Interested, he talked to a counselor to learn more about P-TECH, an early college program where he could earn an associate’s degree along with his high school diploma. Liking the sound of the program, he enrolled in the inaugural P-TECH class as a freshman at Longmont’s Skyline High School.
“I really loved working on computers, even before P-TECH,” he said. “I was a hobbyist. P-TECH gave me a pathway.”
IBM hired him as a cybersecurity analyst once he completed the apprenticeship.
“P-TECH has given me a great advantage,” he said. “Without it, I would have been questioning whether to go into college. Having a college degree at 18 is great to put on a resume.”
Litow’s idea was to get more underrepresented young people into tech careers by giving them a direct path to college while in high school — and in turn create a pipeline of employees with the job skills businesses were starting to value over four-year college degrees.
The program, which includes mentors and internships provided by business partners, gives high school students up to six years to earn an associate's degree at no cost.
In Colorado, St. Vrain Valley was among the first school districts chosen by the state to offer a P-TECH program after the Legislature passed a bill to provide funding — and the school district has embraced the program.
Colorado’s first P-TECH programs started in the fall of 2016 at three high schools, including Skyline High. Over the last six years, 17 more Colorado high schools have adopted P-TECH, for at total of 20. Three of those are in St. Vrain Valley, with a fourth planned to open in the fall of 2023 at Longmont High School.
Each St. Vrain Valley high school offers a different focus supported by different industry partners.
Skyline partners with IBM, with students earning an associate’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Front Range. Along with being the first, Skyline’s program is the largest, enrolling up to 55 new freshmen each year.
Programs at the other schools are capped at 35 students per grade.
Frederick High’s program, which started in the fall of 2019, has a bioscience focus, partners with Aims Community College and works with industry partners Agilent Technologies, Tolmar, KBI Biopharma, AGC Biologics and Corden Pharma.
Silver Creek High’s program started a year ago with a cybersecurity focus. The Longmont school partners with Front Range and works with industry partners Seagate, Cisco, PEAK Resources and Comcast.
The new program coming to Longmont High will focus on business.
District leaders point to Skyline High’s graduation statistics to illustrate the program’s success. At Skyline, 100 percent of students in the first three P-TECH graduating classes earned a high school diploma in four years.
For the 2020 Skyline P-TECH graduates, 24 of the 33, or about 70 percent, also earned associate’s degrees. For the 2021 graduating class, 30 of the 47 have associate’s degrees — with one year left for those students to complete the college requirements.
For the most accurate 2022 graduates, who have two years left to complete the college requirements, 19 of 59 have associate’s degrees and another six are on track to earn their degrees by the end of the summer.
Louise March, Skyline High’s P-TECH counselor, keeps in touch with the graduates, saying 27 are working part time or full time at IBM. About a third are continuing their education at a four year college. Of the 19 who graduated in 2022 with an associate’s degree, 17 are enrolling at a four year college, she said.
Two of those 2022 graduates are Anahi Sarmiento, who is headed to the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business, and Jose Ivarra, who will study computer science at Colorado State University.
“I’m the oldest out of three siblings,” Ivarra said. “When you hear that someone wants to provide you free college in high school, you take it. I jumped at the opportunity.”
Sarmiento added that her parents, who are immigrants, are already working two jobs and don’t have extra money for college costs.
“P-TECH is pushing me forward,” she said. “I know my parents want me to have a better life, but I want them to have a better life, too. Going into high school, I kept that mentality that I would push myself to my full potential. It kept me motivated.”
While the program requires hard work, the two graduates said, they still enjoyed high school and had outside interests. Ivarra was a varsity football player who was named player of the year. Sarmiento took advantage of multiple opportunities, from helping elementary students learn robotics to working at the district’s Innovation Center.
Ivarra said he likes that P-TECH has the same high expectations for all students, no matter their backgrounds, and gives them support in any areas where they need help. Spanish is his first language and, while math came naturally, language arts was more challenging.
“It was tough for me to see all these classmates use all these big words, and I didn’t know them,” he said. “I just felt less. When I went into P-TECH, the teachers focus on you so much, checking on every single student.”
They said it’s OK to struggle or even fail. Ivarra said he failed a tough class during the pandemic, but was able to retake it and passed. Both credited March, their counselor, with providing unending support as they navigated high school and college classes.
