Bindura University of Science and Technology (BUSE) Vice Chancellor Professor Eddy Mwenje has implored professionals to upgrade their technological skills as they face the risk of being flushed out by lack of digital skills.
He said technology is the way to go and any organisation that does not adapt runs the risk of failure.
Prof Mwenje said this during thegraduation ceremony of Public Relations, Zim-Chartered and Expert Digital Marketing students hosted by the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe (MAZ) on April 9, 2021 at the Marketer Hub in Harare.
He said the world was witnessing the fastest, unprecedented and unpredictable Digital transformation and redundant professionals would be flushed out.
"The issue of professional career development cannot be overemphasised.The world is changing and those that are redundant will be flushed out either by technology or by lack of digital skills," he said.
"Nowadays, we are talking of Marketing 5.0 as well as exponential technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data analytics, augmented reality, internet of things among others. Failure to grasp these and move with the technologies is a recipe for disaster."
Prof Mwenje said digital and social media platforms have taken over and everyone needs to be well-versed and alert.
He said, given the increasing importance of the electronics, telecommunications and information communication technology (ICT) industry, the country needs to strengthen its technological base in these areas in order to meet demands of the 21st century.
Prof Mwenje urged marketers to work hard and influence society through marketing acts.
“Coming from a Science Education university, I implore you to also update your technological appreciation which is crucial for today’s business. We look forward to you rising, inspiring and mentoring other young marketers. As marketing practitioners, work on influencing the community towards marketing so that it values marketing through your acts,” he said
Prof Mwenje hailed the partnership between Bindura University and MAZ for the Professional Certificate in Public Relations and Corporate Reputation Management (PRCRM)which saw the first intake students graduating on the day.
“Allow me to say that on behalf of the Bindura University of Science Education academic community, we are proud of our collaboration with the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe in the delivery of the programmes whose results have brought us together here today, and we look forward to continued partnership with MAZ, and more partnerships going forward. In particular, we look forward to broadening the curriculum beyond the currently existing Public Relations,” said Prof Mwenje.
MAZ head of academics Mr Godfrey Dube challenged graduating students to live up to 21st century demands.
"Fellow colleagues, I challenge you as marketers to make a mark in your organisations. It is only those that make a mark that can live up to today's market demands. I implore you to utilise all the knowledge and skills in your day-to-day business and make a difference in your various organisations," he said.
MAZ Secretary General, Gillian Rusikesaid the Association was delighted to be hosting its first graduation ceremony for the PRCRM.
“This has been a long awaited milestone since the introduction of the program. The PRCRM program was introduced after realising the void of a reputable PR qualification in the country,” he said.
“As the representative body of the Marketing and related professions in the country, we took it upon ourselves to work towards finding a solution to this void. Our efforts ended with us partnering with Bindura University of Science Education, who availed their expertise and experience to come up with a strong program that can impart competent and practical skills in Public Relations and Corporate reputation.
He said the relationship has proved to be worthwhile so far and MAZ is looking forwardto more partnerships.
“It has not been an easy road, as we had to go through a challenging phase of learning and smoothening the program. We give much credit to the students who soldiered on despite some of these challenges and we appreciate their resilience,” he said.
A total of 23 students graduated on the day, with seven students graduating with theProfessional Certificate in Public Relations and Corporate Reputation Management (PRCRM), 14 were accorded the Zim Chartered Marketer status.
This is the highest qualification in marketing in Zimbabwe which seeks to empower students with strategic marketing and mentoring skills. This is a practical course which also enhances participants to develop consultancy skills.
Two students also graduated for the Executive Certificate in Digital Marketing (ECDM) which is an 8 weeks certificate course.
This was designed for senior executives or managers after realising they still need to have an appreciation of what it is all about and its benefits especially in this digital era.
MAZ has over the years become a centre of training excellence offering a number of marketing and industry related courses such as Digital Marketing , ZimChartered Marketing , Business Leadership courses , in-house training programs , workshops and seminars.