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This is already having a big impact on education. “We have started hiring many people with no degrees,’’ explained Kumar. “If you know stuff and can demonstrate that you know stuff and have been upskilling yourself with online training to do the task that we need, you’re hired. We think this structural shift — from degrees to skills — could bridge the digital divide as the cost of undergraduate education has increased by 150 percent over the last 20 years.’’
Infosys still hires lots of engineers. But today Kumar is not looking just for “problem solvers,’’ he says, but “problem-finders,’’ people with diverse interests — art, literature, science, anthropology — who can identify things that people want before people even know they want them.
Steve Jobs was the ultimate problem-finder.
Now so many more people can play at that, because you no longer need to know how to code to generate new software programs. Thanks to artificial intelligence, there is now “no-code software.’’ You just instruct the software to design some code for the application that you’ve imagined or need and, presto, it will spit it out.
“We’re seeing the democratization of software — the consumers can now be the creators,’’ Kumar explained. It shows you how AI will take away jobs of the past, while it creates jobs of the future.
Finally, he argues, in the future, postsecondary education will be a hybrid ecosystem of company platforms, colleges and local schools, whose goal will be to create the opportunity for lifelong “radical reskilling.”
“Radical reskilling means I can take a front-desk hotel clerk and turn him into a cybersecurity technician. I can take an airline counter agent and turn her into a data consultant.”
Today, companies like Infosys, IBM or AT&T are all creating cutting-edge in-house universities — Infosys is building a 100-acre campus in Indianapolis designed to provide their employees and customers not “just-in-case learning’’ — material you might or might not need to master the job at hand — but “just-in-time learning,’’ offering the precise skills needed for the latest task, explained Kumar.