The Future of Work


Younger generations have developed very different expectations about work, reflecting broader social and cultural changes. Examine research related to the future of work while also exploring how your organization is (or is not) preparing for these workforce changes.
Upcoming Start Date: TBA
Location: UT Austin

This certificate program consists of three required courses (listed below) and one elective course option.

This certificate is comprised of four single-day courses.

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The notion of work—how we work, where we work, and our relationship to work—is rapidly evolving.

Research suggests a big disconnect exists between how employers and employees think about in-person vs. remote work and what it means for productivity. What does the permanence of hybrid work mean for your organization? How do you build a workplace culture that is both flexible and productive for both the organization and its employees? How are technological advances in workplace communication channels and generative AI changing the nature of work and the skills required to succeed? Moreover, what’s behind the “quiet quitting” phenomenon, and what does it suggest about how attitudes toward work are evolving?

As a result of the pandemic, many people have started to think more personally and philosophically about the meaning of work. Long regarded as a key extension or expression of one’s identity, work has a new meaning. As a result, more and more people are looking for purpose through work and an affirmation of the values that are important to them.

These issues connect to another significant feature in discussions about the future of work: well-being. When it comes to well-being, what are today’s workers looking for, and how should your organization respond to these rapidly evolving expectations? These developments intersect with significant generational shifts as younger millennials and Gen-Z’ers develop very different expectations about work. These generational shifts reflect broader social and cultural changes and will require organizations to be more deliberate and strategic regarding recruiting and retaining future talent.

This course is designed to engage current research related to the future of work while also creating a space for you to share how your organization is (or is not) preparing for a future of work that, in reality, is already here.

Learning Objectives

This one-day seminar draws from research in fields as varied as sociology, psychology, business, and technology studies to explore some of the crucial issues that all organizations must contend with, including:

  • Separating fact from fiction: What does remote work mean for worker productivity?
  • What is lost and gained in the rapid rise of remote work?
  • What is really driving the “quiet quitting” phenomenon?
  • What do younger workers value most in their career-related aspirations?
  • Why should your organization care about well-being?

This seminar is designed to help participants develop a more nuanced perspective about the future of work and workplace culture and how to maximize their organization’s performance in a rapidly changing world.

Certificate Requirements


Details & Registration

Time: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Continuing Education Units (CEUs): 0.6 CEUs will be awarded upon completion of this program (six hours of instruction)

One-Day Seminar Pricing:

Registration fee includes all course materials, catering (lunch and refreshments), WiFi access, and parking.

  • Standard Registration: $1,000
  • UT System Staff/Alumni Registration: $750
  • Educator, Nonprofit, Government, Military Registration: $750

Get employer support! We’ve gathered resources to help you make the case for your employer to support your HDO education.

If you have questions prior to registering, please see our Professional Training FAQ or contact Andrew M. Vasquez, HDO’s Enrollment & Success Coordinator at

Course Leader(s)

Photo of Craig Watkins

S. Craig Watkins, Ph.D.

S. Craig Watkins is the Ernest S. Sharpe Centennial Professor at The University of Texas at Austin. An internationally recognized expert in media, Watkins is the author of five books exploring young people’s engagement with media and technology. His two most recent books—The Digital Edge and Don’t Knock the Hustle—result from his work with the Connected Learning Research Network, a research collaborative funded by the MacArthur Foundation.

Watkins is the founding director of the Institute for Media Innovation, a new boutique hub for research and design located in the Moody College of Communication. IMI brings together a unique collection of social scientists, media creatives, journalists, and designers to translate research-driven knowledge into critical and creative engagement with a media, tech, and AI-driven world that grows more influential every day.

His work has been profiled in places as varied as The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Newsweek, TIME, ESPN, NPR, and featured at venues like SXSW and The Aspen Institute.

Who Should Participate


  • Senior/Executive Leadership
  • Managers and Directors
  • Human Resources & Recruiting Professionals
  • Start-up Enterprises
  • Established Enterprises
  • Individuals and organizations looking for workers who are creative, nimble, and open to learning new things

As a professional, I don’t always have time for continuing education, and frankly, much of it goes “in one ear and out the other.” HDO seminars are different. Not only do they provide an invigorating and inspiring experience, you learn tangible, applicable, and very relevant tools and techniques to apply to your everyday life. The way I look at the work I do has changed since the completion of my Certificate Program and the impact on my overall effectiveness has been substantial. These seminars give you a new lens through which life and work just make more sense!

Rachel Beaulieu

Executive Director, Enterprise Data Management, TriNet

From Certificate Seeker to Competitive Advantage in Just Four Days

Built on strong academic fundamentals and real-world relevance, HDO Certificate Programs are designed to enhance the portfolios of mid- and upper-level professionals.

Over the course of your program, you will gain immediately-applicable tools and skills to accelerate your career, whether your goal is advancing in your current organization, deepening your capacities to excel in your existing role, or developing additional skills for a transition to a new position. In the process, you will learn alongside and network with experienced professionals from a wide range of industries.

Courses Led by Top Faculty

“My favorite part of the Certificate Program was, hands down, the cross-disciplinary faculty. What remarkable minds! I gained multiple new lenses through which to view workplace challenges. I felt so lucky to have exposure and access to these extraordinary educators. The HDO faculty is world class. I can’t stop raving.”

Sarah Gerichten, Director of Marketing, Square Root, Inc.

Transform Your Organization with Group Training

By applying cutting-edge research and expertise from UT Austin’s top faculty to your organization’s unique challenges, our training programs are designed to:

  1. Build a dynamic organizational culture that fosters innovative thinking and embraces change.
  2. Strengthen team cohesion around existing or aspirational goals.
  3. Enhance leadership skills at all levels, from first-time managers to senior leaders and executives.