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How Few Workers Outperform Computers

VU International News and Reviews No. 101 November 20 2017

November 2017

The OECD has published a report on Computers and the Future of Skill Demand in which they compare the current workforce deployment of Literacy, Numeracy and Problem-solving skills with the capabilities of computers in these areas. They focused on the state of the art computer capabilities demonstrated through research (but not yet broadly applied in practice).

The report shows that compared to 1990, more people use literacy skills, but most of them at a fairly moderate to low level. Only 13% of workers daily use the broad metacognitive skills on a higher level than what computers are now able of. 62% use these skills at a level that computers nowadays can match (the rest doesn’t use such metacognitive skills at work).

13% is much lower than the cohort percentile that currently follows – or has completed – higher education. In other words, a university degree is not a guarantee that your work will be taken over by a computer – sooner rather than later. Food for thought for educational strategists at our universities.

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