knowledge vs labour worker

As societies progress, economies change and that demands workers who can provide their skills to sustain the system. Jobs have always been very specific throughout agricultural and industrial phases of society. Workers performed their jobs according to a set of rules, they were closely monitored, and worked in repetition of the same tasks over and over again to create mass produced, homogenised goods and services. But the clear and simple fact is that society has massively trasnsformed, and with it, there's a need for the labour worker to change.

Society is largely based on technology and this is the Age of Information where everyone needs to have the fundamental knowledge of operating technology. But recently a lot of people in the field of IT have stressed on the need for more individuals in the society to be equipped with the knowledge of the inner workings of this system. This has led to the creation and demand of knowledge workers.

But who are knowledge workers and how are they different from the current workforce? A knowledge worker is a service provider who capitalizes on their knowledge rather than their skills.

The term "knowledge worker" was first coined in 1959 by Peter Drucker in his book, The Landmarks of Tomorrow. The concept of a knowledge worker has been around for quite some time but the lack of such workers in today's economy is bringing concerns among economists. This is because a knowledge worker needs to be a solution provider, someone who can think on their feet and constantly evolve in terms of their knowledge. This is different from a normal skilled worker like a conventional accountant who has a limited skill set that can't constantly evolve, their job throughout remains stagnant and repetitive, and eventually an online software would be able to do a better job and that worker will be replaced by AI. On the other hand, an accountant who is a knowledge worker would constantly analyze and re-configure the data produced by AI and provide the best available solutions for businesses and would get work done in a fast and efficient way by being up to date with the latest softwares like SQL to compute his data.


"want to know more?"

Knowledge Economy

The revolution began with the invention of world wide web and it is steadily taking over the economy. Thus, Our economy has completely transitioned from Industrial Economy to Knowledge Economy. more

Self Learning

The internet contains billions of resources for students to learn almost anything for free. But the power of knowledge lies with the people who know where to look for information.

Freelance Economy

In the near future, nearly all sorts of jobs will be extinct and the concept of a linear career will disappear. Large companies today are giving most of their jobs to freelancers who work on their own terms rather than hiring long-term employees. more

Code as a Language

A programming language is a formal language that specifies a set of instructions that can be used to produce various kinds of output and just like any other language in the world, it is best learned at an early age. more


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Therefore, the way a knowledge worker works, is significantly different from how a skilled worker has to work. A knowledge worker would enjoy a certain level of autonomy in their work, and would be allowed the space to work freely to come up with new ideas and creative solutions.

Knowledge workers also require technical-related knowledge such as mathematics and computer sciences and being able to code is the most highly sought after qualification that a lot of employers are looking at. This is because unlike skills that don't change easily, knowledge can be constantly acquired, and thanks to the internet it is now more accessible than ever, and it's possible for anyone to learn anything and all it takes is a smartphone with an internet connection. Before the 21st century, workers did not have these resources and knowledge was a commodity controlled by the powerful, so the current economy is also shifting the balance of power where each individual has access to unlimited knowledge, but the ones who know where to look for it and what to do with it are successful knowledge workers.

Consequently, the education system needs to stop creating labour workers with limited skill sets that are no longer in demand by the workforce and are being replaced by apps and softwares. It is high time that education transforms to become personalised and individual to induce creativity, problem solving, and self learning, and create knowledge workers who will be the backbone of the future economy and ensure that the Age of Information thrives like the industrial economy did.