Future jobs from student ideas

The jobs of the future can start today – even if you’re a university student, says leading Australian expert in entrepreneurship Bert Verhoeven.

Mr Verhoeven has just moved to South Australia from Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology to help establish a new suite of Innovation and Enterprise studies available for all students at Flinders University this year.

Three new degrees and nine elective topics are included in the new Innovation and Enterprise Program at Flinders.

The Bachelor of Business (Innovation and Enterprise) and Bachelor of Design and Technology Innovation – along with the Bachelor of Letters (Innovation and Enterprise) prepares participants for the job market of the future, when technological change will continue to disrupt the way we work.

The elective topics include Innovative and Creative Thinking; Entrepreneurial Thinking; New Venture Creation; Crowd, Cloud and Open Innovation; Funding Your IdeasSocial Entrepreneurship; Emerging Market Innovation; New Product Innovation; and Innovation That Works.

Electives can be incorporated into a variety of existing degrees, or even taken as standalone subjects by members of the business community.

An estimated 70% of Australian graduates are starting careers in roles that will change or become obsolete within 10 to 15 years, according to The New World Order (Foundation for Young Australians, 2015) report.

“Jobs for the future require students to develop an innovative, pro-active mindset and not be afraid to take initiative and create new solutions to difficult problems,” says Mr Verhoeven, who has built a career assisting new business startups to meet a market niche with an innovative idea.

Students also need to experiment boldly, think outside the square and not be afraid to fail.

“Playing it safe may be the riskiest attitude for South Australia,” he says, pointing to turbulent times of industrial transformation in 2017 and beyond and new trends in science, technology and automation.”

Entrepreneurship and creativity will be key factors in new industries and job creation, he says.

“Innovation is not about following rules. It is about change and breaking rules, the rules of the current status quo.

“In order to change and create true progress, we need to push the boundaries and understand that if our experiments do not fail, we have played it safe, have not tried hard enough.

“Bold new startup ventures embrace failure, do not fail with their head in the sand, but learn faster from failure without breaking the bank.

Developed and led by leaders in entrepreneurial education, the new Flinders courses are being informed by one of the top 10 American business school for entrepreneurial studies* – Fox, based at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Under the alliance, Fox School of Business lecturers will come to Flinders next month and throughout the year to conduct lectures in the new Innovation and Enterprise courses. Industry leaders will also be an integral part of the teaching line-up.

Flinders School of Business Innovation and Enterprise Program Director, Associate Professor Margaret Ledwith,  says the new coursework is “hands-on, practical and fun”.

“By incorporating global best-practice in experiential and innovative education, we completely change students’ learning experience, engagement and outcomes for the better,” she says.

Associate Professor Ledwith says the courses and electives, based on ‘real-world’ case studies and applications, advises students to “build transferrable skills that will enable you to be adaptable no matter what your career path”.

“We all know that the idea of a traditional career, working in the one job for the majority of your working life, is dramatically changing,” says Associate Professor Ledwith who comes to Flinders with similar credentials built overseas in Ireland and Europe.

“My vision is of a world where every individual is empowered to create their own future and to have the knowledge, skills and confidence to positively influence how we live, work and learn in the 21st century.

“To do this, we need to embrace creative thinking, innovation, personal enterprise and entrepreneurship in our personal and professional lives – both in the education sector in South Australia and in the community,” she says.

The new courses will also be available to the wider business community through the Flinders New Venture Institute, which supports students, local startups and established businesses.

Based at the high-tech Tonsley innovation precinct, Flinders NVI Director Matthew Salier says the new electives and courses will enhance the study and collaboration opportunities at Tonsley.

“Along with the many NVI programs, including our incubation and co-working spaces, Venture Dorm and other accelerator services for emerging entrepreneurs, the Tonsley precinct is a large-scale business incubator for the whole of South Australia,” Mr Salier says.

Mr Salier says the University’s core Innovation and Enterprise courses incorporate extensive consultation and input from industry.

“Being more entrepreneurial and creative in your thinking, through studying Innovation and Enterprise electives, will prepare you for your future career no matter what degree you choose to study.”

For more information go to: http://study.flinders.edu.au/ie/

*Princeton Review (2016)


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