Free MITx online course on Shaping the Future of Work to start on March 20, 2018


MIT Sloan professor's course will explore ways to use advancing digital technologies to improve work along with developing a personal plan for career success 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 8, 2018––In our changing economy, there currently are not enough good jobs or affordable educational opportunities in the U.S. or globally for all who want and need to work.  But what exactly needs to happen in order for employers, workers, governments, and regulators to come together to forge new policies? And what type of skills and knowledge are crucial for personal success in today's world of advancing digital technologies?In Shaping the Future of Work, a free MITx online business and management course, Thomas Kochan taps into 40 years of experience gained as a professor of work and employment research at the MIT Sloan School of Management to answer these and other crucial questions. Shaping the Future of Work, which kicks off on Tuesday, March 20, will run for a total of eight weeks, with an approximately three- to five-hour per week time commitment.

Additional faculty contributing to the course are Zeynep Ton, an adjunct associate professor at MIT Sloan and author of The Good Jobs Strategy: How the Smartest Companies Invest in Employees to Lower Costs and Boost Profits; MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer Barbara Dyer, who serves as executive director of the Good Companies, Good Jobs Initiative; and Lee Dyer, a professor of Human Resource Management and Chair of the Department of Human Resource Studies at the ILR School, Cornell University.

Areas Shaping the Future of Work will cover, among others, are:

  • A historical perspective and overview of work and employment policy in the United States and around the world
  • How to reduce the economic anxieties, frustrations, and divisions that are all too apparent in society today 
  • How the roles of firms, employees, and public policy have changed and created the labor market we see today
  • The status of the current labor market in more detail: What does it look like? What types of jobs do we have, and what skills are required? What are emerging trends in how firms organize work, and in the role of labor market institutions such as unions?
  • How globalization and advancing technologies will change the way we work, which jobs may be eliminated, and which jobs could be created in their place 
  • How we might influence the way technology is designed and used to improve the quality of work  
  • Resources and tools you can use to plan your own career paths now and in the workplaces of the future
  • How society might build a new social contract that makes work more productive and rewarding and contributes to a broadly shared prosperity

To register for this free course, please visit: If they so choose, those who successfully finish Shaping the Future of Work may receive a verified certificate for a fee of $49.

About MITx

MITx delivers massive open online courses, known as MOOCs, via edX, which MIT founded with Harvard University in 2012. MITx courses are developed and taught by MIT instructors with the aim of enhancing on-campus education, expanding access to quality educational opportunities worldwide, and advancing the understanding of teaching and learning through research. As of 2018, more than 3 million learners worldwide have accessed MITx content. MITx courses on edX are open to any learner around the world for free. Verified identity certificates, which certify completion by the individual, are available for a fee. To view the full list of courses available, please visit:

About Prof. Thomas Kochan

Thomas A. Kochan is the George M. Bunker Professor of Work and Employment Relations at MIT's Sloan School of Management and co-director of the MIT Institute for Work and Employment Research. From 2009 to 2011, he served as chair of the MIT Faculty. In 2010, Prof. Kochan led the formation of the Employment Policy Research Network, an online think tank on the subject of employment. In 2015, he was honored by the Aspen Institute with a Faculty Pioneer Lifetime Achievement Award for his research and teaching on business practices that contribute to an economy that works for all.Prof. Kochan is a co-author with Lee Dyer of Shaping the Future of Work: A Handbook for Action and a New Social Contract  (MITx Press, 2017) and author of  Restoring the American Dream: A Working Families' Agenda for America (MIT Press, 2005). He is the co-author of numerous books including An Introduction to Collective Bargaining & Industrial Relations; Labor Relations in a Globalizing World; and Employment Relations in a Changing World Economy. He holds a BBA in Personnel Management and an MS and a PhD in Industrial Relations from the University of Wisconsin.

About MIT Sloan School of Management

MIT Sloan School of Management is where smart, independent leaders come together to solve problems, create new organizations, and improve the world. Learn more at   

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