Primal teachings would have us to believe that white collar jobs are the highest paying, with the sole ability to sustain positive economic conditions.
But the paradigm has shifted and even now more than ever, non-traditional areas are being diversified, explored and embraced.
Through technological advancement, the world has become a global village and it is advised that individuals take full advantage of the offerings.
President of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), Professor Fritz Pinnock, has said Jamaica still has a far way to go, as a large percentage of the training in Jamaica caters to ‘Physical’ world.
“Once, we had a physical world, everything you can touch but now the world is cyber-physical…We have to change our programmes to meet the new demands”
He continued, “Take the Engineering field as an example, it has changed. Once there was: mechanical, electrical, chemical engineering but the disruption caused by technology has changed this. We have to disrupt the way we train, certify and educate people as the traditional university. Instead of standing in the classroom and look to the industry, we stand in the industry and look to the classroom.”
Professor Pinnock believes that as a result of an impressive listing of innovative courses CMU has been able to secure the highest placements of graduates into a job within six months of graduation.
“We talk about courses such as Mechatronics, which is an integration of mechanical, electronics, electrical, infomatic engineering that requires training in robotics, pneumatics and hydraulics”
He further made mention of the Dr. Andrew Wheatley Centre for Digital Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing that was recently opened as the first commercial 3D printing center.
According to the President, this further positions Jamaica for international investments.
“…3D printing is now a disruption. To change the global supply chain, you are going to possibly print spare motor vehicle parts for the demand. Let’s say you want a bearing; you can print it as it is needed.”
With other programmes such as predictive analytics- which uses computer breakdowns to determine production/ market activity and artificial intelligence and high end specialized areas of engineering, individuals who become open to the fields can carve a niche market that advances the country’s socio-economic ranking.
“We can now support high end niche market industry because we are offering skills that you don’t normally find in developing countries…”
When asked if this world class skill set training will increase bouts of brain drain, Professor Pinnock revealed that the market for this labour already exists in Jamaica.
“The market is here but we train you to operate at the world level. We train for what is here but also what is to come… we have students here from China, Peru and all over…We are supporting the skills of the future, because 70% of the skills and jobs in the future will be related to STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics).”