New World Bank online course tackles the future of work, preparing for disruption


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The ever-increasing pace of the development of artificial intelligence is having a profound impact on the workforce. Jobs that have been performed by humans for decades or centuries are becoming obsolete when robots enter the jobsite.  At the same time, new jobs become available that previous generations could not even fathom. Failure to prepare for these changes can have catastrophic impacts on economies.

Based on the 2019 World Development Report, the World Bank’s new course on the Future of Work will explore the various changes that result from advances in technology, what this means for the current and future workforce, and how we need to prepare for these changes.

The Future of Work: Preparing for Disruption

Only MOOC to explore the 2019 World Development Report (WDR) and workforce of the future. Learn how A.I., automation, advanced technologies and new businesses are changing the world. ENROLL NOW

Technological changes affecting us all

With automation, machine-learning and artificial intelligence continuing to develop at high rates, virtually no job is the same today as it was 50 years ago.  In the classroom, books and blackboards have been replaced by tablets and smartboards. On the assembly line, robots have taken over the job of tightening the screws that Charlie Chaplin made famous in his 1936 move ‘Modern Times’. And with the further testing and development of self-driving cars, the iconic yellow cabs in New York and black cabs in London may not need a driver much longer.

At first glance, one may believe these to be developments that threaten the job security of millions of people around the world. At the same time, however, these developments allow for greater economies of scale, allow specific skills to be better utilized, or improve the safety of workers. The use of individual tablets allows a teacher to better pinpoint the challenges a student faces and support him with this, while robots on the assembly line help avoid accidents that threaten life and limb of workers.

Workers of the future will need new sets of skills to compete.  Recent advances in technology are changing how we live, communicate and do business, disrupting traditional industries and redefining the employee/employer relationship. Thousands of routine and low-skill jobs will be eliminated by automation, A.I. and digital hyper-connectivity.

This course emphasizes the urgent need to invest in developing human capital to adapt to these imminent challenges that will have effects for decades to come.  Key themes of the course include the impacts on work of artificial intelligence, the gig economy, new technologies, digital economy, jobs of the future, machine learning, the role of policy makers, the labor market, and the labor force.

Preparing for the Future of Work

First, the course focuses on understanding the factors at play in the changing nature of work. It introduces participants to new technologies that are transforming day-to-day life, new types of automation, and new types of businesses, including firms that operate through digital platforms that enable them to scale rapidly without vertically integrating.

Second, participants are introduced to the World Bank’s new human capital index, highlighting the links between investments in health and education and the productivity of future workers. Making the most of this evolving economic opportunity will depend on prioritizing the development of individual capacity and building skills for tomorrow’s labor market.

Third, it is important to recognize the importance of early education and the defining impact it has. Despite historically low poverty rates and growing life expectancies, the dangers that remain, especially to children under 5, pose a significant risk to development. Poor health care and nutrition at this critical stage of child development, especially during the “first 1000 days” from conception, lead to decreased cognitive function that last into adulthood.

Fourth, skills development does not end in school. Innovative pedagogy, technology platforms and linkages between industry and schools are enabling developing countries to train huge numbers of workers, including older ones, in new capabilities.

Fifth, the course focuses on the new social contracts required to provide for larger investments in human capital and more universal social protection programs. It explores several new ways of protecting people, including a societal minimum that provides support independent of employment; expanding overall coverage that prioritizes the neediest people in society; and placing community health workers on the government’s payroll.

What you will gain

By signing up for this free online course, you:

  • Learn from leaders of international organizations and expert practitioners.

  • Collaborate with thousands of development and policy experts globally.

  • Build your global development professional network.

  • Earn a World Bank Group – edX certificate.

Who this course is for

  • Government officials seeking to learn how to best prepare their countries and invest in human capital to be ready for profound shifts in the nature of work

  • Businesses understanding the need for investments in their employees to prepare for changing demands

  • Students preparing themselves for entry into the workforce of tomorrow

The Future of Massive Engagement on Development Learning

Since its inception, the World Bank Group’s Open Learning Campus (OLC) has sought to become one of the world’s leading references in:

  • International development education to increase development effectiveness and mobilize finance and knowledge for development.

