Industry 4.0 Skillsets and ‘Career Readiness’: Can Malaysian University Students Face the Future of Work?

In MNNF Network (Ed.), Proceedings of the International Invention, Innovative & Creative (InIIC) Conference, Series 2/2019 (pp. 28-37). Senawang: MNNF Network

10 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2020

See all articles by Ainol Mardhiyah Rahmat

Ainol Mardhiyah Rahmat

Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM)

Airil Haimi Mohd Adnan

Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Shah Alam

Nor Marini Mohtar

Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM)

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

The World Economic Forum (WEF) in its biennial 'Future of Jobs Report' lists ten critical skills for the Future of Work for year 2020 and beyond. Critical skill-sets - complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management, coordinating with others, emotional intelligence, judgment and decision making, service orientation, negotiation, and cognitive flexibility - used to be viewed as 'soft' skills in the past. For the post Industry 4.0 era, these skills are no more seen as soft or even inferior to technical skills but as core skills that are required not just to survive but also to thrive in the future workplace. Without these critical core skills, not only will future workers fail to secure future jobs, but they will also fail to contribute to the Industry 4.0 economy and society in a productive manner. Without a doubt, these critical skills are challenging for the younger generation to acquire without sustained and directed effort. Furthermore, failure to acquire these skills will lower the career readiness level of the younger generation of future workers. Career readiness is the bridge or preparatory stage that signals the crossing from ‘campus life’ into the world of work. It is highly likely that university students who are not ready for future careers will be doomed to the lower rungs of the job market of the future. In this empirical inquiry, we examine how much Malaysian university students know about Industry 4.0 skill-sets and how far they are ready to look for future careers based on the critical skills that they have (or have not) acquired. Data were collected, firstly, through an online survey questionnaire that sought demographical information and presented 44-items related to Industry 4.0 skill-sets; 190 respondents completed the online survey and chose one from six pre-set answers on a Likert scale from 'Strongly Disagree' at one end to 'Strongly Agree' at the opposite end of the continuum. The 190 respondents represented students from five Malaysian public universities. Then, qualitative data were collected through focus group discussion sessions with a smaller number of participants (from the main group but not reported in this research article). As expected, some skill-sets were familiar to the respondents but, a number of the respondents indicated they were not familiar with many of those skill-sets we shared. This brings into question the actual career readiness level of Malaysian university students with regards to the post Industry 4.0 era and the future World of Work.

Keywords: Career Readiness, Industry 4.0, Job Skills, University Students, World of Work

Suggested Citation

Rahmat, Ainol Mardhiyah and Mohd Adnan, Airil Haimi and Mohtar, Nor Marini, Industry 4.0 Skillsets and ‘Career Readiness’: Can Malaysian University Students Face the Future of Work? (2019). In MNNF Network (Ed.), Proceedings of the International Invention, Innovative & Creative (InIIC) Conference, Series 2/2019 (pp. 28-37). Senawang: MNNF Network, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3511166

Ainol Mardhiyah Rahmat

Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM)

Malaysia

Airil Haimi Mohd Adnan (Contact Author)

Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Shah Alam ( email )

Universiti Teknologi MARA
Shah Alam Campus
Shah Alam, Selangor 40450
Malaysia

HOME PAGE: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Airil-Adnan-2

Nor Marini Mohtar

Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM)

Universiti Teknologi MARA
UiTM Seri Iskandar
Seri Iskandar, Perak 32610
Malaysia

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