What Higher Ed Jobs Will Robots Be Doing In 2025?

An argument for why we should be open to automation.

August 18, 2015

“Many chains are already at work looking for ingenious ways to take humans out of the picture, threatening workers in an industry that employs 2.4 million wait staffers, nearly 3 million cooks and food preparers and many of the nation’s 3.3 million cashiers”.

“The avalanche of rising costs is why franchisers are aggressively looking for technology that can allow them to produce more food faster with higher quality and lower waste".

From Minimum-Wage Offensive Could Speed Arrival of Robot-Powered Restaurants Washington Post, 8/16/15.

What jobs do you see that are currently being done on your campus by people that, in 2025, will be done by robots?

Will the total number of people employed by higher education be reduced by robots (automation)?

To put all my cards on the table - I do not believe that robots will (ever, ever, ever) replace educators. Any effort to substitute machines for people (capital for labor) in education will be the most direct route to institutional irrelevancy and insolvency.

Anyone in any position of postsecondary leadership must adopt a relational, rather than transactional, model of learning. Adopting a student-centric, educator-first, postsecondary model is the only business strategy that makes sense in our increasingly competitive and resource constrained higher ed environment.

Robots will be utilized intelligently in higher ed in those cases where robots bring a school in the opposite direction of commoditization.

If the use of robots can create more space for educators interacting with students, then robots should be used.

If the use of robots can direct scarce resources away from transactional activities, and push resources into resource intensive activities, then robots should be used.

If robots can do tasks that are not core to the institution, then robots can free up resources (and people) to do those things that are core.

Value is added in higher education by people.  Value is added by educators.

If we are going to improve our productivity in higher education then we must be open to look to automating those tasks that do not truly add value.   

What are your thoughts about what campus jobs could and should be done by robots in 2025?



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