STEM Students Soon Society Scarcity

STEM students Soon Society Shortage

In a world where all business sectors will migrate into the Networked Society, certain competencies will become a precious resource. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) talent will be the crude oil on which the future Networked Society will run. Demand will surpass supply for the foreseeable future, and the STEM shortage will not only be an issue for the tech sector.

As business migrates into the Networked Society, it becomes increasingly dependent on technology. Is a connected watch a clock with a tech addition, or is it a piece of technology that is also capable of showing the time? Is a connected car a car with a tech add-on or a computing platform mounted on a rolling chassi? Is a connected camera a phone with integrated camera or a camera with integrated connectivity? The thing that all sectors will have in common is their connection to, and dependency on mobile technology. And this aspect is rapidly growing, reaching the point where mobile networking is becoming an integral part of the development of most businesses.

STEM talent is already in short supply globally, and shortage is not going away anytime soon as demand rise across multiple industry sectors. Computer science and mobile networking skills are perhaps the safest bet today for a future career in the Networked Society. The biggest difference from the past is that future skills will be more application-centric, and will work across technologies.

Just adding STEM talent will not be enough. The surge in demand will drive new forms of cross-company collaboration. STEM talent has historically been an in-house resource for tech companies. Many Networked Society companies will rely on external STEM resources for certain parts of their business processes. A related challenge involves what to define as your differentiation in the market.

Some predictions of the future are:
* The transition to a Networked Society will drive technology deeper into most business sectors that we today consider as non-tech.
* STEM talent will face high demand and short supply for the foreseeable future.
* The transition to a Networked Society will create new interfaces between companies, often with critical tech skills residing outside the company.

Little Ladies Love Laptops & LTE

38. Little ladies love laptops and LTE

This is the first generation of children who are growing up with tablets. Some young children have used these devices and the apps on them for close to three years, but up until now most of that use has been restricted to broadband in Wi-Fi enabled homes. So what will Generation Z and the Pluralist generation dream of for the future?

Last year, an 8 year old sent a wish-list sent to Santa Claus that consisted of just 6 letters: ‘Laptop’. After a deeper investigation it became clear this 8-year old considered tablets to be for kids who did not know the alphabet yet nor difference between left and right mouse clicks. But for someone like this 8-year old, who had both these skills, the obvious choice was to trade-up and become a laptop-enabled citizen.

Just upping the game on the device itself may not be enough. Most kids have figured out by now that the tablet is broken in many ways. It doesn’t work outside their home, not in the car, nor on planes. They see their parents being on the phone everywhere and they wonder why the bigger tablet don’t work in the same locations. Integrated 3G and 4G connectivity is demanded first, in some cases, by the youngest members of the family.

These trends tie into young children’s transition from pure content consumers, in the form of apps and games, to content creators. As they start the journey of creating content on their own, they will experience the same connectivity limitations with tablets that adults experience. And since they have grown up with tablets they might instead skip laptops altogether and go straight to an ultra-book as long as they can get the mouse and keyboard they are looking for.

My predictions of the future for the youngest Networked Society members are:

• Tablets will remain their first computer with a starting age of around year 2 or 3.
• Their demand for an environment enabling content creation will arise when they learn how to read and write.
• Handwriting skills will be impacted, as children adopt laptops and ultra-books very early on in their lives.
• Full-fledged connectivity is relevant to very young people who don’t have preconceived notions about how to connect to the network. They prefer to stay connected all the time.