Business owners today are actively deciding whether their next hire should be a person or a machine. After all, machines can work in the dark and don’t come with decades of HR case law requiring time off for holidays, personal illness, excessive overtime, chronic stress or anxiety.

If you’ve not heard the phrase “technological unemployment,” brace yourself; you’ll be hearing it a lot over the coming years.

Technology is automating jobs out of existence at a record clip, and it’s only getting started. But at the same time, new jobs are also coming out of the woodwork.

In March, when Facebook announced the $2 billion acquisition of Oculus Rift, they not only put a giant stamp of approval on the technology, but they also triggered an instant demand for virtual reality designers, developers, and engineers.

Virtual reality professionals were nowhere to be found on the list of hot skills needed for 2014, but they certainly will be for 2015.

The same was true when Google and Facebook both announced the acquisition of solar powered drone companies Titan and Ascenta respectively. Suddenly we began seeing a dramatic uptick in the need for solar-drone engineers, drone-pilots, air rights lobbyists, global network planners, analysts, engineers, and logisticians.

Bold companies making moves like this are instantly triggering the need for talented people with skills aligned to grow with these cutting edge industries.

In these types of industries, it’s no longer possible to project the talent needs of business and industry 5-6 years in advance, the time it takes most universities to develop a new degree program and graduate their first class. Instead, these new skill-shifts come wrapped in a very short lead-time, often as little as 3-4 months.

Recent workshop at the DaVinci Institute

We Create the Future, and the Future Creates Us

Every new technology creates a need for more training. Very often it ends up being niche learning that takes place in-house with existing employees. But we’re also seeing a growing refinement of industries driving the need for huge new talent pools that currently don’t exist.

Whether its virtual reality, specialized 3D scanning, 3D printing, mobile apps, Internet of Things, flying drones, or reputation management, the need for tech-savvy fast-to-adapt talent pools is growing, and growing quickly.

This is also an area where traditional colleges have missed the boat. Their attempt to put everything into a 2-year or 4-year framework has left the largest untapped opportunity ever for short-term full-immersion courses that help workers reboot their career.

Proud to be a DaVinci Coder

The rapid growth in coding schools such as our own DaVinci Coders is only a tiny slice of a much larger Micro College pie that will get created over the coming years.

At the DaVinci Institute, our goal is to create a working laboratory for launching new Micro Colleges. These Micro Colleges will span the spectrum from “fly drone academies,” to crowdfunding schools, 3D printer designer schools, aquaponics farmers institute, and countless more.

Stay tuned, the best is yet to come.

By Futurist Thomas Frey

Author of “Communicating with the Future” – the book that changes everything

Book Tom 1

6 Responses to “Technological Unemployment and our Need for Micro Colleges”

Comments List

  1. Daniel Nathaniel

    The micro-college concept reminds me of my experiences at the Defense Information School (DINFOS). While attending the basic journalism course we were informed that in three months we were receiving the equivalent of an AA in the subject (minus general ed credits).
  2. <a href='' rel='external nofollow' class='url'>Terry Ashwin</a>

    I agree totally with the concept of micro colleges as formal institution's technological courses are outdated by the time they are completed especially given the added time taken period to setup the required course material. i personally still feel however there would be a return to some automated jobs as machines do not feel, think or react in any job position so requiring same. By way of example answering the phone when making contact with a service provider. If we also look at how a person who was in a job position replaced by a machine it more than often was one not worth having and the machine is now forcing the person concerned into more than likely do something far more constructive and pleasurable with their lives. When they started these jobs most where forced to do so out of a mere need to survive however we need to look at how technology machines have opened more doors than machines have closed for people who had dreams of being something else. An example if i wanted to write a book (note it could even be a how to...), design clothes, make music, or even sell the machines that replaced my boring job i could do so given the tools now offered by the webs networks to any one any where in the world. So I think people are going to make their hobbies (carpenter, pie maker , designer) their means to earning a living and be far more fulfilled with their time her on earth. The great part for the rest of us is the offering of great stories to read , recipes that are real and millions of home made, hand made products, made with talent and experience to purchase not just the mass machine made junk. The local old time market on the web. Makes me feel like a nice homemade milk tart right now. Yours Truly Terry
  3. <a href='' rel='external nofollow' class='url'>Terry Ashwin</a>

    Sorry needed to add the first micro college needed is How to turn your hobby into a Business using modern day tools. Also person only has to go local to earn what they did before the machine replaced them.
  4. <a href='' rel='external nofollow' class='url'>Daniel DAlonzo</a>

    @Thomas - researching late tonight and managed to land on your site. Feels like I was reading my own words. Hope you check out my website. Would be great to speak with you regarding the micro college i started in October - stopped all other work so i could give my fulltime to this project. team building now, and hoping for beta April 26th. @Terry I say, If a machine takes your job, it gives you a unique value proposition for the new startup you are going to build which utilizes the same tech automating your job.

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