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

May 9, 2022 | Industry 4.0, Industry Focus, News

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

Industry 4.0 refers to the digitisation of manufacturing – or more specifically, how technologies such as IoT, machine learning and AI are working together to revolutionise production.

When asked to rank skills they lacked most in preparing for Industry 4.0, 30% put “knowledge of digital skills” at number one. 15% cited “data analysis and interpretation” as number one, while 13% said “understanding of new and emerging technology” as number one. The respondents were less worried about a lack of skills in areas such as marketing and HR.

It’s also clear that job seekers believe that they need more than their university studies to land their preferred role. 86% stated that their university degree alone would not be enough to get them a job in their preferred industry.

When asked how universities/business schools could improve to help them get a job, 65% said: “integration of employment skills into degree programmes”. This was followed by “opportunities for internships” at 57% and “availability of consulting projects” at 55%.

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

“We know that the skills needed in many roles have a shorter lifespan than ever before. If we are going to help them find jobs in the new digital economy, they need career development and training that’s tailored to employer requirements but is also personalised to their level of skills. Partnerships between universities, business schools and employers will be critical.”

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

But when asked what emotion best summed up their job search, the top answer was “concerned” (30%), followed by “excited” (20%) and “interested” (16%). More women (18%) than men (13%) reported feeling concerned.

[Image: Jeswin Thomas for Unsplash]