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Future-Proofing ICMS Students to Meet Demands of an Evolving Working World

Future-Proofing ICMS Students to Meet Demands of an Evolving Working World

April 18, 2018

The working world will be a very different place in ten years’ time, and the International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) recognises that students must be skilled and prepared to embrace future trends.

Artificial intelligence, virtual reality and increasingly human-like robots are a near certain reality for the future, changing the job market and employment opportunities of today’s graduates.

Advances in technology not only means that fast long flight planes, automated cities, lab meat restaurants, space tourism and fully robotic hotels are on the cards, but other possibilities, like rapidly increasing life expectancies and galactic colonisation, could become science fact rather than science fiction in the next generation.

ICMS lecturer and PhD candidate Stephen Rodwell explained that students must embark on a “lifetime of learning” to remain relevant.

“However, all learning is not equally valuable and there is an opportunity cost to learning the wrong thing,” he warned.

“Students will need to choose areas to upskill in that will ensure they best fit the environment they will be entering into. My advice for secure employment for the next ten to twenty years would be to get a business qualification as a foundation, then to become proficient in one or more of the following areas: Psychometrics; Programming; Supply Chain Management through Automation; Narrative Creation (this is the skill of creating stories and experiences for customers to enjoy); Change Management; and, Knowledge Management,” Rodwell said.

ICMS recognises how a changing world will affect graduates, and is taking this knowledge into the lecture rooms. Students are challenged to think long-term about how they will thrive in a workplace that will be very different to any other generation’s experience.

“If current trends continue, and there’s no reason to think they won’t, we can expect to see the increasing use of automation and artificial intelligence to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of businesses and other organisations,” Rodwell said.

“As this wave grows and threatens not just blue-collar but increasingly white-collar jobs, employees are going to have to devote more of their time to ‘upskilling’ if they want to compete in a diversifying business environment. We will see almost all physical jobs being taken over by automation and robotics, as the price of these technologies rapidly drop and their capabilities increase. By far the majority of jobs will still be undertaken by humans in ten years, but the writing on the wall will have become much more legible.”

For example, Rodwell explains, there will be an increase in the introduction of what are termed ‘cobots’ (collaborative robots) into the workplace.

“These will not be designed to replace humans, but simply to compliment them, allowing for tasks to be undertaken in exponentially better fashions, with much higher levels of detail and speed. These cobots will pull the ratios of overall staff to customer right down, but will not necessarily, at least initially, mean that the customer notices this, as a lot of these cobots will be working away in the back-of-house space, allowing for their human partners to do what we have evolved to enjoy doing, interacting with our fellow humans,” Rodwell said.

“With this being the case, the emotional intelligence of staff members will increasingly be a deciding factor when hiring, as this will indicate the relatability of that potential staff member to their customers.”

As a leading higher-education institute, ICMS is committed to preparing its students for the future world, adapting and changing as the market evolves. Students engage in discussions around how best to not only survive, but to thrive, in this future environment.

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