What We Learned at HI-TEC

The National Convergence Technology Center (CTC) cast a long shadow at the recent High Impact Technology Exchange Conference (HI-TEC) in St. Louis, Missouri.  CTC grant partners disseminated best practices and shared resources through a pre-conference workshop (“New IT/Security Virtual Lab and Internet of Things Showcase”) and four breakout sessions (“Maximizing Business Engagement to Support Your Students,” “DevSecOps = DevOps + Secure Coding,” “Teaching IoT Concepts with the Raspberry Pi,” and “Developing Effective Career Pathways Ecosystem for Cybersecurity Programs”).  You can learn more about those sessions here (http://nationalctc.nationalctcwiki.org/presentations).  In addition, the CTC hosted two student posters at the event and ran an exhibit hall booth. It was a very busy three days indeed.

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National Convergence Technology Center’s Exhibition Booth at HI-TEC.

Below are a few highlights of what we learned at HI-TEC:

* Eighty-eight percent of the Fortune 500 companies from the 1950s are no longer in business.  For the most part, that was not an intentional choice.  Change is inevitable.  But it’s not enough to know change is coming; companies must take action. If you’re not the disruptor, you will be disrupted.

* For those who complain about Generation Z or millennial workers’ generational habits or personalities, remember that the workforce today is a very different place than it was 20 years ago.  New workers today face immense uncertainty and career confusion.

* At a time when the business world is merging software development with security, academia is often creating more separation between those disciplines.

* In the next ten years, five million more people will leave the workforce than will enter it.

* In a recent new hire/recent graduate poll, a majority of respondents expressed surprise that 35-40% of their time on the job was spent talking to other people.

* Here are 15 human skills needed for the workforce of the future:

  1. Critical thinking and analysis
  2. Cognitive flexibility
  3. Creativity and originality
  4. Social and emotional intelligence
  5. Entrepreneurial mindset
  6. Ideation and innovation
  7. Judgment and decision making
  8. Reasoning and complex problem-solving
  9. Self-motivation and initiative
  10. Leadership and social influence
  11. Collaboration and team orientation
  12. Effective communication
  13. Active learning and learning strategies
  14. Systems analysis & evaluation
  15. Technology design and programming

* Students will benefit if the classroom environment is designed to mimic the workplace.  This means not only things like a policy of zero deadline extensions, but also a reminder that on the job if you can’t get along with others on your team you could get terminated (not just reassigned to another team).

* Sixty percent of software defects arise in the software phase.  A $1 design defect can turn into a $60-$100 cost after shipment.  Further, 99% of exploited software vulnerabilities are vulnerabilities known by IT experts for at least 12 months.

* The old, familiar paradigm of learn-work-retire is over.  Now the paradigm is more of a learn-work-learn-work-learn-work and then maybe retire.  Lifelong learning is essential.

* Employers often decide on a job candidate within the first five minutes of the job interview.

* Author and futurist Ray Kurzweil predicts that the 21st century will produce not 100 years of technological improvement, but closer to 20,000 years of technological improvement.  By 2030, 800 million workers could be displaced by automation.

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