The future of work: How can we prepare our children for the world of 2032?

The rapid pace of technology is changing almost every aspect of our lives – especially the way we work. Few of us a decade ago could have predicted the apps and networks that dominate our lives in 2022. So what will life look like in 10 years' time?

The future of work: How can we prepare our children for the world of 2032?
Three moves ahead: Tomorrow’s business leaders develop the skills of thinking strategically. Photo: Forward College

Moore’s Law, coined by computer scientist Gordon Moore, theorises that computational power doubles every two years. This means that the devices and networks we will use in a decade will be far more powerful than today, creating new industries and jobs. 

Meanwhile, the last decade has seen a major shift in global politics – and almost every commentator on international affairs agrees that these changes will continue. The ‘way things are’ in 2032 will be significantly removed from where we are now. 

Together with future-focused higher education institution Forward College, we consider the challenges the emerging generation of workers will face – and introduce the school designed to prepare them. 

Learn how Forward College gives young people a comprehensive preparation for a drastically different world – and develops the skills they need to thrive

The next generation will work from anywhere

It’s a safe bet to suggest that the shift to ‘hybrid’ working – working from home some or all of the time – that was forced by the coronavirus pandemic, won’t be reversed any time soon. 

Recent research into working from home, conducted for the Brookings Institution, found that up to a quarter of US workers would quit their jobs if asked to return to the office five days a week. In fact, a majority would take a pay cut to work more hours from home.

Further research by Owl Labs discovered that the working from home shift led to greatly increased morale and productivity. An overwhelming majority of those surveyed reported they noticed a drop in stress levels, and that they felt more motivated. 

With many professional jobs shifting to working from home, the kind of office campuses we are used to simply won’t hold the same importance for this emerging generation. The efficient use of time will be a far greater priority, and it is those young people who can operate across both spaces who will thrive. 

2032’s professionals will overwhelmingly operate in a digital world

The next generation of professionals will be immersed in a world where almost every transaction – social, financial or administrative – is conducted online in some capacity.

From retail to healthcare, the expansion of technology, coupled with selected regional markets exploding in growth means that many future workers will be busy keeping this digital world in motion. 

LinkedIn predicts that over 150 million jobs in the technology sector will be created in the next five years, and many of these will involve the daily use of platforms, or social media channels, that do not yet exist. 

To succeed in this expanding space, the children of today will need to have an understanding of the ‘digital ecosphere’, and how individuals navigate it daily. 

This is no easy task. To predict consumer demand and behaviour requires more than technical knowledge – it requires a complex set of interpersonal skills and abilities. 

Tomorrow’s professionals will need to have ‘soft skills’

Soft skills’ will be an important tool for those climbing the 2032 career ladder. These are qualities such as empathy, the ability to take constructive criticism, resilience, and mediation skills.

Zety’s 2022 survey of HR heads and recruiters found that 61 percent of those surveyed considered ‘soft skills’ more valuable than technical skills, and over half considered teamwork and communication skills to be the most vital out of the mix. 

This indicates to us that professionals who will succeed in some of 2032’s most exciting and integral roles will be those who have developed their ‘soft skills’ over the previous decade. 

Is your child ready for tomorrow’s world of work? Find out how Forward College prepares them for a world of dramatic change and innovation

Class of 2024: Forward College students are being prepared for a hybrid, mobile and digital future. Photo: Forward College

The school preparing tomorrow’s business leaders

If you are a parent, you may be asking yourself how you can prepare your children for this future of work – how to develop their ‘soft skills’ before starting their career. 

Unfortunately, most global education systems are predicated on a simple loop – teach, test, repeat. Merely evaluating subject knowledge makes the job of teachers easier, but it lets students down in terms of skill development. 

This model of teaching ignores the reality that ‘soft skills’ are only developed by doing, engaging in meaningful practical activities that demand cooperation and critical thinking.

As Forward College founder and philanthropist Boris Walbaum writes: “The key to equipping students with the right skills is empowerment and experience.”

By ‘empowerment’, he means disabusing students of the notion that these skills are character traits or natural talents that they either have or don’t have and showing them that they can be developed. 

“A more radical and immersive approach is required – and one that encompasses social and emotional skills, as well as the practical and digital ones we hear so much about.

“Universities must do nothing less than overhaul their entire approach to teaching – to provide new ways of learning.”

Leading the way

Founded in 2021, Forward College offers high school graduates prestigious degrees from King’s College London and the London School of Economics, which are accredited by the University of London. Students can choose from one of six programs – economics, economics and politics, psychology, business and management, data science, or politics and international relations.

Distinguishing it from other further education qualifications, these Bachelor’s programs incorporate an innovative combination of project-based learning and personal and professional development programs. Students learn by completing real-life projects, and continuously tracking their personal growth and skill development. 