“She’s always there for you,” Sarmiento said. “It’s hard to be on top of everything. You have someone to go to.”
Students also supported each other.
“You build bonds,” Ivarra said. “You’re all trying to figure out these classes. You grow together. It’s a bunch of people who want to succeed. The people that surround you in P-TECH, they push you to be better.”
P-TECH has no entrance requirements or prerequisite classes. You don’t need to be a top student, have taken advanced math or have a background in technology.
With students starting the rigorous program with a wide range of skills, teachers and counselors said, they quickly figured out the program needed stronger support systems.
March said freshmen in the first P-TECH class struggled that first semester, prompting the creation of a guided study class. The every other day, hour-and-a-half class includes both study time and time to learn workplace skills, including writing a resume and interviewing. Teachers also offer tutoring twice a week after school.
“The guided study has become crucial to the success of the program,” March said.
Another way P-TECH provides extra support is through summer orientation programs for incoming freshmen.
At Skyline, ninth graders take a three-week bridge class — worth half a credit — that includes learning good study habits. They also meet IBM mentors and take a field trip to Front Range Community College.
“They get their college ID before they get their high school ID,” March said.
During a session in June, 15 IBM mentors helped the students program a Sphero robot to travel along different track configurations. Kathleen Schuster, who has volunteered as an IBM mentor since the P-TECH program started here, said she wants to “return some of the favors I got when I was younger.”
“Even this play stuff with the Spheros, it’s teaching them teamwork and a little computing,” she said. “Hopefully, through P-TECH, they will learn what it takes to work in a tech job.”
Incoming Skyline freshman Blake Baker said he found a passion for programming at Trail Ridge Middle and saw P-TECH as a way to capitalize on that passion.
“I really love that they provide you options and a path,” he said.
Trail Ridge classmate Itzel Pereyra, another programming enthusiast, heard about P-TECH from her older brother.
“It’s really good for my future,” she said. “It’s an exciting moment, starting the program. It will just help you with everything.”
While some of the incoming ninth graders shared dreams of technology careers, others see P-TECH as a good foundation to pursue other dreams.
Skyline incoming ninth grader Marisol Sanchez wants to become a traveling nurse, demonstrating technology and new skills to other nurses. She added that the summer orientation sessions are a good introduction, helping calm the nerves that accompany combining high school and college.
“There’s a lot of team building,” she said. “It’s getting us all stronger together as a group and introducing everyone.”
Silver Creek’s June camp for incoming ninth graders included field trips to visit Cisco, Seagate, PEAK Resources, Comcast and Front Range Community College.
During the Front Range Community College field trip, the students heard from Front Range staff members before going on a scavenger hunt. Groups took photos to prove they completed tasks, snapping pictures of ceramic pieces near the art rooms, the most expensive tech product for sale in the bookstore and administrative offices across the street from the main building.
Emma Horton, an incoming freshman, took a cybersecurity class as a Flagstaff Academy eighth grader that hooked her on the idea of technology as a career.
“I’m really excited about the experience I will be getting in P-TECH,’ she said. “I’ve never been super motivated in school, but with something I’m really interested in, it becomes easier.”
Deb Craven, dean of instruction at Front Range’s Boulder County campus, promised the Silver Creek students that the college would support them. She also gave them some advice.
“You need to advocate and ask for help,” she said. “These two things are going to help you the most. Be present, be engaged, work together and lean on each other.”
Craven, who oversees Front Range’s P-TECH program partnership, said Front Range leaders toured the original P-TECH program in New York along with St. Vrain and IBM leaders in preparation for bringing P-TECH here.
“Having IBM as a partner as we started the program was really helpful,” she said.
When the program began, she said, freshmen took a more advanced technology class as their first college class. Now, she said, they start with a more fundamental class in the spring of their freshman year, learning how to build a computer.
“These guys have a chance to grow into the high school environment before we stick them in a college class,” she said.
Summer opportunities aren’t just for P-TECH’s freshmen. Along with summer internships, the schools and community colleges offer summer classes.
Silver Creek incoming 10th graders, for example, could take a personal financial literacy class at Silver Creek in the mornings and an introduction to cybersecurity class at the Innovation Center in the afternoons in June.
Over at Skyline, incoming 10th graders in P-TECH are getting paid to teach STEM lessons to elementary students while earning high school credit. Students in the fifth or sixth year of the program also had the option of taking computer science and algebra classes at Front Range.
