Why humanities students will drive the future of the technology industry

Technology moves quickly, and is constantly becoming more integrated into our daily lives, and we need the workforce to complement it.

Young professionals are gravitating towards the tech industry in droves due to the expanding tech job market, looking for exciting and financially rewarding work.

An increasing number of students are looking to prioritize technology-focused degrees to gain the skills needed for these roles. Acceptance rates for computer science courses have risen nearly 50% in the past decade, and admissions for newer AI courses have seen an exponential rise 400% high.

In contrast, humanities degrees are left in the dust, with a drop of 40,000 students enrolled in arts and humanities degrees in last decade. A growing belief is that these degrees do not equip students with the skills needed to work in technology. But as the world of technology continues to advance, its needs will continue to evolve beyond technology, while the job market will change according to these requirements.

Quantum computing may soon change everything we know about technology. Its unprecedented speeds and processing power promise to transform our computing capabilities and fuel the development of the next generation of artificial intelligence. As our world of technology changes, we’ll need to take advantage of the skills offered by humanities degrees to keep up with themselves.

The big ethical question

How to regulate emerging technologies such as quantum computing will be a major challenge as they evolve, and concerted efforts are required to avoid their misuse and exploitation.

We are already seeing problems with AI emerging, as the impact of biased datasets is under intense scrutiny. Quantum computing will only amplify this, making it difficult to manually analyze and correct its consequences.

There are already a great many ethical dilemmas emerging, and we need those with the skills in ethics and decision-making, which are intrinsically taught in the humanities, to help orchestrate these technologies. In the case of quantum computing, we will need to address socially responsible use, fair access, and stop monopolies by corporations.

We will also need people to be able to decide on and enforce strict standards. These are not likely to come from the purely technological community or the scientific community, whose focus tends to be focused solely on progress. Humanities degrees will equip the workforce of the future with the skills to work with these looming ethical dilemmas.

Keep up with new technology

The inherent nature of the tech industry means that the demands of the job market are constantly changing. For example, now there are an abundance of software developers, and even more demand. There are more than 465,700 Software development professionals and UK programmers, more than double the 224,000 there were a decade ago in 2011.

However, as technology advances, the advent of practical use of quantum computing will begin to make software developer jobs obsolete as the required knowledge evolves. Instead of providing workers with specific technical skills they may just have The half-life is 2.5 yearsWe need to plan for the long term.

Human development cannot keep pace with the speed of technological progress. By bringing non-technical workers with different perspectives into a tech-minded workforce, such as those with humanitarian backgrounds, teams can become more balanced and able to handle these evolving needs more easily, drawing on knowledge that won’t become obsolete.

Taking care of future needs

Artificial intelligence is now a common part of our lives, not just something fancy in movies and science fiction. Quantum computing will follow suit, with predictions showing that by next year, 25% of the Fortune Global 500 You will use some form of quantum computing to gain a competitive advantage.

As automation eliminates many professions that require technical skills, we must reinforce what we need in our future technology workforce now — namely, the soft skills that humanities degrees bring. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills will be essential to be able to face unprecedented problems and rapid developments.

Communication skills involving public speaking, teamwork, professional writing, and leadership skills are indispensable for working with the many companies and groups that will begin working with quantum computing. The technology sector cannot turn its back on this part of the talent pool – in fact, it must nurture and integrate these skills as a priority to ensure that technological progress is not hindered.

About the author

Liz Parnell is the Chief Operating Officer Rackspace technology. Be prepared for what’s to come with Rackspace Technology™’s multi-cloud networking solutions. We are the multicloud solutions experts. We know what you’re up against because we’ve helped global companies across industries through it – and you can bet we’re ready to help. Our team delivers results by listening to your challenges and building customized cloud services and solutions that help your business perform better now and in the future.

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