New jobs require new skills
In the IV Industrial Revolution, universities and companies are faced with numerous changes, from technological developments such as independent transport to changes in society, including the expansion of the middle class. The World Economic Forum’s Report on Future Jobs shows how these trends are transforming the workforce. Today’s work is increasingly based on cooperation and is focused on solving complex problems in different ways.
The problem is that none of these skills is easy to acquire alone, or without support. They require practice and rich interaction among people. We learn to think critically, manage relationships, and be emotionally intelligent by practicing these skills.
The IV Industrial Revolution is bringing us a new trend, a faster pace of change. There is no doubt that the technological trends and skills list below will continue to change over the years. Adaptation will be the agenda. Workers of every level will need to acquire new knowledge and skills throughout life.
Skills in 2020
1. Solving complex problems
2. Critical thinking
4. Management of people
5. Co-ordination with others
6. Emotional Intelligence
7. Decision-making and judgment
8. Orientation from services
10. Cognitive Flexibility
Skills in 2015
1. Solving complex problems
2. Coordination with others
3. Management of people
4. Critical Thinking
6. Quality control
7. Orientation from services
8. Decision-making and judgment
9. Listening active
So what will the university of the future look like and what will it do?
A university suitable for the IV Industrial Revolution
First, tomorrow’s university will focus on delivering cognitive and inter-functional skills, such as critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and solving complex problems. Students will learn by combining studies with practice, such as internships.
Such models, such as the alternation of study semesters with work experience, will be more prominent in these countries, such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany and the United States, where this is currently practiced.
New models, like workshops, will continue to grow and flourish.
Tomorrow’s university will focus on learning how to learn. Learning is the longest process of life. Everyone will need the weapon of lifelong learning. Perseverance lies at the heart of the learning process. Thus, university teachers will push students to develop the ability to acquire additional materials outside of the classroom program.
Universities can promote supervised searches, require students to defend a thesis (where most people already do it), or develop new opportunities. Despite discipline, universities should strive to incorporate basic skills, such as finding new resources, asking the experts, and asking effective questions. The two current examples are the increased interest in the information sciences, as well as the use of IT science techniques in many disciplines.
Technological education has a role to support the learning process, not to replace it completely. Technological education can present content or can provide search tools. It can also help teachers trace and identify the weakest areas of students. Many technology education companies have achieved their goals. However, tomorrow’s core skills require greater human interaction.
The university of tomorrow is almost here
Many universities offer a great deal of the discussed above, and most of them are not new. Collective education began about a century ago in the United States. Laboratory classes in social sciences are decades old. Learning to ask good questions to refine thought is a teaching practice that dates back to the Socrates period.
However, many universities still do not use any of these models, while others can not offer it to any student and to any discipline. Our job is to make these learning ways more universal and accessible to everyone. We have spent days where solving complex problems and creativity were taught only by some of the best students, or only in elite universities. If we want to do our best for the IV Industrial Revolution, everyone needs to reach their full potential, whether they are leaders, managers, employees, artists or entrepreneurs.