Additionally, to widen their horizons, students spend each year of the three-year program living in a different top European capitalLisbon, Paris and Berlin. There they are exposed to new cultures and ways of thinking about the world. 

During their three-year Bachelor’s degree, students can also complete other certificates in parallel. These include Digital Entrepreneurship and Sustainability and Social Entrepreneurship, which impart skills that place them far beyond their peers outside the Forward College program. 

As the founder, Walbaum has a storied career as an education advisor to the French government, and would go on to found a number of NGOs widening access to higher education in France, such as Article 1 and Dual Conseil

The school’s leadership team also has a pedigree that includes leadership roles at Google and Apple. Their understanding of what future employers are seeking in employees, and the lay of the work landscape in general, is substantial. 

French entrepreneur and philanthropist, Boris Walbaum, is the innovative mind behind the founding of Forward College. Photo: Forward College

In Walbaum’s words, Forward College is a “groundbreaking higher education institution that aims to realign learning with the requirements of tomorrow’s top jobs, students’ aspirations and our need for change. 

“With Forward College, I want to participate in reinventing a higher education that nurtures the positive leadership we urgently need.” 

We can never exactly know what the future has in store, and there are undoubtedly unknown factors that will influence future workplaces. However, it is reassuring to know that there are people and institutions helping young people prepare for what is to come. 

Forward College’s 2023 intake is open now. Apply before January 31 to give your child the skills to thrive in 2032’s most exciting careers 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


What changes for students at French universities in 2023

Re-evaluation of financial aid, a freeze on tuition fees, housing assistance... everything you need to know if you're starting at a French university in 2023.

What changes for students at French universities in 2023

The new academic year has just started in France, and thousands of students are heading back to university – or starting out on their studies, after passing their bac in the summer.

Meanwhile, the next set of bac students are gearing up for their big educational year, and starting to wonder about the mysteries of the French university application system Parcoursup – while parents are concerned about finances, and making sure their children have decent lodgings.

There’s far too much emotional, practical and financial baggage to unpack in that last paragraph for a simple article. But, here are a few things that it’s worth knowing – from how much you’ll have to pay in tuition fees, to how to get grants.

This article mainly concerns students who have been living in France as the situation is often different for overseas students – and in this instance that means students travelling from overseas for university, if your children are joining from a French school they count as home students, even if they don’t have French nationality.


The freeze on university tuition fees has been extended for the fifth year in a row at €170 per year for bachelor degrees and €243 for masters diplomas. 

Non-scholarship students are also required to pay an annual €100 Contribution vie étudiante et de campus (CVEC) to improve living conditions on campus.

Fees for overseas students are calculated differently and can run into several thousand euro. 


Students looking for accommodation at university are advised to go to the Caisse d’allocations familiales (Caf) website for help and advice.

Be aware that this housing assistance could result in a significant decrease in the amount of family allowance available to the families of students at university. It is, however, worth consulting Caf.


Grants (bourses) are available to help students with the cost of university life – if you’re resident in France this is dependent on your income (or the income of your parents if you’re just finishing school). Being a boursier (person in receipt of a grant, also qualifies you for some extra discounts such as reduced-price meals.

The means-tested grants vary according t your financial situation, but the basic rate has increased by €37 per month for 2023, while boursiers studying at establishments in French overseas territories will receive an additional €30 per month on top of the €37 increase.

Students with disabilities and student carers benefit from additional help to gain access to grants based on social criteria. 

This simulator will help you start the process of applying for a university grant by calculating whether you will be eligible for one.


Restaurants operated by the Centres régionaux des œuvres universitaires et scolaires (Crous) – which also offers accommodation services – offer three-course meals for €3.30 in the university canteen, further reduced to €1 for boursiers and students in certain financial situations. 

Special requirements

Students with particular needs (high-level athletes, artists, students with disabilities, employed students, students with families, etc) can benefit from adaptations and arrangements to facilitate their studies.

Health insurance

French students – including all non-French students who have gone through the French education system through collège and lycée and who are registered in the social security system – are not expected to pay social security contributions to access healthcare services.

However, overseas students in France or French students at university abroad may need to pay. Students from the UK can access the S1 form, which allows them to use the French state-funded healthcare system and have their costs reimbursed by the UK. 

Gap years

Students wishing to take a break for a year can ask their university to suspend their studies for up to two consecutive semesters.


Students in a higher education establishment can follow part of their studies in another European country via the Erasmus + programme. This is intended for students wishing to follow a higher education course abroad as part of an exchange programme, or to carry out an international internship.

Masters degree applications

The process for entering the first year of a Master’s degree changed back in February 2023, with applications for the first year of a Master’s degree now submitted on the Mon Master platform. 

The French government’s Back to School Guide (in French) presents the various measures put in place to improve the daily lives of students.

It’s also worth looking at the government’s My Student Services website, which has an English-language version. It offers all sorts of information about university life, finances and housing options.