When we hear the term “fourth industrial revolution”, we all picture a future that is dominated by autonomous machines and robots, where humans have been entirely made redundant by far more efficient machines. Some think that it will lead to a massive decrease in jobs and further increase the void that exists between the rich and the poor, while other argue that the fourth industrial revolution will be nothing more than our existing working methods becoming even more efficient thanks to technology.
What most people overlook is the fact that the fourth industrial revolution (no matter how revolutionary it becomes) will never fully replace humans, rather, it will only change the way in which we currently interact with technology and machinery. This is where universities and other educational institutions come in, it is up to them to equip the coming generations with skillsets that will allow them to become useful in the coming future.
According to experts, the name of the game is going to be curiosity, agility, and adaptability in the near future, these traits will help people excel, and the biggest problem here is that very few people have skillsets revolving around these traits at the moment. From what we can tell, humanities related subjects will be able to equip people with the right skills and help them get ready for this coming revolution.
The business world is beginning to move towards a point where all the technical and laborious tasks no longer require manpower, so organizations need humans to deal with factors and elements that machines are incapable of doing. Such as societal issues and the many methodologies that businesses need to incorporate in order to learn how to survive in the modern environment.
Educational institutions need to focus on developing skills that teach us how to explore and understand human to human relations that are an integral part of any business environment. Certain universities have begun designing collaboration programs between their sciences and humanities departments in order to give students of each department a taste of what the other side is studying. This leads to a better understanding of what to expect once they go into the industry after graduating. Students who have been part of such programs have shown better problem solving capabilities, visualisation skills, and inferential thinking as well.
In order to become ready for the coming revolution, the way we teach and learn is going to have to change as well, we can expect to see universities introducing hybrid programs in the future that will become more relevant. Unfortunately, while there are certain universities that have already begun taking an initiative to brace for the coming change, a majority of educational institutions (especially in developing countries) are still offering the same old teaching programs. Just like with everything else, education is going to need innovation to make sure that educational institutions continue to produce productive individuals who help in the constant development of human society.