Adult Learning: To Address Singapore’s Aging Workforce

Singapore is one of the most advanced countries in Southeast Asia today. But it’s facing a huge problem, and that is the aging workforce.

According to a study conducted by the Marsh & McLennan Companies, the number of workers over 50 will increase by 55 percent by 2030. This demographic will make up 40 percent of the country’s workforce. Because of this, the medical costs per employee will increase as well. From $946, it will become $1,973 by 2030 as well. And the productive loss because of sick leaves will reach about $3.3 billion. This amounts to about one percent of the entire country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

There are many ways to address an aging workforce so that the country’s economy will remain strong. One of the best ways is to ensure that these workers will remain competitive in the workforce. They can continue developing various skills that would be essential in the future, based on the Future of Jobs Report 2020 by the World Economic Forum (WEF). They can become lifelong learners and future-forward by taking SSG courses or other adult learning courses.

Courses on Tech

According to the mentioned WEF report, these are two tech-driven skills needed by 2025. One is technology use, monitoring, and control. The other is technology design and programming. They also found that, by 2025, new jobs will emerge or enhance existing jobs. Some of them are AI and machine specialists and software and application developers.

Because of such forecasts, it’s clear that the future of jobs would be driven by tech. So, today, it’s crucial to learn more about computers and other gadgets. We can take short courses on information technology or computer science. This way, we’ll be more confident in handling software and hardware.

For example, we can enroll in a class offered by Codeacademy. We can learn about coding in different programming languages such as Python, JavaScript, and HTML. This way, we’re not just learning about how to use computers. We’re also learning about creating websites and mobile applications.

Graphic Design and Digital Marketing

As previously mentioned, one of the top skills of the future is technology design and programming. This is because many businesses are relying more and more on their online presence. This is driven partly because a huge chunk of the workforce is working from home right now. According to the findings of WEF, the remote working setup will only rise by 83 percent by 2025.

So one of the best things we can learn about today are graphic design and digital marketing. It also helps that WEF predicts that digital transformation specialists and digital marketing strategy specialists would be among the future’s top jobs.

One of the courses we can take is Graphic Design Specialization from Coursera. Professors from the California Institute of the Arts or CalArts are teaching this course. In this course, we’ll learn about visual communication, typography, and color theory. And, of course, we’ll also train to use the leading graphic design software today.

For digital marketing, we can take the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing from Google Digital Garage. It’s accredited by the Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe and the Open University. In this course, we’ll learn about analytics and data insights, content marketing, and business strategy.

Literature and Philosophy

books concept

We might find this odd. Why would we take classes mostly based on theory when we can learn about developing tech skills? This question has its merits. But it’s important to note that by taking classes on art, literature, or philosophy, we’re developing critical skills. And such skills are included in the list of top talents of the future.

According to WEF, analytical thinking and innovation are the top skills needed in the future. Then a few items down is critical thinking and analysis. After that is creativity, originality, and initiative. By reading literary texts and pondering over philosophical notions, we are exercising our brains.

Harvard University offers free online courses on Shakespeare’s notable works, such as Hamlet and Othello. On the other hand, the University of Queensland offers an online course on philosophy and critical thinking.

By gaining new skills as adults, we are ensuring that we have a place in the future. The workforce of Singapore may be aging. But it would help if the older workforce would maintain the skills that would be relevant in the future. We don’t have to solely rely on the next generation of workers to bring forth future-forward skills.

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