Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

​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 for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

South Africa’s mothballed ‘supermall-ification’ sets strip malls up for success

Analysts agree that the country has enough malls and that, post-Covid, the convenience of local centres lure customers

Mabuza’s Russian jaunts and the slippery consequences of medical tourism

For more than five years the deputy president has remained steadfast in his right to travel abroad to receive medical treatment

More top stories

Kunming Declaration on biodiversity: A show of political will that...

More than 100 countries pledged to better protect nature at UN biodiversity talks last week

Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine turned down over HIV concerns

The vaccine might increase the risk of vaccinated males getting HIV, says SA’s health products regulatory authority

New electronic waste management regulations will take effect in November

Producers and importers of electronic goods will be legally responsible for end-of-life management of their products from 5 November

The DA is becoming the poster child of the Right

An examination of the language the party uses shows that it is echoing right-wing voices the world over in its insistence that those who point out its racism are, in fact, the real racists
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×