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Sunday, June 11, 2017

IoT skills set to rise in importance | IDG Connect

Photo: Nicholas Fearn
"Technology revolutions come and go, but if there’s one that’s here to stay for the next few decades, it’s the Internet of Things. As an industry in its own right, IoT is set to take the world by storm and introduce a range of new possibilities." summarizes Nicholas Fearn, technology journalist from the Welsh valleys.

Photo: IDG Connect

According to IHS, the market will grow from 15.4 billion connected devices in 2015 to a staggering 30.7 billion in 2020. As well as the sheer number of devices growing, the industry will also generate massive amounts of revenue. A report from Zinnov Zones claims that spending on IoT products will reach 253 billion by 2021

When you take the numbers into account, it becomes clear that there’ll be a need for highly skilled people to develop these devices and ensure they’re always safe. Just to demonstrate, a study published in 2014 by VisionMobile found that the industry will need 4.5 million developers by 2020. The right training is fundamental to plugging the skills gap but what must this deliver in practice?

Training needs to be specific
Education is important in any industry, but where the Internet of Things is concerned, nothing is clear cut. The market covers a wide variety of areas, so when it comes to accessing training and academic courses, students need to have an idea of what they actually want to do in the future.

Craig Smith, director of IoT and analytics solutions of EMEA at multinational IT firm Tech Data, believes that a combination of education and practical experience is fundamental in shaping the IoT pros of the future. Practitioners and course leaders, he says, can help students achieve this and find the right routes for them. 

“Training and education always matter. Importantly for IoT, education, knowledge and technical skills are catalysts for innovation and getting more from technology. A lack of technical skills can result in all manner of issues, including unplanned downtime or loss of data,” he tells IDG Connect.

“Having the latest certifications is the best way for an IT professional to show employers and customers they have the skills and competence to use products correctly and optimally. IoT is very broad and covers many disciplines, which is why expert trainers can help students find the right courses for their journey to certification.”

Smith says that courses should be flexible and tailored to the needs of students. “The quality of the course is highly important—make sure it is the latest vendor-authorised course and delivered by certified instructors. Good training providers will offer a high degree of flexibility, with courses delivered on site, online or self-paced, depending upon the students’ preferred learning style,” he adds.
Avoiding an IoT skills gap
When a new technology trend emerges, it’s important for companies and IT professionals to readjust their skillsets. Otherwise, there’s the risk of falling behind the crowd. MRL Group, an employment agency based in Hove, has begun dedicating resources to placing people in IoT roles around the world.

Terry Hiscock, principal account manager at the firm, believes that a skills gap will open up if more isn’t done to target pupils when they are making their career decisions. “The adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) is increasing across almost every industry, as technology advances and we move towards an ever connected world,” he says.

Source: IDG Connect