JOHN VIANNEY AHUMUZA
If there is an area human beings are socially rigid to adopt, it is the ability to change easily. Whereas a few professionals seem willing to learn new things or adopt new technologies for the greater good of their service, others have remained hooked to tradition. Tradition is never a bad thing but it could be better if improved for the greater good. This requires a painful sacrifice in the form of adopting a flexible lifestyle.
The Wikipedia free online dictionary defines flexibility as, “the quality of bending easily without breaking”. In the context of professionalism, flexibility would mean the ability to freely adapt to new situations without necessarily compromising standards. For example, a lecturer supervising a student may opt to shift from receiving hard copy researched materials to soft copy ones. This would never imply that such a lecturer lowers his or her strictness in ensuring that a student follows the required research guidelines.
The skill of flexibility is, therefore, gold for the Fourth Industrial Revolution graduates, especially as our economies continue to bend to an “ E-world”. The world is indeed swinging into the electronic age. That is why apparently the world is looking for graduates who can handle the organizational transition to E-commerce, E-governments, Virtual learning, E-legal services, to mention but a few. We even now talk of documents like E-passports. Maybe we are about to have E-transcripts and certificates! This means that employees who will approach their job with a flexible technological mindset will be typically more highly valued by employers.
Indeed technology continues to revolutionize society. We continue to see a period in which one or more technologies is replaced by another technology in a short time. We are indeed in an era of accelerated technological progress characterized by new innovations whose rapid application and diffusion cause an abrupt change in society. This is a transition we must prepare to avoid technological shocks!
The world continues to witness a close fusion between the physical, digital, and biological worlds. It’s a fusion of advances in artificial intelligence (which describes computers that can “think” like humans — recognizing complex patterns, processing information, drawing conclusions, and making recommendations), robotics, the Internet of Things, 3D printing, genetic engineering, quantum computing, and other technologies. It’s the collective force behind many products and services that are fast becoming indispensable to modern life. Think of Global Positioning systems that suggest the fastest route to a destination or Facebook’s ability to recognize your face and tag you in a friend’s photo. One is even connected to people they have never met physically in life. The world has indeed become a small village!
It is our flexibility in adapting and preparing for the upcoming new changes that will erase our fears about job security for our timely global positioning. This is a niche global employers are looking for in modern graduates that UCU education has accorded her alumni.
The author is a Foundation Studies lecturer, Uganda Christian University