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Mancosa’s new digital tech school looks beyond 4IR skills

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Paresh Soni, director of Mancosa.
Paresh Soni, director of Mancosa.

Mancosa has introduced the School of Information and Digital Technology (SIDT), which the higher learning institution says was developed in response to the overwhelming demand for digital and IT-focused education from the corporate sector.

The distance private education institution, headquartered in Durban, serves as an innovation hub for under-graduate and post-graduate management, offering over 50 accredited programmes and courses.

According to a statement, the SIDT seeks to attract students looking to advance their skills and qualifications as technology professionals, while also catering to those who may work in a variety of other industries and who are seeking to operate effectively as digital citizens, digital artisans, leaders and innovators.

The SIDT programme comprises a mix of formal and short learning, and a variety of courses and subjects. These include coding, programming, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, digital transformation, digital marketing, IT management, cyber security, machine learning, data science, cloud computing, web development, ethical hacking, app development, blockchain and networking, and 3D printing.

The rapid growth of information and digital technologies, perpetuated through the emergence of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), has seen several South African institutions introduce courses to equip students with future-ready skills.

This includes Witwatersrand Business School introducing a master's degree in digital business, and the University of Johannesburg establishing a 4IR campus, as part of the institutions’ strategy to equip students with the knowledge and skills required to navigate and meet the demands of the 4IR.

Mancosa says it has observed that education in the field of information and digital technology is no longer an exclusive domain for aspiring tech-fundis, IT managers and chief IT officers – instead, digital and IT education is now a prerequisite for any individual seeking to operate across a wide spectrum of industries and sectors within the modern digital economy.

Paresh Soni, director of Mancosa, says the SIDT will help equip professionals, managers and leaders with the skills and knowledge required to navigate the next evolution and beyond – into the fifth industrial revolution (5IR).

“In this new era, humans and technology will co-exist, driven by a common purpose. The SIDT was established by Mancosa to assist current and aspiring professionals, specialists and business leaders in ushering in 5IR.

“The 5IR looks beyond the 4IR pillars of excessive automation and obsessive optimisation, and aims to bring the human back to the forefront of thought. We want to re-humanise tech education in the age of machines, automation and AI,” explains Soni.

According to Mancosa, 73% of South African executives believe organisations need to dramatically re-engineer the experiences that bring technology and people together in a more human-centric manner.

The institution’s range of shorter courses, such as 100% online self-paced programmes, blended hands-on training and masterclasses, have been developed to address a diverse range of basic, intermediate and expert skills related to information and digital technology.

“We have been interrogating and experimenting with smart learning to create the smarter human. To achieve this, we realised the traditional approaches to designing, developing, packaging and delivering education needed to be transformed,” adds Soni.

“Our approach to 21st century education and skilling opportunities is infused with innovation, while maintaining our philosophy of offering affordable access to education.”

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