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.