The weekly journalÂ ScienceÂ features on its new cover a Babylonian tablet that calculatesÂ Jupiter’s movement through the sky. The archaeologicalÂ findÂ pushes the discoveryÂ of a rudimentary calculus back at leastÂ 1,400 years, from 14th century Europe.
Advisers to Babylonian kingsÂ were recording two facts–the passage of timeÂ andÂ Jupiter’sÂ velocity–to projectÂ where the giant gas orbÂ might pop up next. AÂ more sophisticated version of the same analysis, painfully known to many asÂ integral calculus, lets you look a year aheadÂ from today’s stock price and come up withÂ the value of options.
But 2,000 years later, that kind of math remains far out of reach for many students in the developed world. In the U.S., the questionÂ is particularly acute. American students rank 35Â amongÂ the 64 nations in the most recent international testing, well below the average for developed nations.Â And this week the news got worse, as three quiteÂ different voices expressed concernÂ with the failure of educational systemsÂ to keep up with a dynamic economy that requires ever smarter participants.
The UN Global Compact, a group thatÂ encourages companies to pursue sustainability across governance, social, andÂ environmental issues, published a reportÂ Tuesday that ranks the biggest worriesÂ of more than 5,500 leaders in business, universities, and civil society groups. Two of the top three wereÂ how to close the skills gap andÂ groom people for the ‘digital labor market.’
Yesterday’s graduates went off and founded today’s companies; it’s becoming clear that tomorrow’s graduates may not be qualified to even apply for jobs with them.
“The redesign of work is happening at such rapid speed that to adjust skills at the same pace requires an extraordinary ability to learn how to learn,â€ said Marianne Haahr, the report’s project director, who works for the Scandinavian think tank Monday Morning.
Read more at Bloomberg Business.