ERG SES E 11, Sociologies of Education
The main purpose of this paper is to provide a systematic literature review on the fourth industrial revolution and employability with a specific focus in higher education in the context of Africa. The fourth industrial revolution has taken precedence in the current economy. As a result, the influence of technology in enhancing development rising across economic sectors and labor markets.
Universities are at the core of producing knowledge and skills, therefore, they find themselves to be key within this revolution. This has a greater impact on the employability of graduates produced. Gleason (2018) posits that higher education around the globe higher education is changing because of the fast-shifting global economy thus it demands employees and thinkers with a transformed intellect.
Employability ensures that graduates gain the necessary skills which make the employable within the labor market. Upon completion of university studies, graduates are faced with a mammoth task of adapting to the world of work, which has greater demands because of the fourth industrial revolution. Soft skills competencies would be more significant as they assist graduates to adapt to the world of work (Golob and Bratina, 2018). As such it is critical to train graduates to acquire skills which are in line with the demands of the labor market.
Universities play a major role in ensuring that policies which create a conducive environment for this technological transformation are enabled. Thus, universities are engaging in policies, which are gearing towards the realization of technological advancement for the future. Higher education is tasked with a significant role to play in shaping the societal transitions which are necessary to adjust to the fourth industrial revolution (Gleason,2018).
Globally there is rapid advancement of technology which has a greater impact of the skills acquired during university training. African as a developing continent is faced with the need to develop and implement technological advancement policies.
However, it is important to highlight that this revolution has impacts especially on the future skills sets for graduates. Penprase (2018) argue that substantial changes to the science and technology curriculum would be required to enable students to develop capacity in relation to emerging data science, artificial intelligence, and nanomaterials.
It is with the review that an analysis intends to discover the impacts of the fourth industrial revolution as well as to explore the role played by universities in this revolution taking into account the benefits and consequences to the higher education sector. The relevance of this debate is critical in higher education because of the changing demographics within the labor market and the employment state.
The paper will use scientific journal articles to address the research question. The general research questions will emphasize on what are the drivers of the fourth industrial revolution, why the universities are gearing towards this revolution and what are the implications of the fourth industrial revolution on the future of work and graduate employability skills. The segments of the research question will focus on establishing the benefits and consequences of the fourth industrial revolution in higher education with a special focus on employability.
The questions would discover how employability of graduates would be affected by the industrial revolution. It is worthwhile to establish how the universities are prepared to train graduates who are expected to cope with the demands of the labor market which is constantly changing because of the external economic and technological forces.
For the theoretical lens, the paper would take into account the economic and socio-political perspectives, which will account for the issues within higher education and the labor market.
The conceptual paper will be conducted using the review of scholarly journal articles. Journals will be searched from scholarly databases using major keywords and they will be analyzed in-depth. A systematic review of high-quality journals published from 2014 -2018 in the areas of the fourth industrial revolution in higher education will be conducted. The characteristics of the journal will be done to determine if they publish the relevant material which is in line with the question for the paper. The selection of articles will be done from the journals which are peer-reviewed by academic scholars which are mostly research-based and comprising empirical data. Additionally, an assessment of issues and themes that emerges from the identified articles will be part of the selection criteria (Tight,2003). The articles will be reviewed using different levels of analysis in higher education research. The journals will be both qualitative and quantitative with the English language as an inclusion criterion. These journals would be published from the African context as well as the global context. The review will focus on only articles, not book reviews or academic commentary which is related to the keywords.
This paper will contribute to the literature of the fourth industrial revolution in higher education and the future of skills. There seems to be an increasing uptake of universities implementing the science and technology policies which includes the fourth industrial revolution in the African continent. The paper expects to explore the forces that drive the industrial revolution with the higher education context. The articles reviewed will discuss the implications of adopting the fourth industrial revolution. Higher education is under pressure to respond to the demands of the economy. The industry is constantly changing due to the advancement in technology, therefore, the labor market is demanding a new set of skills. Therefore the changes with the economy and technological space tend to have a direct impact of universities and how they train their graduates for the future world of work. The expectation from the African context is that the implications for the industrial revolution would be more beneficial however there would be some inevitable consequences. The study would demonstrate how Africa scholars are producing knowledge to address employability with the changing landscape of the fourth industrial revolution.
Gleason, N., W. (2018) Higher education in the era of fourth -industrial revolution. Palgrave Macmillan. Singapore. Golob,M, and Bratina,B. (2018) Web based control and process automation education and industry 4.0.International Journal of Engineering Education,34(4) 1199-1211. Penprase, B.E. (2018) The fourth industrial revolution and higher education. In Higher Education in the Era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Eds, Gleason,N.W.207–228. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-0194-0_9. Tight,M .(2003) Researching higher education.Society for Research into Higher Education and Open University Press.Berkshire.
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