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How AI threatens to make traditional college degree obsolete


The golden standard of the bachelor’s degree is in peril as artificial intelligence rapidly advances and employers seek workers who are well-versed in that technology.

“AI’s going to make it virtually impossible for a one-off moment of learning [like a degree] to last an entire career,” LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky said this week at the Talent Connect Summit, a conference of the country’s 2,000 top recruiters.

As smart tech progresses, jobs will be expected to evolve, placing an emphasis on people skills rather than trade tasks that can be learned by a machine.

LinkedIn executives highlighted the “critical” need for up-skilling as AI technology develops, meaning that employee adaptability will be an expectation, rendering program-oriented four-year degrees virtually useless.

As a result of technological innovation in the past decade, whole industries have turned “upside down,” Indeed CEO Chris Hyams said last month as he also warned that college-learned skills could become “obsolete.”


Not only is AI feared to overtake jobs or whole industries, but employers are also seeking workers who know how to utilize it in the workplace.

Job skills are projected to change by 65% by 2030, according to data from LinkedIn, as listings mentioning ChatGPT or similar generative AI have increased by more than 20-fold since last year.

According to the platform’s survey, 47% of US executives believed that AI could enhance productivity in the workplace, as some plan to integrate the technology into their organizations within the year.

The company’s Future of Work Report estimated the fraction of tasks that could be performed by a machine by occupation — saying 96% of a software engineer’s job could benefit or be taken over by AI, while only 6% of a nurse’s job could potentially be augmented by the software.

Despite only 4% of executives surveyed by LinkedIn planning to “reassess roles and reduce headcount” due to AI, the introduction of the generative technology prompted unease, as workers fear the job market could be choked by artificial intelligence.

In March, more than 1,000 experts co-signed a letter urging a temporary pause for the rapid development of AI, as Goldman Sachs warned that an estimated 300 million jobs could be impacted or lost due to the technology.


AI in the palm of hand
While some executives believe AI can increase productivity, some workers fear it could steal their jobs.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

This year, the Writers Guild of America went on strike partially in protest of Hollywood’s plans to integrate AI — or, in other words, to create without creators.

The union, which picketed for 148 days, objected to the use of AI in the writer’s room to pen scripts, train machines or serve as source material.

Intelligent technology is the center of outcry among truckers, too, as the integration of self-driving freight trucks looms. Despite a vote in the California State Senate to prohibit driverless vehicles on major highways, Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed the bill, deeming it “unnecessary.”



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