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The Internet of Employment – the workforce behind a connected future

By next year, it is estimated that 25 billion devices will already be connected to the internet, with that figure set to double to 50 billion by 2020. These connected ‘devices’ won’t simply be computers, they will range from alarm clocks, cars, coffee makers, fridges, baby monitors and smart watches, to street lighting, parking meters and planes.

Having this quantity of connected devices has the potential to change and improve the way we live our lives. It is already possible to adjust your central heating remotely, but imagine being able to tell your coffee maker to turn on, on the way home from work? Or have your GP assess you remotely via the data coming from your health monitor or even smart watch?

In fact, according to the 2014 Cisco Connected World Technology Report (CCWTR), launched today, roughly 8 in 10 professionals even believe middle income workers will have robots that can assist them with various work related activities at some point in the future.  The possibilities are endless. However, for this to become a reality, we need a workforce of technicians and engineers capable of building such a connected network. Imagine the skills needed to manage and maintain an army of connected robot assistants!

Internet of Employment

First of all, the networks needed to create the Internet of Everything (IoE) on such a large scale needs to be built, creating job opportunities for those with specialist IoE networking skills. Fifty billion plus connected devices (not to mention the robots) will create an incredible amount of data – leading to a pressing demand for data scientists to make sense of this information.  Security will also be front of mind, creating jobs for IoE security specialists.  This is not to mention the applications we haven’t even dreamt of yet which will suddenly become possible in an IoE-enabled world, opening up innumerable opportunities for IoE entrepreneurs to flourish.

Technology isn’t just shaping the jobs of the future and the skills we need to fulfil them, it’s shaping the way we work too. The CCWTR also reveals that the majority of Generation X and Y professionals believe that smartphones and wearable devices will be the workforce’s most important ‘connected’ device.  This will enable new ways of working; such as creating ‘supertaskers’ – people who can successfully do more than two things at once, and do them well.

Wanted: 900,000 IT Pros

However, today’s global ICT skills shortage could seriously hamper this connected vision. Realising this potential depends on the individuals and having the skills and knowledge to harness the opportunities IoE provides. Currently the outlook is bleak, with the EU already expecting that there will be up to 900,000 ICT vacancies by 2015.

This is why I, and many of our education partners were in Barcelona last month to launch the first global IoE curriculum, introduced by the Cisco Networking Academy.  The new curriculum seeks to help close the broadening ICT skills gap and empower a new generation of innovators to embrace the IoE’s full possibilities. Cisco Networking Academy also recently launched an IoE ‘Smart Grid’ curriculum, which gives electricians the Internet Protocol (IP) skills to service the millions of potential new intelligent smart grid devices that are due to be installed in EU households by 2020.

Smarter teaching – smarter living

Initiatives like Cisco Networking Academy, and support for ICT related skill development, can make a massive difference and create employment on a large scale in both the short and long term. Barcelona’s Smart City programme provides a great example of the positive potential of IoE, creating 47,000 new jobs through innovations from smart bus shelters to a smart waste management system.

Europe has a chance to grasp the opportunities IoE can bring -- by equipping people with the skills required to meet the soaring demand for the new jobs created in a world where everything is connected.  Five million students have already enrolled in Cisco Networking Academy in the last 17 years, with over 9000 academies present in 170 countries. With the new IoE courses in place, Networking Academy students now have the chance to gain the skills needed to drive the workforce of the future – and be an integral part of the IoE journey.

 

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Five Ways We Can Prepare the Next Generation of Workers for Tomorrow’s Technology

Consider this: Many of today’s top jobs didn’t exist 10 years ago – jobs like app developers, social media managers, and cloud computing administrators. By 2018, it’s predicted that there will be 21 billion networked devices and connections globally. The Internet of Everything (IoE) will bring it all together, but it’s people that will make the connections possible.

The good news… the digital age is creating millions of information technology (IT) job opportunities for people. The bad news… we aren’t developing IT talent fast enough to keep up with the pace of demand.

A ManpowerGroup study shows that in the Americas, 39 percent of employers report hiring challenges caused by IT talent shortages. Acute shortages were reported by employers in Brazil, India, Turkey, Hong Kong, and Japan, where that number skyrockets to 85 percent.

These numbers show that career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields are more plentiful than ever. Unfortunately in the U.S., many students lack foundational STEM skills, as shown by a recent Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education report. Read More »

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NetAcad Students Win 2 of 3 Medals in WorldSkills Competition for Networking Administration

I am still in awe at the incredible WorldSkills event that took place in Leipzig, Germany last week. It was truly amazing to see thousands of the most talented youth from around the world compete for the top title in their skill.

World Skills brings top international trainees age 23 and younger to compete for medals in 46 official disciplines — from cooking to IT networking.

The closing ceremony brought tears of joy and shouts of excitement as the names of each competition winner were unveiled, bringing to an end the intense week in Germany. Seeing the sheer joy on the winner’s faces was emotional and an experience I will never forget.

Skill #39 medal winners Takuya Nishide, Jason Soh, and  Hui-zhong Liu

Skill #39 medal winners Takuya Nishide, Jason Soh, and Hui-zhong Liu. Photo courtesy WorldSkills.

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Cisco Networking Academy Fields Dream Team for Cisco Live!

Today, I had the opportunity to speak with students of the Cisco Networking Academy. These students were selected to run the network at Cisco Live this year and run the Cisco Network Operations Center (NOC).

Cisco Networking Academy Dream Team at CiscoLive! 2013An innovative information and communications technology (ICT) education program, the Cisco Networking Academy provides a million students worldwide with the skills needed to design, build, manage and secure computer networks. This educations provides a pathway to ICT jobs, further education and globally-recognized industry certifications.

I’m very proud to say that many of the Networking Academy students are veterans. In fact, the Army at Fort Gordon, Georgia trains over 2,600 soldiers annually in its Networking Academy program. Read More »

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A Half Million Likes on Facebook: Cisco Networking Academy Uses Social Media to Engage and Educate

Hilal_ChoumanThis post was written by Hilal Chouman, social media strategist for Cisco Networking Academy

Since late 2009, Cisco Networking Academy (NetAcad), one of Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs, has been present on various social media networks. The earliest presence was on the rising social network of that time: Facebook.

In late 2010, NetAcad’s Facebook page hit its first 100,000 likes. After this milestone, the Facebook page continued its growth, following the growth of the number of students in the NetAcad program.

Today, NetAcad’s Facebook page hit a half million likes (fans).

Cisco Networking Academy 500K Fans

It is amazing how a social presence can accelerate in content and size, as soon as it grasps the right connection with the audience.

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