Highered, the online career platform for EFMD, asked 1,060 business school students about their views on finding a job in Industry 4.0, whether they felt prepared and how their university / business school supported them. The result is that students about to enter the job market are concerned about the lack of digital skills when it comes to finding a job in Industry 4.0 – or the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Industry 4.0 refers to the digitalization of manufacturing – or more specifically, how technologies such as IoT, machine learning and AI work together to revolutionize manufacturing.

When asked to rank the skills they lacked the most in preparation for Industry 4.0, 30% put “digital skills knowledge” first. 15% cite “data analysis and interpretation” as number one, while 13% cite “understanding new and emerging technologies” as number one. Respondents were less concerned about the lack of skills in areas such as marketing and human resources.

It is also clear that jobseekers believe that they need more than their university education to get their preferred role. 86% say that their higher education alone will not be enough to find them a job in their preferred industry.

When asked how universities / business schools can improve to help them find work, 65% said: “integrating employment skills into educational programs”. This was followed by “internship opportunities” at 57% and “availability of consulting projects” at 55%.

Dr Amber Wigmore Alvarez, Chief Talent Director at Highered, commented: “Employers such as Microsoft, Audi and Alibaba have been developing Industry 4.0 practices for years, but it is clear that business school students feel unprepared for this new reality.

“We know that the skills needed for many roles have a shorter life than ever. If we want to help them find work in the new digital economy, they need career development and training that is tailored to the requirements of the employer, but also personalized to their skill level. Partnerships between universities, business schools and employers will be crucial. “

The survey showed that business school students are more positive about finding a job than in previous years. Compared to a year ago, nearly half (49%) said they were “more confident” about securing a job.

But when asked which emotion best sums up their job search, the best answer is “concerned” (30%), followed by “excited” (20%) and “interested” (16%). More women (18%) than men (13%) report feeling worried.

[Image: Jeswin Thomas for Unsplash]

One in three students think they lack the digital skills for jobs in Industry 4.0

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