  • Raising awareness of global, regional, national and local development challenges and approaches and programs underway by the World Bank Group and its partners to tackle these.

  • Creating online knowledge exchange, learning and mobilization platforms that bring together and bridge global-national-local public and private actors to catalyze finance, investment and know-how in support of the World Bank Group’s Twin Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals.

In this context, this MOOC serves as an exemplar of the power and potential of online engagement. We look forward to deepening and extending our engagement globally and locally through such programs in the future.


Sheila Jagannathan

Head of the Open Learning Campus at the World Bank

Join the Conversation

Teneng Patience Penn
July 29, 2019

Thanks for sharing. It was very useful

Mohamed Saleh
July 29, 2019

I hope that all languages, especially the Arabic language, will be fully explained to spread knowledge to all poor peoples before developed peoples

Jacques Baldet
July 31, 2019

Yes, though 81, I am very interested in enrolling in this course which will help me understand key changes in human labor/technological changes.

August 01, 2019

Led to tackle new challenges of our era using modern ways

August 01, 2019

Yes,I am agree with it.

Eva Wulandari
August 01, 2019

Thank you for conducting another course host by the World Bank. I will definitely look forward to learn more and have supportive interaction with the World Bank, especially regarding the upcoming rural electrification development program in Indonesia and ASEAN. Hope to see all the leaders and experts also in person!

Marlar Nyunt
August 01, 2019

Very Useful

Matai Muon
August 15, 2019

As a development enthusiast and a student of international studies, this is mine. Looking forward to the course in few weeks.

Thanks to the WBG for this wonderful work.

Yakubu Anas
August 15, 2019

Yes I am interested in this course because one of the issues I wish to address is how to reduce family poverty in west Africa especially among the ever increasing youth with low quality education and most especially women and young ladies struggling with what they can eat.

I feel this course will open my horizon to learn better strategies to help address environmental and social challenges through poverty reduction strategies especially the new approach to employment in a world of growing technology.

Modupe Taiwo
August 15, 2019

Thanks for sharing. The course appears interesting, with the potential for preparing the next generation of employees suitable for technological efficiency and optimal results.

Isah Alhassan
August 15, 2019

Good job

Rana Eşkinat
August 15, 2019

Thank you, it will be interesting for me to learn more about the future of the working conditions.

Prabhudev Aradhya. S
August 15, 2019

Wish to be updated, Please.

August 15, 2019

Very innovative. I am excited about this development. Job opportunities should also be considered for trainers who may be interested after the online certificate program on Future of Work. Thank you.

Joseph Ityav
August 19, 2019

I am interested in this course.I am from benue state in Nigeria.My community is very poor and i have been involved with a lot of social programmes,in the last 10 years to support the poor.Am a lawyer and currently an economics student with interest in development economics and how to reduce poverty in my community.I will use this course to understand the working of World Bank.And probably collaborate with the World Bank in the near future to reduce Global poverty.The course will educate me on AI.

Olisa Stella
August 19, 2019

The less developed countries and few developing countries are lacking behind. Take Nigeria for instance, people are unemployed and losing their job because their qualification are not linked to this new techniques and way of working. Even the private organizations and the government itself is not ready to train the labor force on this new skills in order to create new job in replace of the obsolete ones. So it is creating more problems instead of solving them here in Nigeria. Still looking forward to it

Rana Zohaib
August 19, 2019

Em from pakistan. I want to learn how to improve my society. Please help me to learn and grow my society.

Deborah Anyier Deng
August 19, 2019

I am very interested in learning all about this course at World Bank,i really to do something about my country South Sudan.

