An Article by Alicia Asín, Libelium CEO
The educational gap between skills demanded by IoT companies and practical knowledge of
workforce could decrease (endanger) the expected growing of the market.
Only 120 students out of 1,200 worldwide participants were capable to finish the first
edition of the free online educational program that Libelium, the IoT solutions company,
promotes to find the best future developers.
The best well-known research companies are continuously publishing reports with estimates and forecasts on the burgeoning IoT market, including device growth, amount invested and potential return on investment. But there is an important reality that only a few warn: the educational gap and practical knowledge absence to cover the workforce needed to develop IoT solutions.
The last Business Insider Intelligence report (July 2016) forecasts that there will be 34 billion
devices connected to the Internet by 2020, and Gartner predicted in the symposium held six months ago that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from 2015. Moreover, IoT devices will account for 24 billion by 2020, while traditional computing devices (e.g. smartphones, tablets, smartwatches) will comprise 10 billion. They also states that nearly $6 trillion will be spent on IoT solutions over the next five years.
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Current students must select their degrees knowing that around 4,5 million of job positions will be required to work as IoT developer in the next years and technology progresses so fast that demand is growing daily. In fact, 26% of European companies do not find the right profiles for their vacant positions. The Internet of Things market opens a new opportunity for electronic and computing engineers and Libelium is focusing on education by training current students that will be the future leaders in the sector.
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Nevertheless, the fact is that today only a ten per cent of 1,200 student participants has been capable to finish the first edition of The IoT Spartans Challenge, the online educational program that Libelium opened to find the best Internet of Things (IoT) developers among worldwide engineering universities and technical schools. Twelve universities engaged actively the challenge and we expected to publish a ranking with, at least, 300 finalists (300 Spartans!!!!) but the reality shows that students are not enough prepared to follow the practical lessons in IoT development and less than 50% finish the challenge. Luckily, Jerjes was not planning to attack – at least not yet. Because the danger is not in slowering IoT adoption but in ensuring its continuity in the long term.
Due to the increasing demand of IoT solutions and the leadership of the company, Libelium
workforce grows a 30% per year and the aim of this training program is to cover the gap between the skills demanded by IoT companies and the practical knowledge of future developers that are studying today Computing or Electronic Engineering.
The webinars and exams of our educational program are not only for gifted students. They are based on the practical development that our staff has to deal everyday. From all the international universities enrolled, Technological University of Panama was the first classified and there were also three individual winners from Italy (Emanuele Goldoni), Tunisia (Khaled Brahem) and Spain (Sergio López). All of them have won specific IoT knowledge that will enable to extend their technical education, freshen job skills and prepare for a professional career in IoT world.
However, its promising future can be further guaranteed only if we all help to ensure it. For this reason, Education team at Libelium is already preparing the second edition of The IoT Spartans Challenge that will start in January 2017. We have decided to remain the platform open during summer to give the opportunity to universities and schools to organize summer camps on electronics with material provided.
This should be a shared commitment of corporate and social responsibility including governments, educational institutions and private companies to reinforce employment opportunities for future generations. The more “Spartans” we have for the future, the greater will IoT market be and the faster it will reach our companies and lives.