The Third Education Revolution

FROM THE ATLANTIC | The world of work is undergoing a massive shift.

Not since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries and the Information Age that followed in the last century has the scale of disruption taking place in the workforce been so evident.

Now a third wave in education and training has arrived, argue economists, educators, and workforce-development officials.

The level of preparation that worked in the first two waves—adding more time to education early in life—does not seem sufficient in the 21st-century economy.

Instead the third wave is likely to be marked by continual training throughout a person’s lifetime—to keep current in a career, to learn how to complement rising levels of automation, and to gain skills for new work.

Workers will likely consume this lifelong learning in short spurts when they need it, rather than in lengthy blocks of time as they do now when it often takes months or years to complete certificates and degrees.