A diagnosis to adapt training to the needs of the industry of the future

Artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, cobotics... the development of new technologies is bringing in its wake a profound transformation of industry towards version 5.0. To match training and business needs, the University carried out a diagnosis of the "production chain of the future" as part of the France 2030 AMI-compétences et métiers d'avenir national call for projects, of which it was the winner.

"The aim of the diagnosis is to determine the needs of local companies in the field of the production chain of the future, and to see what needs to be improved in our training offer, in particular to enhance the professional integration of our students", explains Jean-François Dubé, project leader and teacher-researcher at the University of Montpellier. The diagnosis launched by the IUT de Béziers, the IUT de Nîmes, Polytech Montpellier and the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Montpellier, as part of the France 2030 AMI-compétences et métiers d'avenir national call for projects, was oriented by the Caisse des Dépôts towards the themes of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, with promising elements for the future training of future company employees.

Differentiated needs among local manufacturers

Now connected, digitalized and robotized, Industry 5.0 is transforming the main components of production lines. These transformations are giving rise to a renewed vision of the organization of work in the factory. The industry of the future is resolutely focused on people (quality of life at work, inclusion) and integrates the challenges of sustainability and eco-responsibility. All the manufacturers surveyed as part of the diagnosis seem to have embarked on the digital transformation of their production chain, but declare that they still have some way to go in this transformation. The region's manufacturers express a greater need for experts in cybersecurity (security architect, cryptologist, secure development specialist, etc.) than in artificial intelligence (AI software designer and developer, data scientist, data analyst, etc.). Conversely, the need for hybrid profiles seems higher in artificial intelligence than in cybersecurity, particularly for engineers capable of playing an active role in the digital transformation of production lines (cobotics or automation engineers, etc.). "Industry players are also expressing a need for skills upgrading in the industry's traditional professions. By 2025, nearly 400 AI technicians and engineers will need to be trained at regional level, and all students will need to be trained in cybersecurity ," explains Jean-François Dubé.

Transforming our training offer

The University of Montpellier offers nearly 25 courses in industry and industrial IT, with over 900 students graduating each year. This ensures a relative continuity of training courses for industrial professions in the region. While the University already offers a number of specialized courses in cybersecurity and, to a lesser extent, AI, the challenge now is to train more students in these areas. From the start of the 2023 academic year, the opening of a new 3-year professional degree at the Béziers IUT will focus on "Robotics and Artificial Intelligence for Industry 4.0 and 5.0". " Ultimately, this diagnosis should enable the University's UFRs, schools and institutes to better guide strategic choices for transforming our training courses, both in terms of the evolution of existing courses and the choice of future teaching equipment to support the hybridization of profiles and the upgrading of learners' skills to improve their employability," concludes Jean-François Dubé.