Technology advances have historically been linear in their development. This has allowed universities to adapt at a methodical pace.
In the 21st Century, however, the pace in the adoption of technology has accelerated. This energised pace has created significant challenges in the education sector to remain current and relevant.
An Institute That Unites Technology Advances For Employers and Students
Technology advances are transforming and disrupting industries like never before. To respond to this quickening, a new benchmark National Technology Institute has now been proposed in Wales that prepares students and employers for future sustainability in leadership.
The way we educate needs to adapt and deliver. Significant technology advances are going to transform our industries, employment choices and lifestyles.
Future Technologies Education Should Explore Now
Technology advances such as ubiquitous high-speed mobile internet (5G), Artifical Intelligence, Big Data, Blockchain, Cloud Computing, Compound Semiconductors, Robotics, Machine Learning and Autonomous Vehicles are all on the horizon. These technology advances are disrupting industries who don’t adapt and are causing other businesses to become outdated.
A new higher education model, however, may hold the key to harnessing opportunities and new business models.
NATIONAL TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE IN THE NEWS: WALES ONLINE
The institute would focus on the needs of hi-tech employers in Wales. Read the full article here on Wales Online >
Embrace Emerging Technology
Just look at the new business and employment opportunities available since the adoption of the internet. What happened to those who failed to be proactive in adopting new technology advances? Global companies like Sears, Kodak, JC Penney, Toys R Us, Circuit City and HMV were unable to innovate through this new technology and were pushed out of the market by 90’s early adopters like Amazon, eBay, Booking, Expedia, Netflix and Salesforce.
With the adoption of the internet, the new jobs that were created in areas such as digital marketing, app development, UX and UI design, software engineering and blogging have outweighed jobs lost to legacy businesses.
An Institute that adapts to and enhances emerging technology advances will offer students and employers significant opportunities for prosperity and employability.
New technology, however, will bring products and services that can be complex to predict. What is easy to predict though is that whatever route technology takes, we will always need the talent to fill the roles.
“Some technologies are fleeting, whilst others are profound. What remains a constant is the need for talent.”
Prof. Simon J. Gibson, CBE
Corporates and Academia, Unite!
Let’s be clear though, creating this much-needed talent through young students is only half the battle. Businesses also need to upskill and educate existing employees in tandem with recruiting recent graduates to ensure their business is fit for the challenges of the 21st Century workplace.
Current educational structures are struggling to meet the demands of 21st century learning. There is a massive shortage of skills and talent to flourish in the existing landscape, and this is only going to get worse with additional identified technological advancements.
A Foundation Built on The Five Pillars of Innovation
Technology shifts present problems within the economy. Working together with other stakeholder groups has been identified as pivotal in the future development of innovation and prosperity.
These stakeholder groups are Entrepreneurs, Corporates, Government, Risk Capital and Academia.
The same core groups that Wales’ Be The Spark programme encourages. Through higher levels of interaction between these stakeholder groups, we can build a stable platform for entrepreneurship and innovation to thrive. By uniting these 5 pillars of innovation and educating through this connected environment, we can benefit the economy of a nation.
An Institute For Prosperity
The National Technology Institute (NTI) will design and deliver applied programmes producing the necessary skills required from technology advancements.
Through a smart and adaptable curriculum, the NTI will be faster, cheaper, more flexible and provide new choices for those pursuing a career in the knowledge and technology sectors.
Priority will be given to the fast-moving needs of students and the demands of the technology-centric organisations wishing to employ them.
Like most countries, Wales is struggling to develop the number of skilled graduates entering the workforce. Furthermore, newly skilled graduates will often take up employment outside of the economy that educated them.
Current abilities to offer cross-disciplinary courses required by the employer base is limited. Therefore, a new National Technology Institute will create a balance between employers needs, technology advancements and the requirement of talent.
Adapting to Technology Advances Instead of Research
Currently, education systems don’t develop the skills required by new technologies. Universities are often juggling the requirements of excellent teaching with the need to undertake original Research. Grants and donations from government and external philanthropic companies can be a root cause of this. Even though these are noble ambitions, it is the university that gains notability instead of the future employability of their students. Many existing courses are out of sync with the needs of employers and fail to produce work-ready employees.
Put the Power Back in the Hands of Students
Students are increasingly questioning the value of their courses. Are they receiving quality teaching and subsequent employment prospects?
A lack of skills is becoming more apparent. Here in South Wales, there are increasing numbers of academies being set up within prominent technology businesses. These academies are attempting to bridge this talent gap but of course on an individual level. The National Technology Institute will fulfil the needs of these employers for their future technology workforce.
Rounded Technology Education
This specific workforce needs access to an applied teaching system aligned with both the marketplace and employers. A blended learning environment will be available in-classroom and online for individual learning criteria. The curriculum will be taught through both academic staff and industry professionals. The Institutes only research ambition is around education and excellence in teaching.
In addition to these processes, a two-year, three-semester degree course will be delivered. Being educated during employment either online or onsite for a shorter two year period limits the financial burdens currently experienced by students, parents and employers.
Education Aligned to Sector Instead of Subjects
A student and employer should be able to select a bespoke learning experience to suit career progression and direction. Technologies are increasingly overlapping, and students need the opportunity to build their own programme.
Companies and educators need to follow the lead of the ten most valuable companies in the World. Typically, those companies are based on technology platforms, are less than 15 years old and created by young graduates. We must follow this pattern, educate and learn to embrace emerging technology enhancements.
We need to build a culture of innovation matched with commercialisation and entrepreneurship that will allow the building and combination of modules to benefit both students and employers.