March - 2015 - issue > In My Opinion

Transforming the Future with Next Generation of Technologists

By Luis Alvarez, CEO, BT Global Services
Thursday, February 26, 2015
By Luis Alvarez, CEO, BT Global Services
A division of BT Group (LSE: BT-AL), BT Global Services delivers a combination of communication and IT Services to organizations and governments worldwide.

The New Year promises to deliver significant opportunities, challenges, along with risks, for IT and business. Looking at the trends outlook and predictions being made for 2015, one thing is certain: technology will continue to surprise and impact our lives in different ways. The most successful businesses this year will be those that adapt to new technologies perfectly. This will give them an early mover advantage, establishing their position in the market before the less insightful jump on board. That must, of course, be balanced against the market potential of each technology, and the need to ensure a harmonious spread of talent and resources. While there were a number of business and technology trends that played significant roles in shaping the enterprise last year, the most far reaching impact this year will be created by harnessing the potential of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workers.

It's easy to take for granted all the astounding innovations that now constitute everyday technology; from last minute shopping at the click of a button, to video calls that allow us to connect with relatives and loved ones across continents – even in the remotest of regions. These inventions continue to change the way people live their lives, how companies do business, and how governments serve their citizens, but could the stream of innovators that create these breakthroughs be about to run dry?

A CBI survey revealed that many firms currently recruiting in the engineering and tech sectors are experiencing difficulties finding candidates with core STEM based credentials. As a graduate of engineering myself, I find this both surprising and deeply concerning. The career paths and experiences open to STEM graduates are second to none. What's more, in today's ultra-competitive graduate jobs market, STEM fields continue to open doors to new and exciting opportunities. One of the most important responsibilities that companies currently have is to create more jobs for young people. Contributing to society is as important as making profit for shareholders.

I'm certainly not the only one of my peers to have made the transition from a more traditional STEM career – as an engineer – into the world of business. Many of Silicon Valley's most famous success stories – Apple to Facebook – owe their success to a passionate founder with a career in STEM. But the challenge that lies ahead is two-fold. First, how do we support and inspire this passion amongst those who are interested in STEM and convert this into careers. And second, how do we make STEM more attractive to students who are shying away from it? Put simply, how do we motivate more students to specialize in STEM fields?

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