Faruk Kahvecioğlu
August 19, 2019

Hello I am a social security expert in social security institution which is only body in SoCal security field in Turkey. And also I attended a course of socia security in world Bank headquarter in 2017 .I am also PhD student in economics and preparing my thesis about a subject related to topics of this course which you plan to offer ..
So I intend to join this online course
Thank you

Sagir Umar Garba
August 19, 2019

This course will indeed be very useful in this digital age,where humans are replaced by machines day by day in the places of work.

Glory Adonase
August 19, 2019

Thanks for sharing is very impactful.

E Whelan
August 19, 2019

Good People I'll Enrol.

Rutherford Osei
August 19, 2019

Thank you very much for sharing this new online course with me. I look forward to participate in this course,

Abhishek Bansal
August 19, 2019


By Profession I am Chartered Accountant having 14 years experience and. 12 years experience in Oil & Gas Industry currently working in India's biggest Company Indian Oil Corporation at Mumbai.

Just want to know what type of courses out of course offers by World Bank will be beneficial for me.

Ahmadwali Aminee
August 19, 2019

Thanks for organizing the event

Majeed Akhtar
August 19, 2019

I'm interested. Please send me details.

Ibrahim Suleiman
August 19, 2019

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity. As a government employee, saddled with the responsibility of mass mobilization and providing feedback to government, the knowledge learnt would be of immense valuable.

Daba Fayissa
August 19, 2019

I am currently serving as a director for one organization and would like to join this valuable course.

Carol Williams
August 19, 2019

This is a great initiative especially in terms of human development.

Ida Farida Nurhayati
August 19, 2019

Good Service

Olive Chiboola
August 19, 2019

Very relevant course

Kingsley Undiandeye
August 19, 2019


Kingsley Undiandeye
August 19, 2019


Niki Kodjo Zolegbenou
August 19, 2019

I'm grateful for the opportunity to enhance my competencies.

Imenger Wanger
August 19, 2019


Bijan Bishi
August 19, 2019

I have passion to know the digital developments.

kenneth wilcox
August 19, 2019

I look forward to enrolling for this programme to better equip me for the ever changing work environment and expectations. Hopefully, this opportunity will help me to be a better and more responsible global citizen.

George O. Aguiyi
August 19, 2019

I'm curious to know what's all about and thanks for shearing

Valerio Armando Conjo
August 19, 2019

i´d like to thanks this opportunity

Hamid Kamara
August 19, 2019

I will be interested in learning new ideas especially how the future will be in terms of jobs.

Nelson Chukwunyere
August 19, 2019

Thanks for conducting this course free. I am very interested in enrolling in this wonderful course which will help me understand key changes in human technological changes.
Hope to meet all the experts in person!

Mbanude Victor
August 19, 2019

It will be paramount to make these courses free or subsidized by world bank for some of us who may not afford the cost.

Syed Irshad Hussain
August 19, 2019

Hi im interested

August 19, 2019

This is not only a great initiative but noble one. I want to be part of it.

Vibek Sharma Gautam
August 19, 2019

it is true, due to technological automation being displaced human resource capital in the world even in developing countries starting . This is the result of theory of change of development .Technological prosperity is our goal of human being in the world now . one time it will come whole system will be changed in every sectors in the world .

Haggai Silumbwe
August 19, 2019

This article emphasises the need for evry person to realise that nothing is static and that the world environment keeps on changing and will continue in that trend. This a must attend course.

Anita Nana Okuribido
August 19, 2019

I am interested in the opening learning campus at the World Bank for the purpose of activating the SDGs mandate to eradicate poverty in community based structures in Africa.

Nouh Ahmed
August 19, 2019

Thank you very much for bringing this opportunity and me interesting in the English language.
I am a manager of a small private company, Hargeisa Somaliland and I am gladly leaning these free courses, otherwise, always I interest collaboration with the world community globally.

Mary Ojimma Ezeali
August 19, 2019

I would like to enroll in this course to gain detailed understanding and knowledge of the key changes in human workforce and technological changes.

Ezedebego Chidiogo Emerald
August 19, 2019

Its always necessary and needful to learn new things everyday