New survey findings by Kingston University show that business leaders in Britain do not think that school graduates are prepared to succeed in a world driven by artificial intelligence.
This is an interesting and concerning finding from Kingston University’s survey. It highlights a potential disconnect between the skills graduates acquire and the skills businesses need in an AI-driven world.
The University, together with YouGov, surveyed over 2,000 business leaders, 1,000 current full-time students and 2,000 members of the general public.
It found that the majority of businesses do not think that university graduates joining the workforce right now are adequately prepared for the impacts of AI technology. Only about 7% think otherwise.
“Artificial intelligence has made more urgent the already significant challenge of ensuring students have the skills to succeed in the modern workplace.
“Young people being educated today will go on to do jobs that don’t yet exist, in sectors that we can barely imagine, using tools entirely alien in the current business environment,” said Professor Steven Spier, Kingston University’s Vice-Chancellor.
Business Leaders are Bracing for New Techs
About 61% of businesses want graduates to have digital skills, which represents a 10% increase from the 51% recorded last year. This significant rise is no surprise, considering the recent surge in AI adoption.
Across all industries, companies are now leveraging technology and digital solutions to streamline operations, connect with customers, and drive growth.
This trend, fueled by automation, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things, is expected to accelerate in the coming years, further intensifying the need for a workforce equipped with digital expertise.
Per the survey report, nearly half of the businesses polled (44%) think AI technology and other emerging technologies will have a moderate or fundamental change in their operational model in the next five years, which explains the demand among business leaders.
Preparing Students With In-Demand Skills
Given the urgency to prepare students with respect to the changing times, Kingston University also announced it has launched a new “Future Skills” education model across the University. The modules are embedded in the student’s course programmes to prepare them with the digital skills needed for career success.
“Industry-aligned skills are paramount for graduates embarking on their careers and, with a 68% increase in jobs at the top 100 start-ups and high-growth companies since the pandemic, technical skills are becoming increasingly important.
“Making sure graduates possess the in-demand skills employers are looking for ensures they can stand out from the crowd, in turn boosting their career prospects and giving both businesses and graduates the tools they need to succeed,” Elizabeth Barr, Head of the Cisco Networking Academy UK, one of the entities backing the Future Skills initiative.