IEEE Industry Engagement Committee Reveals Top Trends and Tech Shaping the “Future of the Workforce” in Latest Report
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LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., 1 November 2022 — The IEEE Industry Engagement Committee today published its latest report, Future of Workforce (FoW), revealing the top trends and technologies shaping tomorrow’s global technological workforce. The report, a result of two years of research led by a team of IEEE experts and informed by leading technology professionals, also identifies the primary practices necessary to support and foster the continued growth and development of the new labor market.
“The COVID-19 pandemic upended many facets of the ways in which we work,” said Dejan Milojicic, distinguished technologist at Hewlett Packard Labs and former IEEE Computer Society (CS) president (2014). “While some aspects of our work environment have returned to pre-pandemic ways, many others have not, and evidence suggests that they won’t. Given IEEE CS’s commitment to the continued development and advancement of the global tech community, it was important to identify the factors influencing the ‘new normal’ to ensure we can support and encourage the workforce of tomorrow. The findings from the Future of Workforce Report allow us to do just that.”
Based on the results of expert-led panel events held in 10 regions across the globe featuring a representative mix of technological professionals, and a comprehensive survey of IEEE Members on aspects of the future of the workforce, the FoW Report uncovered a number of recurring trends and key factors that have impacted and will continue to affect the future of the technological workforce. Findings include the rise of emerging economies (economic perspective); global warming (ecological perspective); more remote offices and the distance economy (technological perspective) and increased expectation of trust and ethical behaviors (societal perspective).
Additionally, the report revealed some of the top technological advancements transforming and enabling the workforce of tomorrow. Key innovations/developments identified include Bring Your Own Device (BYOD); Artificial Intelligence (AI) as knowledge; quantum computing; and smart building and smart cities, to name a few.
Not only does the FoW Report present findings, but it also proposes actionable practices that the larger ecosystem, including industry professionals, governments, academia, and professional organizations, should embrace to support the emerging workforce. For industry, the report recommends finding ways to foster innovation and creativity in remote settings. For governments, a recommendation is to increase resources to support behavioral skills training. For academia, the report points to the importance of developing teachers with strong intercultural awareness, emotional intelligence, and ethical and critical thinking. And for professional organizations, the report suggests growing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts to help improve equity in labor markets as a means to support the workforce of the future.
“Ultimately what we’ve found is that it’s not just a single action or one set of individuals that will be most successful in engaging, supporting, and growing the evolving workforce,” said Tom Coughlin, President of Coughlin Associates and a lead Future of Workforce Report author. “It’s going to take the full community engaging in a variety of ongoing activities and measures, consistent with the local culture and particular industry segment, to ensure that the workforce, and the industry itself, will continue to thrive.”
“The Future of Workforce Report serves as a powerful tool for the global computer science and engineering community as we all seek to adapt to and support the future of the workforce,” said Nita Patel, 2023 IEEE CS President. “It is our hope that the community can leverage this information and act upon it to help ensure the continued success and advancement of solutions that better serve our world.”
Complementing the release of this report will be a free, live virtual Future Tech Forum roundtable to be held 7 December 2022 from 10 am to 11:30 am ET. Jointly organized by IEEE Future Directions and Computer Society, the roundtable will feature expert speakers including Dejan Milojicic as moderator, and Mercy Chelangat, electrical and humanitarian engineer and IEEE ambassador; Roxana Saint-Nom, electrical engineer and senior member of IEEE; Phillip Laplante, professor of software and systems engineering at The Pennsylvania State University, and Nita Patel, as panelists. To register for the Forum, visit https://bit.ly/FTFwork2022.
About the Future of Workforce Report
The Future of Workforce (FoW) Report is the result of findings from the IEEE FoW Survey and 10 FoW panel events held in Singapore, China, India, Europe, Sub-Sharan Africa, Latin America, Canada, and the Northeast, Southwest, and Midwest United States. Conducted between December 2020 and September 2021, the survey was completed by approximately 1,500 IEEE Members, and 184 individuals from various sectors including industry, academia, and government, participated in the FoW events. Event participants ranged in gender, age, education level, and area of expertise. While the report is an aggregate representation of the views expressed by survey and event participants, information has been distilled and may not exactly reflect the original input. The Report is authored by Martin Arlitt, principal research scientist and research team manager at Micro Focus; Tom Coughlin, President of Coughlin Associates; Paolo Faraboschi, fellow at Hewlett Packard Labs; Eitan Frachtenberg, visiting associate professor of computer science at Reed College; Phil Laplante, professor of software and systems engineering at The Pennsylvania State University; Dejan Milojicic, distinguished technologist at Hewlett Packard Labs and former IEEE CS president (2014); Nita Patel, 2023 Computer Society President; and Roberto Saracco, IEEE 2022 New Initiatives Committee Chair and co-Chair of the Digital Reality Initiative. For more information about the FoW report, visit https://www.computer.org/resources/future-of-workforce-report.
About the IEEE Future Tech Forum
The IEEE Future Tech Forum is a series of audience-engaging roundtable discussions with a focus on leading technologies, frontline issues, crucial challenges, and societal impacts; with global subject-matter experts and thought leaders. Sponsored by IEEE Future Directions, the initiative fosters partnerships and conversations with industry, academia, and government, and also showcases Future Directions initiatives. To learn more, visit https://cmte.ieee.org/futuredirections/future-tech-forum.
About the IEEE Computer Society
Engaging computer engineers, scientists, academia, and industry professionals from all areas of computing, the IEEE Computer Society (CS) sets the standard for the education and engagement that fuels continued global technological advancement. Through conferences, publications, and programs, and by bringing together computer science and engineering leaders at every phase of their career for dialogue, debate, and collaboration, IEEE CS empowers, shapes, and guides the future of not only its members, but the greater industry, enabling new opportunities to better serve our world. Visit computer.org for more information.