Journal article Open Access

Engineering Education and soft skills in the Era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Africa

Kehdinga George Fomunyam

Sponsor(s)
Blue Eyes Intelligence Engineering and Sciences Publication(BEIESP)

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is impacting engineering education (EE) in diverse with several changes from the effects of the previous three industrial revolutions. Remarkable industrialization has been recorded in the fourth industrial revolution. However, certain skill gaps has been identified missing in engineering courses and curriculum as employers seek skills development aligned with the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). This paper was guided by Lifelong Learning Theory which explain that the paradigm shift from the first three industrial revolutions to 4IR has led to EE transformation of acquiring not only technical skills but also soft skills. This has led to critical EE curriculum review to extrapolate its impacts of soft skills on 4IR emerging workforce. This paper takes a broad look at the EE and soft skills in the era of 4IR in Africa, while examining the EE in previous revolutions and, exploring the impacts and implications of soft skills on EE. The possibilities of adequate investments in EE and soft skills programmes becomes an imperative to address skill gaps and prepare engineering graduate students for future work. The importance of soft skills, values, and improvement of soft skills in engineering education in 4IR era are discussed among others. Thus, to address soft skills gaps in EE, industrial cooperation and educational partnership is significant to centre on EE curriculum future-oriented skills development to consolidate with 4IR workforce demands. A number of policy recommendations for 4IR compatibility with EE polices are made.

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