Prepping Students for The Future of Work in the Age of AI

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Written by Jordan Levy

The Wall Street Journal recently covered a very interesting story about the disruption and business model iteration that’s happening at McKinsey. This article highlights McKinsey CEO Bob Sternfels’s efforts to revamp the firm since they’re facing decreased demand, layoffs, and legal issues in the new world of AI. 


Who would have thought such a powerful industry such as big consulting would face such disruption so quickly?


Sternfels is implementing structural changes, modernizing governance, and focusing on employee development. The firm is also adjusting its fee structures and leveraging AI. Internal governance is being scrutinized, with a new task force addressing leadership and partner election processes. 


The article goes deep on the new performance expectations of their already high-performing team members, coined, “up-or-out culture,” which can tell us a lot about how very strategic organizations think about the expectations and skills of their talent.


To best prepare students for the future of work, especially in the context of disruptions in skillsets needed for industries like big consulting, academic programs can take several strategic actions:

1. Integrate Interdisciplinary Learning

Build a curriculum that blends technical skills with humanities to foster critical thinking, problem-solving, and adaptability.


2. Emphasize Soft Skills

Focus on communication, teamwork, and leadership skills, which are essential in navigating complex, rapidly changing work environments.


3. Incorporate Practical Experience

Partner with industries to offer internships, co-op programs, and project-based learning, giving students hands-on experience with real-world challenges.


4. Update Curriculum Regularly

Stay current with industry trends and update academic programs accordingly, ensuring that students learn the latest technologies and methodologies.


5. Foster Lifelong Learning

Encourage a mindset of continuous learning and professional development, providing resources for alumni to upskill throughout their careers.


6. Utilize Technology and AI

Incorporate AI and other advanced technologies into the curriculum to prepare students for tech-driven changes in their fields.


7. Promote Ethical and Inclusive Practices

Teach the importance of ethics and inclusivity, preparing students to lead responsibly in diverse and globalized industries.


8. Develop Critical Thinking and Innovation

Encourage creative thinking and innovation through workshops, hackathons, and collaborative projects.


9. Mentorship and Networking Opportunities

Connect students with mentors and industry professionals to build networks and gain insights into future career paths.

At we believe in training and developing students so that they’re best positioned for the future of work. We help academic programs prepare students by helping them move methodically towards an industry-integrated learning approach. We want students critically thinking about the workplace and their careers all throughout their academic tenure. 


Through our industry projects, cases, and mentoring, we connect students and faculty with industry leaders in the real-world using the best-in-class experiential learning framework


This hands-on approach allows students to apply theoretical knowledge to practical situations, develop critical skills like problem-solving and teamwork, and gain insights into industry trends and demands. By bridging the gap between academia and industry, helps students become better prepared for the evolving job market.


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