RESPONDING TO INDUSTRY 4.0: Education must evolve to meet future IT needs

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    THE United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) noted that education needs to shift towards filling in upcoming vacancies in fields of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), as well as advancements in fields of science, engineering, and computing.

    Meeting these demands require schools to better equip themselves to teach digital skills and students to deliberately prospect for this kind of knowledge. This should be done without forgetting strong literacy and numeracy skills, socio-emotional stability, critical and innovative thinking, complex problem solving, liberal arts and the ability to collaborate effectively with other talents. Combined, these skills and knowledge will come in handy for anyone to thrive in a connected digital economy and society.

    “The young generation is stepping into an era where technology and innovation are the key drivers for growth. For them to become catalysts for change, we must teach them how to use digital tools in supporting the growth of intelligent enterprises in the country’s experience economy,” SAP Philippines Managing Director Edler Panlilio said as he listed some recommendations that will help both students and educational organizations to respond to the needs of Industry 4.0—this stage of economic prosperity powered by digitalization and the Internet.

    1) Familiarize with digital tools to handle coding, data analytics, and IoT provides insights into its capabilities in building better systems. As personal skills improve, a more efficient IT professional evolves. Learning and using advanced software and digital platforms to improve the operations of businesses can help newbies start tackling big projects, such as the healthcare, banking, energy, sports, and entertainment sectors.

    2) Taking advantage of available online resources can help build highly desirable software skills. This advanced knowledge and expertise would give a strong competitive edge towards building a professional career. Caveat, though. To gain the maximum benefits of learning these digital tools, investing in quality education that teaches and guides you about the tech industry is a must.

    3) Invest in quality education not only equips students with the relevant skills needed in the new IT industry but also enhances creative, technical, and entrepreneurial mindset to shape society. In the Philippines, about 825 schools offer IT courses that can help you develop your digital skills. Enrolling in these programs allows for learning of the basics of the advanced knowledge of IT concepts and tools.

    SAP UA is a global initiative that supports more than 3,700 institutes in 116 countries to incorporate the latest SAP technologies into teaching. In the Philippines, SAP has been collaborating with top universities like the Mapua Institute of Technology, Far Eastern University, University of Sto. Tomas, and AMA Computer University, among others.

    “Educational institutions have a responsibility for molding the current and incoming generation’s potential through proper guidance and training. Collaborating with SAP has provided our students with the in-demand and relevant skills for them to be successful future innovative leaders in IT and tech industries,” said Ariel Kelly D. Balan, dean of the School of Information Technology at Mapúa University.

    In a similar development, SAP has also conducted its Youth in ICT program in the last quarter of 2019. SAP PH taught at least 30 Grade 9 and 10 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) students in Panabo National High School in Davao del Norte the basics of coding, as well as giving them a view on choosing a career in ICT.

    “Investing time on these worthwhile initiatives, touching the lives of students and other members of our society, and eventually, converting their situations into life-changing experiences is what we, at SAP, as a purpose-driven organization, is all about,” Panlilio concludes.