A report released earlier this year by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Workforce of the future: The competing forces shaping 2030, highlighted the need for universities to be preparing students for tomorrow’s world.
Ten to fifteen years from now, scientists envision a technology-driven world with innovative automation, artificial intelligence and robotics shaping the future.
Following this, traditional models of learning will be considered outdated and will not adequately prepare students to be innovative and progressive, failing to compete with others in the future workplace.
While these are science-based technologies, every industry is set to be affected in their day-to-day management systems, from engineering to retail, from healthcare to business.
The report outlined four possible future worlds of work that students must be ready for. These future worlds could either be Red, where innovation rules; Blue, where corporations are all-powerful; Green, which focuses on ecological footprints and corporate responsibility; or Yellow, where human elements come first despite reliance on technology.
So how can universities take measures to ensure students are well-prepared for any world? They can encourage innovation, real-world learning, work-integrated studies, and more.
There is also a need for them to develop skills for success that are fundamentally human – skills that even the most advanced computers can’t do.
These include the ability to think critically, analyse, lead, problem-solve and adapt to different environments quickly and dynamically.
In the business world, entrepreneurship skills and thinking outside-of-the-box puts students in a competitive position among their peers when they graduate.
Humans must learn how to be relevant and work alongside smart technologies to deliver solutions and come up with innovative strategies. Here are some Australian Business Schools that are seamlessly preparing students for the future worlds of work.
At La Trobe University in Melbourne, the career-focused Business School primes students for the four possible worlds in a number of ways.
Every step of their academic journey at La Trobe leads to a promising and bright future in their area of interest.
Besides tailored business courses, La Trobe is committed to enhancing business learning through education and research that’s innovative, responsible and engaged. Teaching is based on research that focuses on current and emerging issues of global importance, empowered by other enrichment opportunities such international study tours and a well-supported study abroad program.
Students also benefit from enriching industry engagement programs, including an active guest lecture program, the extensive work placement program, and the School Advisory Board made up of influential leaders from a range of business and not-for-profit organisations.
La Trobe Business School prepares students for exciting and challenging careers in fields including accounting, finance, marketing, business analytics, digital business, management, sport management, leadership and human resource management, innovation and entrepreneurship, business information systems, event management, tourism management and hospitality.
The Business School at the University of Sydney prepares students well for a future world of intelligence and innovation.
Believing that real work experience is integral to a business degree, Sydney offers ample opportunities for students to gain relevant experience and network as soon as possible to advance their careers.
The Industry Placement Programme provides work placement opportunities at leading companies for a minimum of three days per week for 10 weeks during the semester, or during summer and winter breaks.
As part of its newly-reimagined curriculum, students participate in Industry and Community Project Units which link them up to Australian employers.
For example, seven small teams of students presented ideas on how artificial intelligence can be used to modernize banking to Westpac last year, one of the biggest employers in the country.
Instead of a final exam, students work in cross-disciplinary groups to come up with solutions to real problems set by a number of partner organisations, such as Westpac, before presenting their findings to senior stakeholders who offer assessment of their ideas.
At Canberra University, under the Faculty of Business, Government, and Law, selected students are linked with paid partnerships at Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), which can eventually lead them to full-time roles as technology business consultants.
As part of the Industry Based Learning Programme developed by the university and PwC, the six-month programme gives students the chance to undergo paid work placements integrated within the curriculum.
For one semester, students replace classroom learning with real-world learning through these paid work placements. They stand to gain valuable industry experience while simultaneously developing skills they need for successful future careers.
Students at the school can also participate in Study Abroad and Exchange programmes, which allow students to develop a greater understanding of the world while finishing their degree.
Through these programmes, learners receive study credit alongside enriching career opportunities, opening their mind to diverse global settings.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International