The Future of the Professions Book Summary - The Future of the Professions Book explained in key points
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The Future of the Professions summary

Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind

How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts

3.7 (79 ratings)
18 mins
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    The Future of the Professions
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    Professionals are granted autonomy over a particular field in exchange for trained expertise.

    How skilled are you at doing your own taxes, diagnosing your own illnesses or educating your children?

    These kinds of skills are certainly complicated; no person can manage all of life’s challenges completely independently. People need guidance on topics that they may not know much or even anything about.

    This is why we turn to others who are more knowledgeable and skilled than we are in particular fields of expertise: professionals.

    Professionals educate our children, help run our businesses, fight for our legal rights and care for us when we’re sick or injured. We trust professionals because of their knowledge, expertise, experience and character.

    Professionals don’t simply memorize knowledge from textbooks and journals; they also know how to tailor that knowledge to each person with whom they work. They stay current with developments in their field, and aim to maintain a high standard of quality in their practice.

    Importantly, we trust professionals, expecting them to be honest and selfless, keeping our best interests at heart. In turn, society in general grants professionals the autonomy to manage their fields of expertise.

    We can think of professions like clubs. Members decide who gets in, and set the standards for training, examinations and required credentials. Professionals often also manage their own schools, universities and institutes.

    For example, if you want to be a credentialed teacher, you’ll have to attend either a certified school or special classes, and eventually pass a state examination.

    Some professions also often maintain full legal authority over certain fields, such as health. This is why only a licensed doctor can prescribe certain medicines, those that could be dangerous if not administered correctly. In short, we need professionals to keep us safe.

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    What is The Future of the Professions about?

    The Future of the Professions (2015) examines how modern technology and the internet have revolutionized our society. These blinks in particular address how technology has changed the way society views the work of experts, the so-called professionals. The role of such experts is evolving quickly; here you’ll discover just what the future of professions will look like.

    Best quote from The Future of the Professions

    The professional man, as it is said, does not work in order to be paid; he is paid in order that he may work. – T. H. Marshall, 1939

    —Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind
    example alt text

    Who should read The Future of the Professions?

    • Entrepreneurs and managers in the tech business
    • Coaches who work with C-level executives
    • Anyone interested in how technology is changing how we work

    About the Author

    Richard Susskind holds a chair on the Advisory Board of the Oxford Internet Institute and is the president of the Society for Computers and Law. An international speaker and expert advisor on information technology and the law, he is also the author of The End of Lawyers? Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services.

    Daniel Susskind is Richard Susskind’s son and a lecturer in Economics at Oxford University. He has worked for the British Government, in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit and as Senior Policy Advisor at the Cabinet Office.

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