Broad Survey of IEEE Engineers Reveals Surprising IoT Trends

Workforce Skills Are Lacking, according to Data Compiled
by Northeastern University-Silicon Valley

SAN JOSE, Calif., July 25, 2017— Northeastern University-Silicon Valley recently surveyed more than 500 members of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the responses yielded surprising findings about the challenges facing the fast-growing field for the Internet of Things (IoT).

According to 37.8% of surveyed engineers, data aggregation and data analysis ranked as the biggest IoT challenges. Another 25.7% of respondents cited current inadequate skill levels of workers as the industry’s 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% 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% 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% of respondents who cited deep industry knowledge as the most relevant skill, and 14.0% who cited collaboration.

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

“The IEEE survey results clearly demonstrate that introducing change and developing new products requires a change agent with strong communication and collaboration skills,” Agarwal said. “As a result, more people from diverse career backgrounds should consider retraining for successful roles in growth sectors such as IoT, artificial intelligence and machine learning.”

About Northeastern University-Silicon Valley

Founded in 1898, Northeastern is a global, experiential, research university built on a tradition of engagement with the world, creating a distinctive approach to education and research. The university offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs leading to degrees through the doctorate in nine colleges and schools, and select advanced degrees at graduate campuses in Silicon Valley, Charlotte, North Carolina, Seattle, and Toronto.


Media Contact:
JoAnn Yamani, Esq., APR