6 characteristics of education of the future and how credentials will change


The Commonwealth Bank Jobs and Skills of the Future Report I wrote recently dug into how work and jobs are changing and what skills will be required. These shifts in work mean it is crystal clear that education must also change.

Below is an excerpt from the report giving a snapshot of some of the shifts needed in education:

Education of the Future

Looking further into the future of education, we may see a radical restructuring of how we learn, not just in schools and universities, but through our entire life. Classrooms will continue to exist, enhanced through the use of a wide range of new tools, technologies and methodologies. Education will also become an ongoing part of everyone’s lives, and embedded into our employment, helping us improve our skills and capabilities while we work.


Pervasive accessibility
Learning will be always available to everyone at all times, at work, home and everywhere spend time

Personalised journeys
Everyone learns differently. Algorithms will uncover our preferences so all learning is designed for the individual.

Real world relevance
Education will prepare us for the real world by focusing on understanding how knowledge will be applied and the emotional and relationship skills required

Immersive experience
Virtual reality and other tools will allow us to experience lifelike situations and practice in simulations before we need to apply our skills in real life

Augmented teachers
Teachers will remain central to education, but they will be augmented by technology to draw on the best tools available

Peer learning
Education will shift to learning from experts to learning with people who are like you, learning together as the world changes


Formal degrees and diplomas will continue to be important in the future, however will be less necessary. Algorithms are increasingly able to analyse data about your work and study to indicate your capabilities in a work environment, often better than a formal academic qualification can.

Some employers are identifying high-potential candidates with software that assesses how specialists in a field have contributed to their profession and how their peers view them.

Rather than multi-year degrees, we will often get recognition for shorter learning journeys. Massively Online Open Courses (MOOCs) are offering ‘nano-degrees’ that show competence in a specific domain.

We may move to a world in which employers look more to the information they can gather about individuals’ knowledge, work and attitudes than to their official certificates.