Government Agencies Need To Look Before They Leap Into The IoT

A joint Northeastern University-Silicon Valley and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) survey about the Internet of Things finds 37.8 percent of surveyed engineers say data aggregation and data analysis are the biggest IoT challenges facing government agencies. Another 25.7 percent of respondents cite current inadequate skill levels of workers as the main obstacle. In fact, the need for a well-trained workforce far exceeded the need to create a comprehensive IoT strategy, which just 6.4 percent of respondents named as their top IoT challenge.


Another big surprise involved the career strengths chosen as most relevant for success in IoT. A large 58.8 percent majority of respondents listed the need for communications skills, including an ability to explain ideas or concepts clearly and effectively. That compares to just 19.5 percent of respondents who cited deep industry knowledge as the most relevant skill, and 14 percent who cited collaboration.

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Likewise, 53.7 percent of respondents said they seek to acquire skills in systems design and integration, followed by 49.3 percent who want to build skills in data communications. That compares to just 4.7 percent of respondents who desire new skills in data science.


To build a lasting career in IoT, the emphasis on softer skills such as communication and collaboration support a growing need for real-world human abilities vs. technical strengths in computer science, according to PK Agarwal, CEO and Regional Dean of Northeastern University-Silicon Valley. More info about the survey is available.

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