy is supported by the Singapore Management University.

    • Date: March 25 (Saturday)

    • Location: Singapore Management University - School of Law Building, Basement 1 Function Hall, 55 Armenian Street, Singapore 179943

    • Cost: Free for ST readers

    • Online registration: http://www.straitstimes.com/tags/st-education-forum-2017. Limited seats are available.

The experts on the panel, moderated by ST managing editor Fiona Chan, will draw on their unique experiences to share personal insights into education and the future economy.

Mr Ho, who is also executive chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings, said: "Jobs will increasingly involve technology, requiring employees to continually adapt their skill sets so as to stay relevant and be successfully employed in the workforce."

He added that there will be growing demand for interdisciplinary expertise, as emerging industries in the digital economy will require a high level of competence across disparate areas such as business analytics, marketing and administration.

One example is financial technology, or fintech for short, which requires practitioners with both financial and technological know-how.

"It is often at the intersection of disciplines where one would see the emergence of possible innovations and solutions," said Mr Ho.

Professor De Meyer said universities will not be able to ply their students "with vast amounts of domain knowledge in the hope that they will be prepared for whatever comes their way".

"To be relevant in the face of rapid global changes, we will see in the future that coming back to university several times over the course of one's life will become a norm, not an exception," he predicted.

Said Ms Chan: "Given that none of us can be sure that our jobs will still exist in the future economy, the bulk of our education may no longer take place in school, but beyond it.

"This forum, which ST organises yearly to help students keep pace with changing trends in education, will discuss how workers can prepare themselves today for jobs that have yet to be created, and to live in a world with far less job security."

Students who attend the forum can also participate in a free workshop to help them find a career that aligns with their passions.

The workshop, titled Finding Work That Is Beautiful, Purposeful And Fun, will be conducted by Mr Roger Grant and Ms Sophia Chin, co-founders of human resources consultancy Personna.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 06, 2017, with the headline 'ST education forum on coping with changing job landscape'. Print Edition | Subscribe