Creating 21st-century students for 21st-century careers

Mihaela Hahne Product Global Program Manager, Academic at AVEVA

Posted: 17th February, 2021

Technological change is creating historic shifts within industry, presenting businesses with more opportunities to reach their target audiences with impact. However, a factor often underestimated is the proportion of industry change that is being driven by the younger generation. With new talent populating the industry, new demands and expectations of staff also accompany the technologies themselves.

The world is changing

Within our transformative era, powerful global forces are changing the way we live and work, and industries are having to learn to pivot a changing market landscape. With the disruption of COVID-19, commodity prices have plummeted, safety regulations have come to the fore and the pace of change has accelerated.

The rapid spread of digital technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, Cloud, XR, Big Data and Digital Twin are acting as catalysts for this change, offering extraordinary new business capabilities when applied appropriately. Independently, each of these technologies represent opportunities for businesses to differentiate their products. Collectively, they will open unimagined new pathways to streamline the imperatives for businesses.

At the same time, the generation gap is propelling further technological innovation. A survey conducted in 2018 by Deloitte revealed that 64%​ of Millennials and 58%​ of Gen Zs felt disappointed in businesses unprepared for Industry 4.0​. A shift is needed within the industry, and undoubtedly, an organization is at its strongest when multiple generations can work together to complement each other’s varying skillsets. Established workers have their strengths and habits, but the highest pressure for change will come from the younger workforce.

Today’s industrial landscape

Millennials now comprise half of the workforce, and by 2025 it will have increased to 75% of the global workforce. As we see this generational shift develop, businesses must adapt to the growing expectations of their workforce; one that is tech-savvy and demands flexibility in the way they work. This aspect is propelling companies to digitally transform, to meet the requirements of future-thinking graduates and younger generations alike – and we’re seeing changes already.

According to TechPro Research, 70% of companies are working on their digital transformation. The energy, food and beverage, marine and manufacturing industries are amongst the most prominent sectors that have now recognized the necessity of adopting a digital transformative initiative. Now firmly solidified into company strategy, we’re seeing an acceleration in regulatory compliance, greater asset complexity and the growing sophistication of already-established control and safety systems. This renovation is also a chance for renewal in industry, and a way for Millennials and Gen Z’s to reinforce positive change around the world.

In short, Gen Z – our future engineers – are the digital natives who have grown up with the expectation that technology exists to make life easier, and likewise, it’s expected that they will push the boundaries when entering the industrial world. In an increasingly automated environment, it is vital to prepare and cultivate the workforce of tomorrow and ensure they are familiar with new and innovative software tools.

A new generation

At AVEVA, we’re committed to ensuring that aspiring engineers are well-prepared for the ever-changing industrial sector – especially since digital transformation is accelerating at such an impressive rate. The Academic Program Competition provides such a pathway – investing in the careers of young engineers and allowing them to transfer the skills they have learnt in the classroom into real-life engineering problems. By offering practical experience through leading and advanced software, AVEVA aims to empower the next generation of engineers within the evolving market.

The rapid transformation of the market and the industrial landscape was a topic recently covered by Fernanda Martins and Mihaela Hahne at the Women’s Global Leadership Conference in Energy. To learn more about the AVEVA Academic Program, visit this webpage.

 

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