The Fourth Industrial Revolution continues to fundamentally change the way we live, learn, and interact with each other. Driven by technological advancement, this exciting chapter in our history presents challenges and opportunities in equal measure, and we must ensure the next generation is prepared to embrace them. These extraordinary circumstances we currently find ourselves in demonstrate that the future can become the present in the blink of an eye, and addressing such challenges requires adaptability.
Talent development is a key component of education, making it imperative for educators to prepare students for their future careers and challenges. The Fourth Industrial Revolution and its associated technological breakthroughs, particularly in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), are causing some markets to collapse and new ones to emerge. This disruption is impacting the types of jobs available and, in turn, forcing educational institutions to reconsider which talents they should nurture. For example, many are now giving vocational skills the same importance as academic degrees.
Witnessing these emerging developments and challenges, we arrive at a new school of thought in human resource development that I call ‘Future Persona 4.0’. This refers to qualities that I believe will be perceived as valuable traits in the future. This model includes a ‘Digital Persona’, a ‘Professional Persona’, and an ‘Entrepreneurship Persona’, all of which should be developed alongside each other to create well- rounded individuals. The earlier we begin this development process, the more it will be ingrained into students’ psyches, encouraging innovation and ambition.
The ‘Digital Persona’ reflects the importance of empowering this generation of students with the right tools to bring out their natural disposition to embracing technology. The ‘Professional Persona’ gives students the ability to meet high levels of professionalism that are now the global standard. Finally, the ‘Entrepreneurship Persona’ allows students to apply their digital and professional skills in research and analysis, enabling them to come up with creative projects that add value to the economy.
The ‘Future Persona’ concept is an expansive vision that can be developed in line with future advancements and challenges. It’s an educational model that understands how today’s generation is different from previous ones, with unique abilities and inclinations. To produce professionals that can meet the evolving requirements of business and economic sectors, we must ensure they are capable of continuous learning and self-development.
Human development is a dynamic, never-ending process, and to shape a brighter future for all of us, we need to empower students today. We shall discuss ‘Future Persona 4.0’ in more detail in future columns.
Dr. Abdullatif Al Shamsi
President & CEO, Higher Colleges of Technology