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Can government actually predict the jobs of the future?

TJ Ryan Foundation Research Associate, David Peetz, writes in The Conversation (26.6.20) about the federal government's proposed changes to higher education fee structures in a supposed attempt to make students more 'job ready' through degree choice.

'The future of jobs has been used to justify the major changes to university education announced last week. Fees for courses that, according to the government, lead to jobs with a great future will fall, while those with a poor future will rise.

'But can the government predict the jobs of the future? And do proposed fee changes match those jobs that will grow?

'In the research I have done on the future of work, several things are clear. The further you look ahead, the less useful the present is as a guide. This is especially the case in employment because, in a quickly changing world, technology is hard to predict and changing consumption patterns even harder.

'… A more plausible explanation for the changes to university fees is that the marketable skills argument is just a cover for another agenda.

'Critical thinking is a key skill for the future, but one can’t help but think it is not something the government wants encouraged.'

 

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