How ready are we for the 4th IR? | An undergraduates perspective

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We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. We do not yet know just how it will unfold, but one thing is clear: the response to it must be integrated and comprehensive. This however begs the question as to whether we the future graduates of the country are being groomed accordingly to tackle this head-on. So here, we’ll look at the ways I feel we are ready for the 4th IR and places where we come short

Ways in which we are not Ready

The 4th industrial revolution is largely focused on technological progress and properly regulating and managing them. Although as an undergraduate business student in Bangladesh, I have the necessary abilities to control them, I personally do not have most of the relevant technological knowledge. For instance, IoT (Internet of Things) or Artificial Intelligence, which are critical to the 4th industrial revolution, are not aspects of IBA teaching. Some technology-related abilities relevant to the 4th industrial revolution are taught in the most renowned business institutes in the world, such as basic machine learning, data science using R and other relevant technology, advanced data analytics. In addition, on-campus 4th IR techs have been implemented, such as biometric scanning for students, simulations created with virtual reality to give students a more practical scenario to make critical decisions in business settings as well as personal life.

In the case of the degree curriculum, I feel these teachings are largely absent. Most of these are due to insufficient funding, which in the future could be more expensive than the cost of implementing these technologies.

Hence, I feel I speak for most of us when i say that we are not ready as an undergraduate student of Bangladesh for 4th Industrial Revolution.

Ways in which we are Ready

Technological abilities are not the only abilities necessary for Industry 4.0 to be ready. In order to properly manage industry 4.0, we  need soft skills. As of now I feel that most universities are almost, if not totally, on par with the rest of the world in that way. Complex problem solving, coordination with others or team work, people management, critical thinking, and the necessary soft skills and human skills required for the 4th industrial revolution are the necessary soft skills and human abilities. Judgment and decision making, Active listening, emotional intelligence, cognitive flexibility etc.

I personally feel my university is doing a wonderful job of teaching me these abilities. Every semester, these skills of mine are developed by different courses along with other activities. Throughout the semester, we have to keep ourselves continuously in a work spree. We have to work in teams that teach us how to coordinate with others and take responsibility for each other. The tasks and exam questions are always a little more difficult than what is taught in the classroom, which allows us to solve complex problems, to think critically. In addition, I was helped with cognitive flexibility by the constant presentations and less time to solve more problems.

Moreover, in class, in line with the 4th Industrial Revolution and beyond, we are always encouraged to think out of the box. In traditional ways, we’re never taught things. Finally, we are encouraged to do a lot of outside academic activities that require us to critically regulate our lives to do good in all aspects. And so, as an undergraduate student, I ‘m confident that I’m ready for the 4th industrial revolution in terms of soft skills and human skills.

Skills I Need to equip myself with for the 4th IR

 

As most of the disruptions are related to technology, looking at the 4th industrial revolution, it seems like something not for business graduates as they are not taught from a concentrated perspective any kind of technological skills related to the 4th industrial revolution. But if we look a little deeper into the matter, we will find that in order to successfully manage the era of Industry 4.0, there are a lot of skills that business graduates can relate to and acquire. Below are 5 of the skills I need to equip myself with to successfully manage the era Industry 4.0

  1. Acquiring emotional intelligence
  2. Developing cognitive flexibility
  3. Develop critical thinking
  4. Service Orientation
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