Automation and employment: How universities must respond to Industry 4.0

The Drum 30 Jan 2020 12:30
By Paul Johnson-30 January 2020 12:30pm

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CTI Digital share insights from their latest whitepaper that looks at the impact on industry 4.0 and automation on jobs.

Industry 4.0 is the result of the latest industrial revolution; first there was mechanisation, followed by mass production, computerisation, and now automation. It is a convergence of digital, biological and physical worlds into Cyber-Physical Systems resulting in the rise of automation.

Industry 4.0 brings new technology, futuristic everyday habits, and a dramatic realignment of the global workforce. Automation has taken over workplaces, replacing mid-level job roles and dramatically reshaping the demand for certain skills.

An era of competition and uncertainty

With tuition fees in flux and an impending decline in European funding, universities are increasingly desperate to recruit students. Indeed, in 2019, 38% of 18-year-old applicants in the UK received at least one unconditional offer. We must ask: are HE institutions seeking quantity over quality, as they aim to attract an increasingly skeptical cohort of prospective students? How can they adjust their approach when addressing a generation of digital natives?

Education is at the centre of the skills supply. Yet, too often, HE stakeholders are reluctant to accept that now is the time to embrace innovation and craft a digital solution that will change the face of education. Universities can thrive in this new industrial landscape, but only if they have the vision to reimagine their approach to digital.

How can universities respond to Industry 4.0?

It’s time for universities to embrace change and to participate in the revolution. Here’s how:

When it comes to redefining digital estates, ask yourself:

Don’t be afraid to define your needs in abstract before tying yourself to a rigid solution. Only by responding to shifting requirements can your digital estate weather the storm of industrial changes at increasing frequency.

Paul Johnson, higher education specialist and director, CTI Digital.

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