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New degrees to equip Witsies for the 4th industrial revolution

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Karen Mwendera
September01/ 2017

Head of digital business, Brian Armstrong aims to implement four new courses: Master of Business Science and Digital Business, postgraduate diploma in Digital Business, short-learning programmes and executive education programs.

WITS BUSINESS SCHOOL (WBS) is looking to introduce four teaching programmes aimed at the digital business industry, according to the newly appointed head of digital business at WBS, Brian Armstrong.

Armstrong, who was appointed in July 2017, is the former group chief operating officer at Telkom and is also a Wits alumnus. His goal as a chair is to put structure to the framework for digital business and the fourth industrial revolution.

“The major business programmes will be a Master of Business Science and Digital Business,” he said.

“The next one is a postgraduate diploma in Digital Business. Then there will be a number of short-learning programmes, which will be delivered in contact as well as online, but with a strong online component to it. And finally there is an executive education component that I am working closely with the executive education team to ensure that we have staffed more. That’s more aimed at industry than at the students,” he told Wits Vuvuzela.

Within the Master’s programme, Armstrong said that the core modules will include strategy, digital marketing, digital transformation and digital operations. The electives that will be offered are e-governance, financial technology, ecommerce and a research project.

He said there is a need for businesses to understand “the merge” with the digital world.

“So the programme is structured to make sure that people are exposed to all of these dimensions about underlying technology, the change in markets, the change in society as well as those new ways of doing business,” he said.

Bilal Hase, a first year student studying a BSc in Investment and Finance, said that he is looking forward to such course being introduced.

“If it is a postgrad degree I will take it, because given the constraints [technological developments] it will be beneficial,” Hase said. He said that would merge the degree with his current business that deals with real estate services.

According to Armstrong they are hoping to launch these courses next year. “One of the key things that is a necessary condition is the Council for Higher Education (CHE) accreditation. So it is currently sitting with the CHE. We are hoping they will approve it on time for us to launch early next year.”

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Karen Mwendera