Skills New graduates must remain relevant in the market
The success of tomorrow will come from those who can “discover” and exploit their strengths.
Today we are faced with the nature and changing needs of the industry. The World Economic Forum, in its recent ‘The Future of Jobs’ report, states: “… the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which includes developments in previously disjointed fields such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, robotics, nanotechnology, 3D printing and genetics. and biotechnology, will cause widespread disruption not only of business models, but also of labor markets over the next five years, with huge changes expected in the skills needed to thrive in the new landscape.
If we look at the top ten global companies by market capitalization over the past decade, we see the entry of new digital companies (like Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook) into the elite league. Some key trends to note are:
- Move from an industrial economy to a service economy to a knowledge economy.
- The “100 year life” is a reality, the majority of that life should be spent at work.
- Impact of digital: three “I” of learning: interactive, integrated and individualized
With the trends in mind, the important questions that all new graduates and working professionals should ask themselves are: 1. What kind of skills will allow graduates to remain relevant in the future? and 2. How to prepare for a life of 100 years?
JAGSoM-NHRDN study of industry 4.0 needs
Jagdish Sheth School of Management (JAGSoM), in association with the National Human Resources Development Network (NHRDN), has undertaken an initiative to identify skills relevant to Industry 4.0. The study identified the following results needs for Industry 4.0:
- Learning orientation and analytical mindset
- Integration of data, communication and technology
- Solution orientation and problem solving
- Dealing with change and uncertainty (unstructured situation)
- Orientation of people and team
- Innovation and creativity – Entrepreneurial orientation
- Social sensitivity and intercultural orientation
- Self-management (self-awareness, personal development, including well-being)
- Commercial orientation – Multidisciplinary approach
The results showed that future professionals would be T-shaped professionals who combine both a liberal mindset covering a wide range of knowledge in all disciplines and in-depth knowledge in a specialized area, to function effectively in a rapidly changing workplace.
The results also revealed a need for retraining at different levels, the emergence of a multigenerational workforce, well-being as an important part of self-management and the search for solutions or problem solving. as a set of essential skills required for Industry 4.0. The study also pointed out that technological disruption can cause professionals to become “irrelevant”. Therefore, ‘learning to learn’ or the direction of learning will be the key to keeping future professionals relevant.
Skills learners need to develop to stay relevant in the future:
A multidisciplinary orientation
Learners should approach education as a process of ‘discovery’ – through ‘exploration’ and ‘experimentation’. As the “100 year life” becomes a reality, the majority of that life should be spent at work. Learners will have to expose themselves to multiple disciplines in humanities, performing arts, design, languages, sciences, including natural sciences and music, covering the eight dimensions of “multiple intelligences”. This exhibition will allow a graduate to discover his potential and a possible choice of professions. A holistically developed graduate is expected to be ready to embrace change with an ability to respond effectively to changing career options at different stages of their life.
As data becomes the new oil, the pressing need will be the integration of technology across all platforms. Today, AI and Big Data are used in a variety of professions ranging from medical and health sciences to sports and entertainment. Graduates should develop an appreciation for integrating technology with their areas of professional expertise.
Manage the “Self”, including the “Well-being”
The essence of “leadership development” lies in “self-management” and “self-development”. The results of the JAGSoM-NHRDN survey made it clear that “wellness” and “fitness” were integral to self-management. As graduates prepare for the “future of work”, it will be urgent for graduates to develop a “wellness” and “fitness” regime to work under pressure.
Manage uncertainty, solve problems and find solutions
The study found that managing uncertainty, solving problems and finding solutions were important skills for graduates. Graduates are often trained to solve structured problems with very little ambiguity or missing data – this approach does not adequately prepare graduates to solve unstructured problems.
Graduates must find ways to acquire problem-solving skills and can gain real-time research experience which can provide an advantage. Internationally, many schools, especially the best ones, require learners to conduct their own research – either on a business or social problem, or on a real problem posed by a business.
Innovation and creativity – Entrepreneurial orientation
Many forward-looking schools have considered introducing courses in the areas of Design Thinking and Innovation as compulsory courses. Learners work either on their own business ideas or on industry-supported innovation projects to appreciate innovation as a process, including risk taking.
The professionals who will succeed tomorrow will be those who can “discover” and exploit their strengths; are responsible to themselves, the environment and society, who can combine the apparent contradictions of “professional” skills with a “multidisciplinary basis”. The good news is that the new education policy (NEP) should make it easier to train graduates with the skills required for the “future of work”.