BY ROTIMI AGBANA
For more than two decades, NIIT has made creditable impacts in Nigeria, shaping the future of youths.
In this interview, Mr. Sanjay Tickoo, Head, International Education Business–Emerging Markets speaks on the company’s resolve to continue making meaningful impacts with its newly introduced scholarships for cutting-edge digital technology programs for Industry 4.0, mainly, to get the Nigerian youths properly equipped for the digital revolution, which he described as the mother of all revolutions.
Across the world, there is a growing buzz about Industry 4.0’, what is this trend all about?
IT revolution is going to be the greatest of all revolutions.
Already, it has put the world in the midst of the Digital Transformation wave which essentially centres around automation, Cyber Security, Internet of Things, Cloud, R & ML, Python and ML, Artificial Intelligence, Business Intelligence, Block Chain and cognitive computing.
These cutting-edge digital technologies are disrupting the global environment and altering the way we live and work. In the future, they are expected to transform industrial production, making it possible to automate, gather, analyse and exchange data across machines, enabling faster, flexible and more efficient decision-making processes. Industry 4.0 is in fact the new way to go and global organisations and individuals are embracing this trend to remain competitive and gain an edge.
What is the role that ‘people power’ will play in this Industry 4.0 environment?
The importance of ‘people power’—basically skills that were critical to industry development—had become apparent during the ICT revolution. The IT industry’s growth globally was fueled by skilled human resources, who became differentiators for nations. In the current Industry 4.0 landscape, human resources will once again be crucial. Young people in particular, who are equipped with digital technology skills that are aligned to what corporations need, will be a sought after resource. Trained manpower will prove to be a driver for nations, contributing to their future growth.
What will be the impact of Industry 4.0 on the jobs of the future?
According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report, jobs in d igital technology will grow from 17 per cent in 2018 to 33 per cent in 2022. Estimates have indicated that 75 million jobs may be displaced by a shift in the division of labour between humans and machines, while 133 million new roles may emerge that are more adapted to the new division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms.
This demonstrates a huge requirement of skilled employees for futuristic Industry 4.0 job roles. This report also indicates that 54 per cent of all employees will require significant re-skilling and up-skilling by 2022. Of these, 35 per cent shall require additional training for six months, 9 per cent for 12 months and 10 per cent for one year.
What are some of the steps taken by NIIT to meet the needs of this transformation?
Having established itself as a leader in the IT training and talent development space over the past 38 years, NIIT has been quick to anticipate the futuristic digital skills requirements of human resources for Industry 4.0. As early as 2016, and in keeping with the changes across the world, NIIT had launched state-of-the-art programs in Digital Transformation under the umbrella of its digiNxt series for young people and professionals everywhere.
These included its digiNxt MMS, Big Data, Java Enterprises Apps with DevOps, Digital Marketing and MMS. Today, NIIT has added to this portfolio of Digital Transformation programs, catering to the emerging and more advanced and sophisticated needs of Industry 4.0. These include Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning (ML) with R & Python, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Business Intelligence (BI) and Data Analytics. These programs have been introduced by NIIT with a profound understanding of the changing job roles which are powering the digital economy.
How is NIIT enabling Nigeria to stay abreast of these technological developments?
Recognising that Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy with a fast growing IT industry, big tech investment and commercially-oriented start-ups, NIIT decided to enter the country in 1999 with its comprehensive array of IT programs, proven learning methodologies, cutting-edge curriculum, and highly trained faculty.