Coalface to Keyface: Why Coal Miners Should Study Online

By Professor Mark Brown

We know from closer scrutiny the evidence is quite flimsy underlying claims that 65% of jobs of the future have yet to be invented (see my previous post on this topic). However, you do not have to be a highly qualified brain surgeon or rocket scientist to predict with some accuracy that over the next decade or so many new jobs will emerge, current ones will evolve and some positions may disappear. Put simply the future of work is not static!


Growth of the ICT Sector

In terms of new jobs, for example, the demand in the ICT sector in Ireland alone is conservatively estimated in the National Skills Strategy 2025 to grow by an average 8,000 new job openings per annum (p.35). Of these, it was estimated when the Strategy was published that 85% of the jobs would be for high-level ICT professionals. Growth areas such as big data analytics, cloud computing, cyber security and the Internet of things are examples of the types of new jobs that have emerged in just the last few years.

Set against strong global demand for ICT talent the aforementioned National Strategy recognizes the need for multiple pathways to support career development and to make the field more attractive to a broader range of people. The Irish Government’s current Springboard+ funding scheme and ICT Skills Conversion Programme providing opportunities to undertake further study at no cost in strategically targeted areas offers one of these pathways. At Dublin City University (DCU) our Springboard+ courses can be taken fully online wherever you live in Ireland through our DCU Connected platform in areas ranging from Information and Communications Technology, Software Development, Internet Enterprise Systems, IT Entrepreneurship, and Operations Management.

Our flexible online delivery model is designed to make higher education as accessible as possible, irrespective of geographical location, in the spirit of the National Skills Strategy 2025 (2016), which states:

“Ireland is a small country, we cannot afford untapped talent, nor do we intend to leave any of our people locked out of participating in the workforce through a lack of skills. That is why there is a specific focus in this strategy on active inclusion for the economically marginalised” (p.7).

You can read more of this article and learn why there is a link to coalminers on Professor Mark Brown‘s Linkedin account.