What shall we specialize in? What are we going to work? How can we be competitive or at least adequate on the labor market? Those are the questions that originally young people ask themselves, and lately they pop in the mind of everyone of us.
STEM for the sake of STEM
Companies, governments, and professionals are preaching for the young people to dedicated their live and career to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). I visited two lectures this weekend. Simon Singh, one of the world’s most popular science and mathematics writers, shared some cases about major TV productions that try to make equations look cool. Even the screenwriters of The Simpsons were including ‘jokes’ and ‘hints’ that could be appreciated only by mathematicians.
While, prof. Wendy Hall presented the UK AI Sector Deal policy paper, which she co-wrote. The ambition of the British Government to lead the AI technology revolution includes also provisions for the respective capacity building, namely:
Invest an additional £406 million in maths, digital and technical education, helping to address the shortage of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills.
Create a new National Retraining Scheme that supports people to re-skill, beginning with a £64 million investment for digital and construction training.
Students in Bulgaria now prefer the Computer Science field. If they are not majoring, they at least tend to complete a minor or a professional course. A total of eight universities provide the study in their curriculum. In addition, five academies organize various courses and specializations during the year. Not to mention the numerous online courses.
Meanwhile, people that are already part of the working force consider changing their career. They take courses in programming to change their qualification and be able to apply for any of the free positions as junior developers. Even jokes are now circulating that if you don’t have the skills to transform into a software engineer, you can always marry one.
The desire to enter the tech world is not limited only to Bulgaria. Sixteen out of the top 25 companies in the LinkedIn Top Companies 2017: Global Edition are from the technological sector (internet, networking, electronic, software, IT, and automotive). While users on Glassdoor place the tech companies among the top 25 in the 2018 Best Places to Work: Employees’ Choice with the following ratio: eight in the U.K., eleven in the U.S.A., thirteen in Canada, fourteen in France, and seventeen in Germany.
What will all this bring us?
This trend is not a surprise. At the end of the day, everyone wants to be successful. We need to pay the bills, to be able to meet our ‘hygiene’ needs, to provide for our children. But what are we about to miss? Will the humanity miss the next Mahatma Gandhi, Antoine Laurent Lavoisier, Adam Smith, William Shakespeare, Ludwig van Beethoven, Pablo Picasso, Federico Fellini, Sir Anthony Hopkins? Will you miss the doctor, who will save your live or the live of your beloved ones?
Appreciation of every kind of job is needed. While, skills, talent, and commitment should be cherished, no matter that it might not bring the next technological revolution.