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A third of business school students believe they lack the digital skills for Industry 4.0 jobs

Business school students about to enter the job market worry about their lack of digital skills when it comes to getting a job in Industry 4.0 – or the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Key points to remember:

  • 30% are worried about not having the digital skills needed to prepare for a job in Industry 4.0.
  • Nearly 9 in 10 believe that skills such as data analysis and search engine marketing are now considered “entry-level” requirements.
  • 71% also believe senior managers have a poor understanding of digital skills and Industry 4.0.

Industry 4.0 refers to the digitization of manufacturing – or more specifically how technologies such as IoT, machine learning and AI work together to revolutionize production.

Raisedthe online careers platform of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD)surveyed 1,060 business school students for their opinion on getting a job in Industry 4.0, if they felt prepared and how their university/business school supported them.

When asked to rank the skills they lacked the most to prepare for Industry 4.0, 30% ranked “knowledge of digital skills” at the top. Another 15% cited “analyzing and interpreting data” as number one, while 13% said “understanding new and emerging technologies” as number one. Respondents were less concerned about lack of skills in areas such as marketing and HR.

It’s also clear that job seekers believe they need more than their college education to land their preferred role. 86% said their college degree alone wouldn’t be enough to get a job in their chosen industry.

When asked how universities/business schools could improve to help them find jobs, 65% answered: “integration of professional skills into the curricula”. This is followed by “internship opportunities” at 57% and “availability of consulting projects” at 55%.


Industrial,4.0,,Industrial,Worker,With,Protection,Mask,Welding,In,Factory.  Credit: Shutterstock

30% of business school students fear they don’t have the digital skills to prepare for a job in Industry 4.0. Image courtesy of Shutterstock


Dr. Amber Wigmore Alvarez, Director of Talent at Highered, comments:Employers such as Microsoft, Audi and Alibaba have been developing Industry 4.0 practices for years, but it’It is clear that business school students do not feel prepared for this new reality.

“WWe know that the skills needed in many roles have shorter lifespans than ever before. If we want to help them find a job in the new digital economy, they need career development and training tailored to employers’ requirements, but also personalized to their skill level. Partnerships between universities, business schools and employers will be essential.

The survey showed that business school students are more positive about getting a job than in previous years. Compared to a year ago, almost half (49%) said they were “more confident” about getting a job.

But when asked which emotion best summed up their job search, the top response was “worried” (30%), followed by “excited” (20%) and “interested” (16%). More women (18%) than men (13%) said they felt concerned.

The Highered study was conducted among 1,060 business school students (undergraduate and postgraduate), representing 111 nationalities living in 96 countries. 50.5% of respondents were female and 48.3% were male.

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