Goodbye 2017, welcome 2018. While a new year begins, it’s time to put a stick in the ground and state where we are and what’s going to happen next regarding two main interconnected topics: job automation and fake news. But how are they connected in the first place?

While global workforce is increasingly threatened by automation, with robots, artificial intelligence and self-driving cars replacing humans, there is still no safety net for our communities. Politics doesn’t provide enough tools to mitigate that risk, while public opinion’s awareness still seems insufficient to address it, with fake news and poor information jeopardizing our understanding of what is going on. Who is the enemy we need to fight? By means of using which weapons?

In order to verify sources, critically process texts or speeches, and finally truly become aware of what surrounds us, we need a structured approach and a solid preparation that we are increasingly dismissing. The same aptitude is more and more often required on the job: if you don’t want to be left behind and ultimately displaced, you need to update, upgrade and reinvent yourself as times change. And the common ingredient is always the same: learning.

While our predisposition for learning seems to be plummeting over time, learning tools such as online courses, tutorials and MOOCs are literally exploding, thanks to authoritative platforms such as Lynda (now Linkedin Learning), Coursera, Udemy, EdX, Udacity, Pluralsight, Skillshare and others. On OfCourseMe, the leading global recommendation engine for online courses, we can get an idea of the huge number of courses available, broken down by category. Just to mention the most popular ones:

While at first it might seem too complicated to figure out which courses are worth our time and money, a recommendation engine like OfCourseMe helps learners with easy to use filters, so you can start from “beginner” level and “low” effort first for example.

Are we saying that online courses will reshape politics and save the planet? We are definitely not, but lower prices and virtual classes leave no excuses. Be it learning a programming language, improving personal soft skills or understanding finance, business, politics, it’s worth starting from there. It all starts from learning, then it goes with recreating a culture of critical, holistic thinking and scientific approach through training and practice. Will we be able to accept the challenge?