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AOD premieres future of Sri Lanka’s career landscape with Extraordinary Mindsopen house weekend

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AOD’s Extraordinary Mindsopen house weekend on 20/21 July will be held at its new home – the Colombo Innovation Tower – the latest catalyst space in the city aiming to stimulate the local industries by driving innovation. 

Extraordinary Minds open house weekend is scheduled to present what is considered the most business and future relevant education model to come out of Sri Lanka that best responds to the career landscape shifts coming to light within the next decade. AOD has extended an open invitation to after ALs/OLs students and their parents to join this inspiring preview to the future of careers, held at one of Colombo’s most groundbreaking innovation spaces.

The pathway to success no longer seems to be a one-way road headed in a single direction. The ideal job candidate now seems to be someone who is great at public speaking, and a social media wiz who is also familiar with the art of salesmanship. But that’s not all; isn’t learning coding also essential today? And what’s even the point of a business major right now, if you don’t have big data analysis skills? And where’s the future in a tech degree if it doesn’t link up with creative thinking?

The it-candidate in the future of jobs is starting to sound like a potpourri of skills; and that’s exactly the point. The future is interdisciplinary, and success in the next twenty years means having more than one area of expertise. These global shifts have already started affecting the Sri Lankan career landscape. Presenting a promising new response for this emerging new future, AOD recently announced a groundbreaking interdisciplinary model for higher education in Sri Lanka. 

Allowing students and parents a 360 degree view of this fresh approach to higher education, an open house weekend will be held 20, 21 July at the Colombo Innovation Tower where AOD has just moved in to. The two-day event has been specifically designed to create an immersive experience of what interdisciplinary education is all about, and how it ties into the modern business world in the face of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 

The career landscape of 2025

Shedding some light on what it’s really like out there for big corporations, businesses and organisations hiring talent right now, Managing Director of Design Corp Group of Companies in Sri Lanka, Lin Gong-Deustchmann shared her viewpoints: “When we look for talent, especially for more middle management to senior roles, we need people who can approach problems in new ways, who can see things from new perspectives and feel confident in trying new ideas. This is where we’ve really started to value interdisciplinary skill-sets. We want managers who can think like designers, tech experts who understand the economics of successful products and business brains with the ability to think outside the box and work creatively”.

Lin’s thinking echoes what most business leaders are thinking right now; everyone wants an all-rounder. Companies now want employees who can evaluate problems and develop solutions quickly, without supervision and direction. Changes to the workplace will also increase the need for skilled critical thinkers. Traditionally, the workplace involved experienced individuals with one specialty working in one domain, but now, companies want people with diverse skills who can tackle all aspects of an entire problem to develop the best solution. 

Education to match emerging realities

The degree mix that AOD released in April 2019 was a groundbreaking one with studies in technology, design and business. It responds to the needs of a plethora of industries from apparel, tourism, information technology, retail, FMCG, television and film. It was a proposition to study-forward; instead of studying backwards, to prepare for the reality of the job market in 2025. “The idea of ‘studying forward’ is that you basically stop following the same old technology, business and design courses that were relevant for the 1990’s and 2000’s, like most students are still doing. If you don’t study forward, by the time you graduate, your skills will only get you a low or medium level salary and you will have to work very hard to get past that hurdle, and compete with people who have more updated skills,”said AOD creative directorKaren MacLeod. 

Extraordinary Minds: A weekend to immerse in interdisciplinary experiences

AOD’s Extraordinary Minds open house weekend is all about bringing interdisciplinary studying and working to the spotlight, and presenting them as an immersive experience within the Colombo Innovation Tower, which is probably the most inspiring innovation catalyst space in Sri Lanka. The open house weekend allows students and parents alike to walk in freely to Colombo Innovation Tower and to AOD, and join sessions on career guidance for the interdisciplinary new future, workshops that bridge knowledge in photography, 3D product making, app creation, fashion and styling and branding as well as interesting intersections between education and entertainment like gaming design and fashion show production. The open house weekend will be a rare opportunity to demystify interdisciplinary education, what it means, and the careers that it will open up for you in Sri Lanka and abroad. 

For more information on the Open House and registrations call 077 572 7772,follow them on Instagram @aod_design or hit AOD.LK.

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