Dr. Abhijit Gangopadhyay, Dean, Aegis School of Business, Data Science, Cyber Security and Telecommunication

Dr. Gangopadhyay has over four decades experience and has been maturing Indian education system. The most reputed Professor in India for Human Resource and Organizational Behaviour, he was the Founding Dean of Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) Indore. Former Dean & Professor at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai (TISS) and Former Professor at XLRI, he has served as a Director, Central Labour Institute, Ministry of Labour, Govt. of India. Prof. Gangopadhyay is expert in behavioral Science and served National Police Academy and Defence Research and Development (DRDO), Ministry of Defence. Dr. Gangopadhyay has worked as the National expert with International Labour Organization (ILO) and Asian Productivity Organization (APO), Tokyo.

 

Also known as the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0 defines the emerging trend of leveraging automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. The term was introduced by a group of business, academic and political representatives from Germany who created an initiative aimed at improving the manufacturing industry’s competitiveness, as per the German high-tech 2020 strategy. According to their recommendations, industrial manufacturing processes require fundamental improvements to accommodate cyber-physical systems, made up of smart machines, production facilities, and storage systems, that can autonomously trigger actions, exchange information, and control each other independently.

Today, Industry 4.0 largely encapsulates four primary components: Cyber-Physical Systems, The Internet of Things, The Internet of Services, and Smart Factory. Not only do these components offer incredible potential for the future, but they are also expected to play a significant role in completely transforming every aspect of modern society, as we know it. Thus, it is imperative that industry leaders and academicians invest in enhancing their capabilities, understanding, and practical knowledge of this futuristic segment, in order to leverage its potential and achieve success.

Possibilities and Challenges

Industrial Revolution 4.0 is all set to revolutionize the world, and the education sector is expected to experience its influence in a major way. With modern-day technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and others playing a major role in this transformation, it is critical for the education industry to be well-equipped to welcome and adapt to this dawn of a new era.

With the arrival of Industrial Revolution 4.0, it is possible for the technologies powered by AI to supersede everything else, as they are capable of completely transforming the present world, or the third industrial revolution, where the key driver was information technology. In the context of the future, the skills required will include critical thinking, people management, emotional intelligence, critical judgement, negotiation, and cognitive flexibility, as well as knowledge production and management.

Currently, however, institutes engaged in imparting skills for industry 4.0 suffer from the lack of competencies of the required appreciation of cognitive thinking, along with poor analytical reasoning and quantitative ability. Thus, these institutes need to address issues concerning the development of skill-gap update for adoption of IT enabled technology for smart industrial set up.

A combination of cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things, and the Internet of Systems, makes Industry 4.0 possible, and the smart factory a reality. With the support of smart machines that keep getting smarter as they get access to more data, our factories will become more efficient and productive, as well as less wasteful. Ultimately, it is the network of these machines which are digitally connected with one another and create and share information, which signifies in the true power of Industry 4.0.

Having a 100% digital education is not an all-inclusive solution, nor should it be the only method of teaching in use. However, benefitting from ‘hybrid education’ can only happen if the digital skills of teachers are encouraged and implemented through experimental collaborations and partnerships with tech industries. With a spike in educational technology solutions, professionals can help transform school environments into hybrid learning communities, where teachers can truly embrace innovations, become digitally literate, and assume their role as facilitators.

Making Students Ready for the Industry 4.0

In recent years, careers in artificial intelligence (AI)has seen an increased growth, to meet the demands of the industries which have transformed digitally. However, while there exist plenty of jobs in artificial intelligence, there’s also a significant shortage of top tech talent with the necessary skills. According to the job website Indeed, the demand for AI skills has more than doubled over the past three years, and the number of job postings is up by 119 %. However, job-seeker interest in artificial intelligence careers seems to have levelled off. This states that employers are going to continue their struggle to fill these positions for many years.

Currently, you have a huge number of students pursuing their educational courses. Eventually, these students will become the employers, employees, professionals, educators, and caretakers of our planet in the 21st century. Thus, we need to consider how we can help prepare them for such roles, beyond just the mastery of standards. It falls upon us to ensure that these individuals are equipped with a dynamic range of skill sets that will help them take on such challenges and opportunities that we can’t yet even imagine, yet.

Therefore, the following are six pertinent tips to guide you in preparing your students for what they’re likely to face, in the years and decades to come.

  1. Students of today need new skills for the coming century, which will help make them ready to collaborate with others on a global level.
  2. New information is constantly being discovered and disseminated at a phenomenal rate. It is predicted that currently, 50 percent of students are memorising information that will no longer be accurate or complete in near future. These students need to know how to discover new and accurate information and use critical analysis for assessing its veracity or bias, along with the current or potential uses of such information.
  3. There is an urgent need for collaboration within a global community, as job applicants of the future will be evaluated on their ability for communication with, openness to, and tolerance for unfamiliar cultures and ideas.
  4. All children are born with a mind that wants to learn and grow. But each of them is born with different strengths – and they all grow best by leveraging exactly those strengths. Therefore, it’s important to remember that one size does not fit all, in assessment and instruction.
  5. New “learning” does not become permanent memory unless there is repeated stimulation of the new memory circuits in the brain pathways. For more efficient information transmission, the aspect of neuroplasticity where neural networks are the most stimulated, tend to develop more dendrites, synapses, and thicker myelin.
  6. Students can adjust their own brains and intelligence through neuroplasticity which helps build their resilience and willingness to endure through the challenges that they will face.

 

Jobs in Future

Five years from now, 35% of the skills (One third) that are considered important in today’s workforce will have changed. The Fourth Industrial Revolution by 2020 will have introduced autonomous transport, advanced robotics, advanced materials, genomics and biotechnology. These developments will transform the very way we live and work. Some jobs will disappear, while others will grow, and jobs that don’t even exist today will become commonplace. However, it is certain that the future workforce will need to align its skillset to keep up. These skills include complex problem solving and critical thinking abilities, creativity, people management, emotional intelligence, cognitive flexibility coordinating with other, judgement and decision making, service orientation and negotiation.

In the future, the education sector will encompass five distinct categories: physical and manual, basic cognitive, higher cognitive, social and emotional, and technological. Workers use these capabilities across a wide field of jobs. Be it manual or physical skills, tasks that could be performed by relatively unskilled labour, for example assembly line workers, drivers also skilled workers, including craftspeople, nurses and electricians.

Advice to the Learners

There is currently a huge skills gap in manufacturing, which means that there aren’t enough qualified workers to fill all the open positions. Essentially speaking, there are several high-paying jobs for the taking, but employers are struggling to find qualified candidates to fill them. So, by exposing students to Industry 4.0 at a young age, educators are setting them up for professional opportunity and success. Additionally, even if students don’t believe that they’re interested in the manufacturing domain, it’s also possible that they have a slighted view of what manufacturing of the future truly entails. This makes it essential for them to receive guidance, insights, and practical, on-ground exposure to emerging technologies, to leverage their analytical skills to identify the potential that they offer. (As told the Editor)

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