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How The Internet of Everything Will Change The Job Market

This blog was originally published on the Huffington Post

Students in Milan learning the importance of the Internet of Everything during their hands-on lessons in IT.

Students in Milan learning the importance of the Internet of Everything during their hands-on lessons in IT.

The Internet of Everything (IoE) is poised to generate broad implications across technology and business markets — and especially jobs. Last year, there were more than 201 million people unemployed globally, and this number is expected to increase by three million in 2015 and eight million in the following four years. In fact, the World Economic Forum ranked unemployment as the highest economic risk in terms of probability of occurrence. There is a clear connection between IoE and the job opportunities it creates, which can help alleviate this unemployment challenge, especially among youth.

A new Gartner study, supported by Cisco Corporate Affairs – the “Cisco IoE / IoT Employment Opportunity Creation Analysis” defines the landscape of job opportunities related to IoE. This will be the most exciting phase of the Internet yet, and Cisco believes its impact on society will be five to 10 times greater than the impact of the Internet to date. According to Vision Mobile, there will be 4.5 million entrepreneurs, innovators, and developers working on projects related to IoE by 2020.

In this new report, Gartner predicts that by 2020, four industries will comprise the majority of business services and applications spend: manufacturing, utilities, transportation, and healthcare. In addition, the fastest growing job families from 2014 to 2020 will be digital security and privacy by 28 percent; applications development by 26 percent, application support by 30 percent; systems operations by 29 percent; business analytics by 30 percent; and product design and experience by 29 percent.

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Young People Show Off Their IT Skills at Global Competition

It’s hard to believe 2 years have already passed since I first experienced WorldSkills in Leipzig, Germany. The intensity and energy of the week were unforgettable, so I’m excited to be back this year, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to experience it again.

I always feel inspired meeting young people who take their skills to the next level. WorldSkills is one of the best events to do just that – this vigorous 4-day competition tests young people’s vocational skills, ranging from hairdressing to carpentry to robotics to IT network systems administration. More than 1000 competitors travel from 50+ countries around the world with the hopes to take home a medal at the end of the week.

Cisco is a strong supporter of World Skills and the opportunity it provides for young people to showcase their talent. Specifically we sponsor Skill #39, IT Network Systems Administration. This year we will meet top talent from 36 countries who will compete in Skill #39 – the largest number in this skill ever. And, approximately 90% of them are enrolled in Cisco Networking Academy courses.

Jean-Philippe Desbiens represented Canada in Skill #39 at WorldSkills 2013. He was later hired  by Cisco in Montreal.

Jean-Philippe Desbiens represented Canada in Skill #39 at WorldSkills 2013. He was later hired by Cisco in Montreal.

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IT Competitions Unleash Critical Thinking and Hone Job Skills

One year from now more than 10,500 athletes from 205 National Olympic Committees will put their skills and perseverance to the test at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Next year’s medal winners may go on to become professional athletes, role models, and commercial spokespeople – for many, the visibility and success they achieve in front of an international audience launches their careers.

Most of us are familiar with the world’s largest international multi-sport event. But it might surprise you to learn that next week a different kind of global competition will take place in Brazil. Instead of tennis, swimming, or gymnastics, next week’s participants will show off their abilities in 50 professional fields – ranging from carpentry and cooking to robotics and web design.

Held every two years, the WorldSkills competition inspires and prepares today’s young people to become the skilled professionals of tomorrow. Participants also gain hands-on experience that helps them stand out with employers.

The Internet of Everything economy will create many opportunities for creative, tech-savvy people everywhere. As a WorldSkills Global Partner, Cisco provides networking infrastructure and sponsors an entire segment of the competition – IT Network Systems Administration, or Skill #39.

A student competes in Skill #39, IT Network Systems Administration, at WorldSkills 2013 in Leipzig, Germany. About 90% of Skill #39 competitors participate in Cisco Networking Academy. Photo courtesy WorldSkills.

A student competes in Skill #39, IT Network Systems Administration, at WorldSkills 2013 in Leipzig, Germany. About 90% of Skill #39 competitors participate in Cisco Networking Academy. Photo courtesy WorldSkills.

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Why We Need More Tech Talent to Digitize the World

This blog was originally published on the Huffington Post ImpactX.

Digitization. This topic was top of mind for many of the 2,500 world business and government leaders at the recent World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Digitization is the full-scale adoption of computer- and Internet-enabled technologies by consumers, businesses and governments; it is important because it can grow economies and create jobs.

In fact, according to the 2013 Global Information Technology Report, adoption of such information and communication technologies (ICT) provided a $193 billion boost to world economic output and created 6 million jobs in 2011. Read More »

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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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