​Shaping creative business minds for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

With smart technologies disrupting industries and changing the way we see and experience the world, the future workplace looks very different to that of the past. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, or “Industry 4.0” is upon us, and the graduates of 2018 and beyond need to be prepared for what this new wave of change brings.

According to Cynthia Olmesdahl, senior business leadership lecturer at Vega (a brand of The Independent Institute of Education – The IIE), it’s vital that tertiary qualifications, regardless of the discipline, constantly evolve in order to remain relevant.

Curricula that evolve with the times

Technology — including smart devices, collaborative mobile apps, learning management systems and online courses — has certainly changed how students learn, but to what extent does this affect what they learn, particularly at a tertiary level?

“The world needs more graduates who are able to handle the change that technology is bringing. This is why it’s so important that higher education institutions take a more holistic approach when developing curricula informed by these needs,” says Olmesdahl. “For one thing, students in all qualifications should be learning the intricacies and implication of technology in business, which includes understanding digital business and digital branding.”

It is important that curricula are facilitated and delivered by lecturers who know what they’re talking about, with industry experience to back it up. “Permanent lecturing staff should have business and related industry experience,” says Olmesdahl.


“At Vega, senior lecturers are tasked with taking initiative and remaining active in their respective fields, including writing papers and opinion pieces, attending conferences and retaining membership in professional and industry bodies.”

Vega employs a high percentage of contract lecturers who run their own businesses or who have enjoyed fruitful careers in the industry, while its national and regional (campus-level) advisory councils are drawn from business and industry.

Understanding the bigger picture

In addition to building and delivering curricula that prepare students for Industry 4.0 careers, higher education institutions need to create learning environments that help students gain insight and experience in their chosen industries. Olmesdahl explains that some of the biggest companies in the country deliberately opt for students from Vega for this very reason.

“Vega students hit the ground running. From the time they arrive on campus, they are encouraged to show initiative, confidence and curiosity for learning,” she says. “Vega’s Brand Challenge and Brand Activation allow students to see what it’s like to work with a real-life brief from a real-life client, while following strict timelines and producing agency-quality work.

“They’re working with the latest software and engaging with technology to bring their ideas to life, impressing some of the country’s most respected executive teams. I believe that this is the direction that higher education really should be heading if our youth are to become tomorrow’s successful leaders and captains of industry.”

Vega routinely hosts international speakers, bringing industry professionals from around the world to its campuses to share new knowledge and insights with its students.

Graduates who have a wider world view are able to pursue more fulfilling and lucrative career paths. Ensuring students have access to trends and perspectives outside of their comfort zones becomes an important part of their learning.

For more information on IIE qualifications available at Vega and other career-building opportunities, visit www.vegaschool.com.

About Vega

Vega is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE). The IIE is South Africa’s leading and largest private higher education institution and is internationally accredited by the British Accreditation Council.

Vega’s teaching philosophy is built on the mantra of wisdomwithmagic, creating an academic environment that is based on experiential learning, where creatives are trained in strategy and strategists in design-thinking. As South Africa’s only brand-focused school, Vega aims to inspire a new breed of thinkers with the expertise to generate meaningful brand ideas that link business profit to adding value to people’s lives.

The IIE Vega students graduate at a work-ready level, with 95% of 2016 graduates employed within six months of completing their qualification (this includes part-time and freelance positions). Vega was ranked first in the national Loerie Awards Top Educational Institutions in 2017, maintaining its reputation as a leader in the South African higher education arena.

Students can enrol for IIE undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, diplomas, higher certificates and short courses in design, brand communication and brand management, at campuses across South Africa and online. All of these are available on a full-time or part-time basis.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

International rankings don’t measure what matters

The privilege-protecting systems we use for grading universities are simply poor science

We honour the teachers who saw the potential in us

On Monday, 5 October — World Teachers Day — we recalled the teachers who helped us become the people we are today

Five universities extend academic year to March 2021

Minister Blade Nzimande says a staggered ending of the academic year is intended to support students

Probe into SMU vice-chancellor put on ice

Lawyers have told Parliament’s higher education portfolio committee that it can’t examine sexual misconduct allegations against Vice-Chancellor Peter Mbati

The case for alumni funding

Alumni can play a pivotal role in their alma mater’s long-term success and sustainability

Covid-19 exposes South Africa’s digital literacy divide

Only a few households have access to the internet and students and learners , but educators can find ways to improve reading for meaning and digital knowledge
Advertising

Subscribers only

SAA bailout raises more questions

As the government continues to grapple with the troubles facing the airline, it would do well to keep on eye on the impending Denel implosion

ANC’s rogue deployees revealed

Despite 6 300 ANC cadres working in government, the party’s integrity committee has done little to deal with its accused members

More top stories

Finance probe into the Ingonyama Trust Board goes ahead

The threat of legal action from ITB chairperson Jerome Ngwenya fails to halt forensic audit ordered by the land reform minister

Ailing Far East Rand hospital purchases ‘vanity’ furniture

Dr Zacharia Mathaba, who purchased the furniture, is a suspected overtime fraudster and was appointed as Gauteng hospital chief executive despite facing serious disciplinary charges

Eusebius McKaiser: Reject the dichotomy of political horrors

Senekal shows us that we must make a stand against the loud voice of the populist EFF and racist rightwingers

Seals abort pups in mass die-off

There are a number of factors — a pollutant, virus or bacteria or malnutrition — may have caused the 12 000 deaths on Namibia’s coast
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday