Dalex: Today’s students are ‘irrelevant’ to tomorrow’s market

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Technology is ‘disrupting’ the way we work and students are not prepared for the changes that have taken and are taking place in the job market, Mr Ken Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of Dalex Finance stated in Accra.

He said students’ vision of success was based on professions and skills that were successful in the past, but the skills needed to succeed in the future were different from those that provided success in the past and to be relevant you should be an autodidact. 

Mr Thompson made these remarks at two separate events held recently at the University of Ghana (UG) in Accra and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi.

The UG event was organized by the Finance Students and Associates (FINSA) of the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS) as part of the FINTECH day celebration.

Whilst KNUST event was jointly organized by KNUST and the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) as part of activities lined up for the African Changemakers Tour held recently.

Mr Thompson spoke on the topic, ‘Technology disruptions in today’s job market- how prepared is the average graduate’.

Quoting from the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report (2018), Mr Thompson said “…roles such as Data Analysts and Scientists; Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Specialists; Software and Application Developers; Big Data Specialists are emerging whilst Accounting, Administrative and Executive Secretaries, Assembly and Factory Workers are declining”.

He said other emerging roles were Digital Transformation and Organizational Development Specialists.

Mr Thompson therefore challenged tertiary students to ‘adapt appropriately’ by making themselves relevant in today’s job market.

He said “…there is a long winding road ahead of you and praying for your ‘breakthrough’ is an exercise in futility; the future is digital, and you must embrace it to succeed. Your dream job is not secure unless the company or institution you hope to work for has embraced these disruptive technologies …”.

He defined ‘disruptive technology’ as an enhanced or a completely new technology that replaces or disrupts an existing one, rendering the latter obsolete.

He cited the internet, mobile phones, social media and mobile money as key examples of technologies that have caused serious ‘revolutions.  

He said “… the marriage between mobile phones and the internet has changed and will continue to change the way we live. Our postal system has become obsolete.

“Mobile Money transactions are growing whilst traffic in the banking halls and deposits with financial institutions are reducing. “…the banks have already lost out…”.

Illustrating the growth of Mobile Money, Mr Thompson said “…as at the end of December 2018, there were approximately 13 million Mobile Money accounts as against 11.6 million banks accounts.

“Mobile Money recorded about 233 billion transactions by the end of last year, which far exceeds the 203 billion cheque transactions. That is how fast Mobile Money is changing the financial landscape…”.

He admonished the students to take advantage of emerging trends, innovations and new technologies to acquire skills beyond the lecture hall. “…read widely, work harder and adapt appropriately, if you want to fit into the fast-paced world of work…”. 

The President of FINSA (UG chapter), Mr. Dii-Winga Amegnonka said “…the bar appears higher than we ever imagined as students.

“It is no longer a case of good grades and a first class which have been the preoccupation of many students”.

Other speakers at the UG event were Mr David Ganesha Tetteh, Chief Executive Officer of Bargane Investment Holdings Limited and Mr Bernard Obeng Boateng, a Financial Modeler and Data Analyst.

The African Changemakers Tour at KNUST attracted speakers including actors such as John Dumelo, Adjetey Annang, also known as ‘Pusher’ and Hiphop Star, Manifest, known in private life as Kwame Ametepe Tsikata.

Dalex Finance, established and licensed by the Bank of Ghana (BoG), is wholly Ghanaian owned and operated.

Over the last four years, the company’s turnover has grown by over 40 per cent on a compound annual basis.

Dalex Finance has a nationwide operation. It employs over 3000 persons, has 130 sales points.


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