In the next 10 years, do you think we will see the emergence of new educational and training programs that can successfully train large numbers of workers in the skills they will need to perform the jobs of the future?

The nonscientific canvassing found that 70% of these particular respondents said “yes” – such programs would emerge and be successful. A majority among the 30% who said “no” generally do not believe adaptation in teaching environments will be sufficient to teach new skills at the scale that is necessary to help workers keep abreast of the tech changes that will upend millions of jobs. (See “About this canvassing of experts” for further details about the limits of this sample.)

Participants were asked to explain their answers and offered the following prompts to consider:

What are the most important skills needed to succeed in the workforce of the future?
Which of these skills can be taught effectively via online systems – especially those that are self-directed – and other nontraditional settings?
Which skills will be most difficult to teach at scale?
Will employers be accepting of applicants who rely on new types of credentialing systems, or will they be viewed as less qualified than those who have attended traditional four-year and graduate programs?
Several common expectations were evident in these respondents’ answers, no matter how hopeful or fretful they were about the future of skills- and capabilities-training efforts. (It is important to note that many respondents listed human behaviors, attributes and competencies in describing desirable work skills. Although these aspects of psychology cannot be classified as “skills” and perhaps cannot be directly taught in any sort of training environment, we include these answers under the general heading of skills, capabilities and attributes.)

A diversifying education and credentialing ecosystem: Most of these experts expect the education marketplace – especially online learning platforms – to continue to change in an effort to accommodate the widespread needs. Some predict employers will step up their own efforts to train and retrain workers. Many foresee a significant number of self-teaching efforts by jobholders themselves as they take advantage of proliferating online opportunities.