Giving Compass' Take:

• According to a new report from McKinsey Global Institute, automation will impact the country's workforce. However, there are ways that higher education can mitigate future challenges. 

• The author suggests three main ways that higher education can address these issues: Creating alternative pathways to the workforce (apprenticeships), providing support for lifelong learning, and bringing clarity and universal standards to credentials. 

• Check out the Giving Compass Workforce Development Guide for donors. 

Automation has sent the country's workers down separate paths, according to a new report from McKinsey Global Institute.

Twenty-five "megacities and high-growth hubs" accounted for more than two-thirds of job growth in the past 10 years, and that trend is expected to continue. Meanwhile, employment gains have been flat in low-growth cities, and rural counties mostly have fewer jobs than they did before the Great Recession.

Those divisions are poised to grow. Over the next decade, automation is more likely to displace workers in rural areas than those in urban areas with more diverse economies, such as Washington, D.C., and San Francisco.

Automation will hurt certain demographic groups more than others, McKinsey researchers predict. Nearly 26% of Hispanic and 23% of African American workers will be displaced, compared to 22% of white and Asian American workers. Workers under age 34 and over age 50 also face high displacement rates.

Although such findings are bleak, the report offers a few bright spots.

The higher education sector can help mitigate some of the worst effects of automation for workers, the authors write. Adding new pathways from high school to the workforce, making the credential marketplace more transparent and giving students opportunities to return to school throughout their lives can all help.

  • Making room for lifelong learning
  • Scaling apprenticeship programs
  • Bringing clarity to the credential marketplace

Read the full article about colleges can prepare workforce for automation by Natalie Schwartz at Education Dive.