Waterloo talent will shape our local and global recovery

Vivek GoelWe are experiencing a period of profound and rapid change, marked by multiple challenges that the world has not seen in decades. This year has already shown us the impacts of increasing polarization with the occupation of our capital city and border blockades. Rapidly changing geopolitical forces resulted in the Russian invasion of Ukraine while the ongoing climate crisis continues to fuel extreme weather events.

Meanwhile, the pandemic has preoccupied us for the last two years, exposing deep societal challenges and accelerating many transformations that were already underway.

These forces have changed the future of work. The talent of the future – the people needed to do the work – will be called to respond and adapt to uncertainty in ways that few generations have had to in the past. From the rapid shift to remote work and challenges of recruiting top talent; the evolving workplace expectations and critical calls for diversity, equity and inclusion – employers and employees alike are rethinking the world of work.

Educating the workforce of the future

As an institution of higher learning, the University of Waterloo plays an important role in educating the workforce that will shape our local and global recovery, and the future of work for generations. After graduating, our alumni take what they have learned here to their workplaces, the ventures they create and communities within which they live. We are not only educating the next generation, we are helping shape global citizens to ensure we meet the many challenges we face globally.  

The next generation must include a diversity of voices so we can build an equitable and inclusive future. Society benefits when everyone can fully participate in the workforce without barriers.

As the global leader in co-op education, Waterloo equips students with early pathways to work experience in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Students learn early about the sectors they aspire to work in and how their classroom learning is applied in real-world settings. They bring their work experiences back to the classroom where they share with peers the human and societal implications of their work.

At Waterloo, we are training our graduates to be leaders and innovators of the future. We need to ensure they begin their careers as the creative problem solvers the world needs to develop human-centered solutions, and to shape the future of our world for the better.