THE PERCEPTION OF ENGINEERING STUDENTS ABOUT THE FIFTH TECHNOLOGICAL WAVE

D. Popa, G.M. Moraru

"Lucian Blaga" University of Sibiu (ROMANIA)
The main purpose of the paper is to demonstrate the openness that students in engineering faculties have to the technological changes predicted by specialists. Many experts believe that Industry 5.0 will raise new challenges for human society, compared to Industry 4.0. In this context, we believe that academics who teach at engineering faculties need to enlighten students about the differences between Industry 4.0 and Industry 5.0. Students must first understand that the transition from robots that know how to perform predefined actions to robots that know how to learn is a major challenge for all areas of activity. Therefore, the paper presents firstly the opinions of the authors regarding the impact that Industry 5.0 can have on the processes carried out in higher education institutions. Of course, these opinions are based on the specialty literature that analyzes the fifth industrial revolution. Secondly, the paper summarizes the results of an online research conducted among students in their final years at the Faculty of Engineering of the "Lucian Blaga" University of Sibiu, Romania, students employed in various companies. This research has shown that students are open to possible technological changes, even if they involve risks from the perspective of the possibility of losing their jobs or increasing obstacles in developing their own career. Finally, we appreciate that the respondents' attachment to knowledge is the one that helped them get through the first part of the COVID-19 crisis and will help them to realize their professional dreams in the future.