Malaysia, Spain first partners in Cisco’s Global STEM alliance
By Digital News Asia November 6, 2013
- Need to empower and educate the next generation of the IoT workforce
- UKM first institute of higher learning to represent Malaysia at the Alliance
CISCO has announced a global commitment to educate and empower current and future generations of Internet of Things (IoT) entrepreneurs, scientists and innovators through its Global STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Alliance.
The Alliance, formed in partnership with the New York Academy of Sciences, will feature Malaysia and Barcelona as the first alliance partners that will bring curriculum resources, intergenerational mentorship and access to cutting-edge science and technology research to students of institute of higher learning in both countries.
Beyond this, the curriculum resources will soon be made available to students around the world, Cisco said in a statement.
The Global STEM Alliance was formed in recognition of the need to empower and educate the next generation of the IoT workforce while also enhancing the skills of current members of the workforce, the company said.
“The Internet of Things is a reality today and will only continue to create unprecedented opportunities,” said Wim Elfrink (pic), Cisco chief globalisation officer and executive vice president of industry solutions.
“Empowering and preparing the next generation workforce to take part in this global opportunity is a critical piece of fuelling IoT innovation,” he added.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) is the first institute of higher learning to represent Malaysia at the Alliance, Cisco said.
“Nothing is more fascinating than to watch students from schools, their teachers and young scientists engage energetically with the best scientific minds in learning how to be successful in the sciences,” said UKM Vice Chancellor Prof. Sharifah Hapsah.
“The Nobelist Mindset programme that UKM developed with the New York Academy of Sciences helps them appreciate creativity, determination and ability to see connections between ideas as key elements in learning STEM.
“We are pleased to join the Alliance together with the New York Academy of Sciences and Cisco in sharing how we develop this learning community with the world," she said.
An enhanced focus on STEM skills is increasingly relevant for graduates to transition into careers in the information technology industry, Cisco said.
According to a recent study published by the World Bank, the information and communication technology (ICT) sector is rapidly growing, with an addressable market of US$800 billion globally. Additionally, it is estimated that over the next 10 years there will be two million unfilled ICT-related jobs globally, with a projected talent gap of 8.2% by 2022.
To address this gap, education and training institutions will need to increase the number of technical graduates significantly – 222,000 more each year between 2014 and 2022.
Recognising this need, Cisco said it is committed to meeting the critical demand for high-skill workers through strategic programmes and collaborations.
The recent announcement reinforces the company’s investment in education, revealing a new portfolio consisting of IoT curricula, assessments and an upcoming Cisco Specialist Certification to advance skills development in industrial networking.
In collaboration with industry leaders, this education portfolio will help meet the growing need for specialised talent that can provide Internet Protocol (IP) networking expertise, with a focus in automation, manufacturing and energy, and future expansion to include equally transformative industries, the company said.
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