Students are expecting access to high quality integrated learning in order to increase employability outcomes. However, the number of graduates who gained full-time employment within four months of finishing their degrees fell from a high of 85.2% in 2008 to 72.9% in 2018. For some degrees, however, the rate is as low as 52.2% (Bouris, 2019). It is estimated that 50% of current work activities could be automated using existing technology. This push towards digital and automation has disrupted many sectors and traditional workplace models, creating a need for new skills. This demand for new skills however has worked only to widen the gap between what employers are expecting and what universities are providing.
This issue is made only more prominent by the fact that for many educational institutions the labour market moves faster than the post-secondary space, particularly when it comes to digital know-how. This mismatch means that educators are often behind the curve when it comes to providing the training that people need, and that industry demands.
Skills gaps across all industries are poised to grow in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Rapid advances in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and other emerging technologies are happening in ever shorter cycles, changing the very nature of the jobs that need to be done - and the skills needed to do them - faster than ever before.
At least 133 million new roles generated as a result of the new division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms may emerge globally by 2022, according to the World Economic Forum. There will also be strong demand for technical skills like programming and app development, along with skills that computers can’t easily master such as creative thinking, problem-solving and negotiating. But the future of work isn’t all about robots.
There’s a lot of human in the future. And probably – for us – just as well!