Instructure Blog


The Impact of Longevity on Lifelong Learning

Recently the New York Times published an article that focused on how Higher Education will need to evolve to an education model that is nimble, but focused on the long term; in this case, a 60-year curriculum. Why is this important? Today, people are changing jobs and careers more frequently than ever. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker will hold 12 different positions before they retire. Further, 65% of children in school now will have jobs that don’t yet exist. And this trend appears to be increasing, accelerated by growing longevity across populations. As a result, students and employees will need to be nimble and continuously update their skills. This means that access to ongoing education will become even more critical.

As people and organizations transition to a lifelong learning mindset, it’s not just Higher Education that will need to evolve. A new Longevity Project – Morning Consult poll, found that 59% of respondents agreed with the statement that they expect their employers to provide educational opportunities to advance their careers, with the strongest support, 71%, coming from respondents age 18-29.

Further, 33% of all respondents identified their current or future employers as the most likely source of on-going education, a percentage that outstripped traditional education organizations, government programs, and similar educational and vocational offerings.

This poll is part of The Longevity Project, a new initiative Instructure is participating in with the Stanford Center on Longevity (SCL) and several other interested organizations. The goal: generate research and foster public dialogue on the far-reaching impact of increased longevity.

If the average life expectancy exceeds 100 years, what is the impact on learning? How does an individual’s approach to education and their career change? With the growing possibility of multiple careers, how do education and training need to evolve to become foundational components for personal and professional growth? And, knowing all this--what will the new expectations be for continuing education from businesses, universities, communities, and the government?

These are just a few of the questions we hope to better understand through our participation in the project. Other partners in the project will examine the impact of increasing longevity on areas outside education and training. These partners include Wells Fargo, Principal Financial Group, Urban Institute, Morning Consult, and the National Academy of Medicine.

Through research, participation in conferences around the country, and events at Stanford, the Longevity Project will engage with government and business leaders on what needs to evolve as greater longevity becomes a new (and welcome) reality.

At Instructure, our mission is to help people grow from the first day of school to the last day of work. More than 30 million people - teachers, students, employees, and managers - rely on the Canvas Learning Management Platform and the Bridge Employee Development Platform to facilitate their learning journey. As a passionate participant in the education community, we are excited to look ahead to a future where agility and learning sit squarely at the center of personal growth and development.

It’s an exciting time and we are excited to participate in this initiative. Exploring the impact of longevity, from formative education to the workplace, is critical to understanding how we can support future learning environments. Through a commitment to lifelong learning, we’re preparing for a future that extends each individual’s potential, growth, and development.

To get the latest research findings and additional project details, visit www.longevity-project.com.

Jennifer Goldsmith is the Chief Strategy Officer at Instructure