Education

Higher Education in the Digital Age

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Technology evolution and market transformation

The accelerated evolution of technology has contributed to establish a new digital Era which has shaped the habits and behaviors of the society. Digital Reports (2019)* shows that there are 4.39 billion internet users in 2019, 9% more than 2018. More connected people generate opportunities to build new disruptive business models. These new business models have challenged traditional companies, which in turn have been forced to review strategies, priorities, and processes to remain relevant to clients.

Global markets have experienced major changes with the growing adoption of emerging technologies as industries embrace rising automation. The Word Economic Forum’s survey** reveals that 50% of sampled companies expect some reduction in workforce by 2022. In the same paperwork, the study predicts that 133 million new roles will emerge as humans increasingly interface with machines and algorithms. More than ever, it is essential to infuse the labor market with new skills to support the industry’s digital transformation.

Reskilling and new model of education

The use of emerging technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, data science, security, and blockchain has been growing and provoking changes to job types. New sets of skills are required to address the emergence of new professions. The Word Economic Forum’s findings show that at least 54% of all employees will require significant re- and up skilling by 2022.

Technology has impacted society by changing the way people communicate, interact, and consume. Academic institutions have been challenged to transform their curricula and experiment with new learning methodologies. Concepts such as lifelong and blended learning, experimental learning, and open source content have grown in importance preparing students for new jobs.

To address the skills gap, academia and industries must work together to develop the new competences required in the future. The initial step is to provide access to technology and share industry experiences. Through the IBM Academic Initiative, universities have easy access to resources on emerging and critical technologies, empowering students gain hands-on experience in the same tools used by industries and required for many of tomorrow’s jobs.

The future of higher education relies on the collaboration between industries and academia to create an academic environment in which students and faculties can be in touch with the market. Ultimately both working together will benefit our society. Again, please visit ibm.biz/academic to experiment and leverage IBM resources for faculty and students.

*Digital Report 2019

** World Economic Forum

Vice President, IBM Global University Programs

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