About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5351-5358
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain

PROVIDING UNIVERSITY STUDENTS WITH SKILLS FOR FUTURE WORK ENVIRONMENT

J. Kubátová

Palacky University (CZECH REPUBLIC)
There are several important trends which have changed the current work environment and thus also the skills we need to be successful and productive workers. As recent studies show, these trends will be even more massive in the future.

The first goal of this paper is to point out the most important trends and their drivers which reshape the ways of work. To find these trends we have analyzed research studies conducted by the Institute for the Future, Regus Company, Millennial Branding and ODesk or Elance. We have found three main trends. First, due to a dynamic technological development it is not possible to predict for which specific job categories universities have to prepare their students. However, we can define the key drivers that reshape the work environment and to identify key work skills needed in the next decade across different jobs and work settings.

Second, flexible work arrangements, allowing employees greater choice as to when and where they work, are offered by growing numbers of employers. Speaking about flexible work we refer to virtual work (on-line work). Virtual workers use information and communication technologies for mutual communication and delivering work. Not only is it cost-effective for the employers, but also the workers are more productive, creative and satisfied thanks to a better work-life balance they are able to achieve.

The third trend is the most actual. A growing number of people, mainly young professionals, decide to work independently as freelancers. They consider themselves entrepreneurs and offer their human capital by entering the open on-line labor market. Big on-line talent markets such as ODesk, Elance, Guru, or Freelancer are growing. Moreover, independently working professionals have started using coworking centers instead of home office. Coworking centers offer not only working space and related services but also an opportunity to meet other professionals. This environment is very favorable for the emergence of innovative ideas and projects.

To prepare our students for on-line work in the current global environment we have included special courses in our study plans. Since 2009 we have taught two courses in the virtual world of Second Life. The courses are Life in Second Life and Virtual Work. In 2013 we have introduced a new course Virtual Teams Management. This course is taught in a professional on-line environment for virtual cooperation called Capsa. Thus the second goal of this paper is to share our experience with this teaching. We meet our students mainly on-line but also have face-to face sessions where we discuss our experience. Mainly in Virtual Teams Management flipped learning is used. At the end of the term we receive feed-back from our students which provides a valuable background for continuous innovation of the courses.

It is evident that the traditional job market continues to struggle worldwide, but the future is optimistic for on-line work. On-line work is a good way how to find professional fulfillment and to achieve a satisfying work-life balance. Providing university graduates with skills for a future work environment means also a contribution to a sustainable social and economic development.
@InProceedings{KUBATOVA2014PRO,
author = {Kub{\'{a}}tov{\'{a}}, J.},
title = {PROVIDING UNIVERSITY STUDENTS WITH SKILLS FOR FUTURE WORK ENVIRONMENT},
series = {8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-8412-0},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {10-12 March, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {5351-5358}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Kubátová
TI - PROVIDING UNIVERSITY STUDENTS WITH SKILLS FOR FUTURE WORK ENVIRONMENT
SN - 978-84-616-8412-0/2340-1079
PY - 2014
Y1 - 10-12 March, 2014
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2014 Proceedings
SP - 5351
EP - 5358
ER -
J. Kubátová (2014) PROVIDING UNIVERSITY STUDENTS WITH SKILLS FOR FUTURE WORK ENVIRONMENT, INTED2014 Proceedings, pp. 5351-5358.
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