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2018 Academic Symposium Workshop: Designing the Workforce of Industry 4.0

Question asked by Erica Trump on Apr 22, 2018

At the 2018 Academic Symposium, we are again hosting an industry and academia collaboration workshop. The topic of this year's workshop is Designing the Workforce of Industry 4.0. Please use this forum to continue conversations after the workshop!


Note: We will update this thread with a workshop report and pictures after the event.




Across industries, there is an increased need for data-focused skills. The impact of Industry 4.0 is transforming the way we work – and the way we hire. In this workshop, we will work with our peers in Academia and Industry to discuss what skills Universities are equipping students with, what skills are needed in Industry to succeed, and how we can bridge the gap.

The Academic Program at OSIsoft is working to prepare students for the employment opportunities of tomorrow by supporting research and student education on university campuses worldwide. One such example is through OSIsoft’s could-based Academic Community Service offering.



Teams will design their ideal newly hired employee of the future. What competencies does he/she need to be a key contributor to your company during Industry 4.0? What changes may need to take place in Academia to better prepare students for the workforce?

At the end of the workshop, you will share what skill gaps potentially exist in new hires now vs the ideal new hire of the future and HOW Academia and Industry can work together to address the skill gaps.  The facilitator of your group will record ideas on a flip board as your team brainstorms and discusses.


Part 1 – Industry Perspective and Brainstorm

Getting started: Let’s think about what competencies are needed in industry. We encourage industry participants to provide their insight and expertise here.

Some questions to consider as you brainstorm:

  • What competencies do you look for in new hires today?
  • What additional skills do you see new hires may need in the future?
  • Why are these competencies important in a new hire?


We will group competencies on the flip chart using these two categories. Post-it notes are available for idea mapping:

  1. Technical 
  2. Professional/Social

Your facilitator will group similar ideas and guide discussion.

Suggested Time: 15 minutes


Part 2 – Identifying the Gaps and Big-picture Changes

Discuss how the identified competencies are currently being taught and developed in students. We encourage academic participants to provide their insight and expertise here.

  • What is done in Academia?
  • What is done on the job?
  • Is there a gap that exists in the skills and qualifications that students are leaving university with now vs. what we want our student of the future to be able to do? 

Discuss where you think skill gaps exist.  How should workforce development adapt to changes in Industry?

Suggested Time: 15 minutes


Part 3 – Crafting Solutions 

Brainstorm as a group. Focus on the skill gaps you identified in Part 2.

  • How can industry and academia work together to bridge the knowledge gap?
  • How can we better develop our students to enter industry ready to high contributors?

Identify specific ways to address the challenge – record specific actions academia and/or industry can take to help bridge the skill gap for three different competencies.

Suggested Time: 20 minutes


Part 4 – Sharing Solutions

Identify a team representative who will speak on behalf of your team. That person will:

  • Share an elevator pitch of your team’s best idea on how to bridge the gap and comment on which one skill it addresses