Unlocking the potential of Industry Revolution 4.0 careers | Asia Pacific University (APU)

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Unlocking the potential of Industry Revolution 4.0 careers

Artificial intelligence, data analytics, cybersecurity and robotics are shaping the workforce of tomorrow.

IN the wake of Industry Revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0), characterised by the integration of digital technologies, artificial intelligence (AI), and automation with traditional industrial practices, a new landscape of career opportunities emerges.

Careers aligned with IR 4.0 demand a unique blend of skills, ranging from data analysis and cybersecurity to robotics and machine learning.

As industries evolve to embrace this digital transformation, individuals equipped with the right expertise find themselves at the forefront of innovation and progress.

APIIT Education Group and Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU)’s chief innovation and enterprise officer Professor Dr Vinesh Thiruchelvam has identified several career paths that are well-suited for the IR 4.0 landscape:

  • Data scientist / Data analyst

Data analysts are the key to unlocking the potential of intelligent machines. They act as decoders, wielding advanced tools to translate the vast amount of data generated by interconnected sensors into actionable insights. A data scientist works on new ways to capture, store, manipulate and analyse that data.

This data is the hidden code that allows for optimised production lines, predicted equipment failures, and even personalised customer experiences which are all crucial aspects of IR 4.0’s focus on efficiency and innovation.

  • Cybersecurity and digital forensics experts

Cybersecurity or digital forensics experts are not just tech-savvy; they are also strategic thinkers, anticipating vulnerabilities and implementing preventative measures to ensure the smooth operation of IR 4.0 systems.

These digital guardians are the front line of defence, safeguarding sensitive data, critical infrastructure, and intellectual property from cyberattacks. As factories become increasingly digitised, the need for robust cybersecurity measures becomes paramount.

  • Robotics engineers

Robotics engineers combine their expertise in mechanical engineering, computer science, and electrical engineering to design and build robots capable of performing complex tasks with precision.

They are constantly pushing the boundaries of robotic capabilities, integrating AI and machine learning to create a new generation of collaborative robots that work seamlessly alongside human workers.

APU is embracing IR 4.0 with its many initiatives, from introducing a broad spectrum of new subjects to innovative teaching and industry-academic partnerships to prepare students for the future.

Universities as skill sharpeners

To prepare students for the future workforce, universities must transform into living laboratories, by integrating technologies into the campus infrastructure itself, creating a “smart campus” environment.

Prof Vinesh says curriculums should be constantly updated to reflect the latest job requirements.

“All students, not just those in specific programmes, should experience the evolving digital landscape through their coursework and campus applications.

“By participating in this immersive experience, students will gain a solid foundation in the skills and technologies that will shape their future careers,” he says.

Strategies for success

IR 4.0 is also revolutionising manufacturing by merging physical and digital realms through the integration of AI and Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

This convergence enables manufacturers to enhance their production processes with computational elements and robotics, effectively eliminating routine, mundane, and hazardous tasks.

To stay ahead, Prof Vinesh says educational institutions should establish close relationships with industry experts who serve on Industry Advisory Panels (IAP).

“These experts offer invaluable insights into emerging job skills and trends, shaping curriculum design to match the evolving requirements of the workforce and industry.

Such collaborative efforts ensure that educational programmes remain relevant and equip students with the skills necessary to excel in the dynamic world of IR 4.0,” he emphasises.

Reskilling and upskilling initiatives

As a pioneering technology-based university, APU ensures its curriculum integrates the latest software tools and applications, enabling students to actively engage in societal advancements.

Renowned for its innovative approach, APU continuously leads in introducing new programmes, including robotics, drone technology, AI, data analytics, and cybersecurity, offering specialised curriculums tailored to niche areas of expertise.

Emphasising learning outcomes that align with the ever-evolving applications of new technology trends, particularly in AI and advanced automation, APU prepares students to excel in dynamic and rapidly transforming industries.

Innovative approaches

At APU, education revolves around outcome-based education (OBE), a dynamic approach that integrates creative problem-solving, open thinking, and design thinking into all facets of learning.

Here, students thrive in a creative environment, enabling them to make informed decisions and undertake innovative projects that advance creative analytical thinking.

Through open thinking and advanced technology applications, including the latest software and real-time monitoring devices, APU students are equipped to contribute professional value to emerging sustainable developments through hands-on implementations.

Practical learning and employability

Universities must become smart campuses by integrating technologies into their infrastructure.

Immersing students in an industry-like environment fosters invaluable on-the-job training opportunities. This begins with knowledgeable and skilled academics facilitating knowledge and technology transfer to the student community.

The impact of this approach is maximised when supported by industry-standard infrastructure. APU exemplifies this commitment with state-of-the-art facilities on its campus, including:

  • Cyber Range and the digital forensics centre
  • Security Operations Centre (SOC)
  • OmiLab for IoT
  • 6-Axis robotics lab and the centre for Robotics
  • Makerspace with 3D printing capabilities
  • AI Studio with Intel hardware
  • IoT and drones centre
  • Analytics lab with SAP 4.0 NextGen Apps
  • Web3 innovation space for blockchain development
  • Psychology centre equipped with AI-based EEG or tracking systems
  • Computer vision lab
  • XR Studio for VR/AR/MR advancements

Future-proofing your career

To thrive in today’s dynamic job market, Prof Vinesh says students must seize opportunities beyond the confines of their academic curriculum.

“Actively engaging in workshops, seminars led by industry experts, and talks by professionals offer invaluable insights into real-world developments.

“By participating in professional clubs and competitions, students not only refine their skills but also gain exposure to emerging job trends, digital transformations, and cutting-edge technologies like rich analytics and cyber-physical systems.

“These experiences not only provide pathways to certifications but also enhance students’ visibility and readiness for the demands of the modern workforce,” he adds.

This article can also be read on The Star’s portal via this link: https://www.thestar.com.my/starpicks/2024/05/27/unlocking-the-potential-of-industry-revolution-40-careers