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The era of digital revolution in the world of employment


Johannesburg, 25 Aug 2021
Read time 3min 20sec
Dr Abhinanda Gautam, Academic Dean, CTU Training Solutions.
Dr Abhinanda Gautam, Academic Dean, CTU Training Solutions.

Traditional education is becoming obsolete in the modern digital world we are living in. At the very least, it is safe to say it is no longer business as usual, with the many recent evolutions in education able to be traced directly back to technology improvements. 

For example, suggests Dr Abhinanda Gautam, Academic Dean at CTU Training Solutions, something like decentralised learning is becoming increasingly common. After all, it is no longer required for students to commute or outright move to different regions in order to gain their desired qualification.

“The shift towards digital technologies has opened the door for other such improvements too, such as creative gamification programs. The skills gained in a gamified academic ecosystem now lead to the facilitation of better engagements, interests and takeaways for students in education,” she explains.

“Whether in the form of chatbots, assessment tools or outright tutors, artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms can allow for personalisation of academic curriculums on an unprecedented level. In addition, there is increased curriculum accessibility, as teachers can now use technological devices and software to provide students with lecture transcripts, audio recordings and interactive exercises.”

Under such circumstances, she continues, the success of businesses and employees depends on the clear understanding of the environment we are operating in, namely that of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). This era has defined the type of skills employees should have if they are to thrive. In line with that understanding, businesses need to embrace a culture of lifelong learning.

“There is a pressing need to educate the workforce on the impact of 4IR on both their personal and work environments. To this end, many companies are promoting the creation and recognition of ICT bootcamps for employees. Human resource departments, meanwhile, are strategising how to design the re-skilling of the workforce with the abilities needed in the 4IR.

“At the same time, embedding diversity and inclusion and enhancing employees’ experiences – using technology to engage them, and rethinking and investing in employee well-being – is a must for the companies in today’s digital era.”

She is of the opinion that a large majority of jobs will either change or effectively become obsolete. Allied to this is a rapidly changing workplace environment which, from an IQ perspective, means that employees need to become conversant with the communication and collaboration platforms that are utilised within the organisation.

“In addition, they must also gain an understanding of and become comfortable with the basic concepts of AI and machine learning. Most importantly, they need to fully understand how current and future technology can assist them to become more productive in their jobs, and ultimately deliver superior customer value.”

Gautam adds that from an emotional quotient (EQ) perspective, a key result of increased digitisation will be that, as we inevitably become part of a global village, employees will need to embrace diversity and learn to work together in unified and cohesive teams.

“The worker of the future must learn to be self-managed, self-disciplined, motivated and must develop an innate creativity that will empower them to be innovative and always be open to upskilling and constant self-reinvention.”

“In line with CTU’s mission of making a ‘significant contribution in the development of human capital in southern Africa’, we see our role as being to develop educational solutions that are congruent with future technologies and support achievement of their mission. These solutions are designed to create agile thinkers and employable individuals, as they will possess the ability to embrace and thrive in an environment of rapidly evolving technologies,” she concludes.

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