5 March 2018 | by Jennifer McNeil-Haddad

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In the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Digital Skillsets Seize the Day

To think of this time in history as an industrial revolution is both exciting and unsettling, from a business perspective, but here we are! The Digital Talent Dividend: Shifting Gears in a Changing Economy, report released this year by the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) compiled with support from Microsoft Canada, captures a snapshot of the current, and predicted explosive demand for digitally skilled employees across all industries.

“Digital technology is increasingly necessitating business growth, and business growth is increasingly tied to digital technology.”  (Source: ICTC)

A follow-up to Digital Talent: Road to 2020 and Beyond, Canada’s first national digital strategy , the new report refers to the “digital talent divide” as the “fourth Industrial Revolution,” and focuses on Five Key Transformative Technologies:

1. 3D printing – changing manufacturing
2. Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Somewhat unexpected consequence of AI development is the increased necessity of for uniquely human skillsets such as those required in Human Resources, Communications, and creative occupations.
3. 5G connectivity – referred to as the future of the collective economy, essential to global competitiveness
4. Blockchain – In an era of frequent and disturbing data breaches, the data security packaged into the promise of Blockchain is an attractive proposition for the financial industry, voting mechanisms and counter-fraud measures to name a few.
5. Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR & AR) is foreseen to have the most effect on Healthcare and medical advancements but with implications for engineering, architecture, entertainment, communications, and even defence.

To remain competitive, the report suggests “greater emphasis on digitization and leveraging critical transitional training programs that help employees gain the digital skills they need to survive in the economy of tomorrow.”

An indication of an active and leading ecosystem can be found in response to the need to encourage competitiveness and offer innovative training and professional development opportunities. We are seeing a great response to this challenge from within our ecosystem through offerings that fulfill the need for a complete range of digital skillsets from beginner to seasoned professional. We thought we would highlight a few up and coming sessions being held:

• The Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity (CIC) is offering a foundations course in cybersecurity for Information Technology professionals from March 26th-29th.
• Ladies Learning Code also known as Canada Learning Code is offering beginner one-day courses in setting up webpages using code, in Fredericton. To register  for the March 21 & 28 session click here.
Mariner Innovations has developed a full range of certification course offerings for IT professionals looking to develop and branch out into other roles. Their Information System Security Officer (ISSO) training is coming up, from March 19-23, offering exposure to a range of information system security topics to help oversee enterprise security.

CyberNB is a Special Operating Agency of Opportunities NB.
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