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Data and digitally driven cities are the way of the future. From city planners working with data tech companies to track bike routes, to innovative future cities that use digital innovation for everything from waste collection to education, we’re already well on our way to our future revolving around technology.
It’s no big surprise then that people will be the ones needed to build this new infrastructure. Cities will need people to develop, support and maintain the future city and its on-going growth. This means new jobs. And a lot of new jobs, according to Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn, VP and GM of services and chief knowledge officer for Cisco Systems. Beliveau-Dunn is also the President and Chairman of the Internet of Things Talent Consortium.
Earlier this year she took part in a live webinar and presented on Building Human Capital For Sustainable Cities - filling the talent pipeline for smart urban systems. We’ve taken a closer look at her presentation to understand what type of people and jobs will be needed at the forefront of these innovative future cities.
Humanity is urbanising at a staggeringly fast pace and this is creating challenges worldwide. Populations are growing, there’s more traffic on the road, crime is going up, fewer resources are available to cope with demand and governments are quickly starting to realise that they need to cater to the changing needs of their citizens. Governments haven’t dealt with issues like this before. And they need great minds to develop solutions to meet these challenges head on.
According to Beliveau-Dunn future smart cities will be designed to improve and simplify the lives of citizens by unifying technology and physical infrastructure. And they will need to use digital technology to achieve this.
Beliveau-Dunn says to meet these challenges people will need to have a balance of technical skills and cognitive aptitude. She also says public and private organisations will need to become increasingly more technologically savvy. She predicts 50% of all jobs will require some kind of technical acumen, whether you’re in retail, energy, waste management, transport etc.
There will also be a strong element of critical skills needed too — a combination between 21st Century Skills, Global Leadership Skills and Entrepreneurial Skills. And this workforce of the future will need continual learning and upskilling to stay ahead of the curb and meet the growing demand.
With this all being said Beliveau-Dunn made a number of predictions on what technology jobs these future cities will need. She believes putting the talent at the centre of the cities will create a smarter and more competitive workforce.
Roles such as Data Scientists, Cloud Architects and Cyber Security Analysts are already constantly sought out. And no wonder, it’s been predicted that by 2019 there will be a global shortage of 2,000,000 cyber security professionals. Beliveau-Dunn says it’s the digital enabled city can drive economic development and these cities will need these types of specialists to get there.
To drive innovation and enable cities to deal with their citizens rising challenges governments need to become technology savvy. Beliveau-Dunn’s prediction on the top jobs isn’t unrealistic — we can see a number of the jobs she predicted to be in high demand already are. But one thing is for certain, if you work in IT and you constantly upskill yourself, you will have much less of a challenge to find work.
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