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Conference Proceedings


Kristana Ivanova


Automation has become all pervasive with engineers and programmers developing cars that drive themselves, with robots serving the elderly in nursing homes and with algorithms ruling stock markets. Automation is forecast to dramatically impact labour markets, forcing many to reconsider their careers and entirely change the way they perceive jobs and professional development. Automation may even cause a seismic shift in the way life is perceived in general, with career development possible for the fortunate few. As a result, choosing the ‘right` subject at university that will eventually secure the ‘right` career may become an even greater challenge, creating an even tougher competitive environment for higher educational institutions.

This paper aims to argue that automation may cause a surge of interest in degrees in the humanities/liberal arts.  Automation may also accelerate the reverse process of skills-based courses being introduced in traditional liberal arts programmes. Universities may need to go through an even deeper process of blending, blurring the line between ‘traditional` humanities and sciences and providing a range of relevant programmes to remain sustainable.


automation; liberal arts; business training, skills-based courses, science, integrated learning, labour markets, university education, employability

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