And at Frederick, incoming juniors are taking an introduction to manufacturing class at the district's Career Elevation and Technology Center this month in preparation for an advanced manufacturing class they’re taking in the fall.
“This will provide them a head start for the fall,” said instructor Chester Clark.
Incoming Frederick junior Destini Johnson said she’s not sure what she wants to do after high school, but believes the opportunities offered by P-TECH will prepare her for the future.
“I wanted to try something challenging, and getting a head start on college can only help,” she said. “It’s really incredible that I’m already halfway done with an associate’s degree and high school.”
IBM P-TECH program manager Tracy Knick, who has worked with the Skyline High program for three years, said it takes a strong commitment from all the partners — the school district, IBM and Front Range — to make the program work.
“It’s not an easy model,” she said. “When you say there are no entrance requirements, we all have to be OK with that and support the students to be successful.”
IBM hosted 60 St. Vrain interns this summer, while two Skyline students work as IBM “co-ops” — a national program — to assist with the P-TECH program.
The company hosts two to four formal events for the students each year to work on professional and technical skills, while IBM mentors provide tutoring in algebra. During the pandemic, IBM also paid for subscriptions to tutor.com so students could get immediate help while taking online classes.
“We want to get them truly workforce ready,” Knick said. “They’re not IBM-only skills we’re teaching. Even though they choose a pathway, they can really do anything.”
As the program continues to expand in the district, she said, her wish is for more businesses to recognize the value of P-TECH.
“These students have had intensive training on professional skills,” she said. “They have taken college classes enhanced with the same digital credentials that an IBM employee can learn. There should be a waiting list of employers for these really talented and skilled young professionals.”
©2022 the Daily Camera (Boulder, Colo.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
I believe that the last two decades in enterprise computing has been the prequel to the main act to follow. In this main act, the winners will be enterprises willing to change, to question everything, to leverage the latest in digital innovation to scale the impact of AI, Hybrid Cloud and automation on every aspect of their business.
The Covid pandemic disrupted business-as-usual for most companies, and several spined to digital technology, containing AI, to sustain operations. Earlier this year, IBM launched a study that revealed the size of the AI skills gap across Europe that found the tech sector is struggling to find employees with adequate AI knowledge or experience. The research found nearly 7 in 10 tech job seekers and tech employees believe that potential recruits lack the skills necessary for a career in AI. The impact of this deficit has the potential to stifle digital innovation and hold back economic growth.
Mind the gap
The IBM report, ‘Addressing the AI Skills Gap in Europe’, exposed a worrying shortfall in skills required for a career in AI. Although technical capabilities are vital for a career in the sector, problem solving is considered the most critical soft skill needed for tech roles among all survey participants (up to 37%). However, around a quarter of tech recruiters (23%) have difficulty finding applicants with this aptitude along with shortfalls in critical and strategic thinking. Along with soft skills, 40% of tech job seekers and employees noted that software engineering and knowledge of programming languages are the most important technical capabilities for the AI/tech workforce to have.
How to address the issue
As AI moves into the mainstream, specialist tech staff are working more closely than ever with business managers. In order to secure the best possible outcomes, the soft skills of interpersonal communication, strategic problem solving, and critical thinking are required across all disciplines to help ensure the most beneficial personal interactions. Demonstrating these skills can greatly Boost employability and career developments in AI.
The report showed that offering education and skills training is seen as a top priority for many companies looking to Boost AI recruitment in the future. As a result, IBM have already taken proactive steps to help applicants and employees enhance their AI skills.
IBM launched IBM SkillsBuild, which brings together two world-class, skills-based learning programs—"Open P-TECH" and "SkillsBuild"—under one umbrella. Through the program, students, educators, job seekers, and the organisations that support them have access to free digital learning, resources, and support focused on the core technology and workplace skills needed to succeed in jobs. SkillsBuild is a free programme which contains an AI skills module for secondary education students and adults seeking entry-level employment.
Further concerted effort
A great deal remains to be done to solve this skills gap. However, I believe we can agree that a solution is achievable. What’s required now is for industry, government and academia to work together to put existing ideas into practice and to think of new ways to solve the challenge. At the start of the year, the DCMS announced £23 million of government funding to create 2,000 scholarships in AI and data science in England. The new scholarships from this funding will ensure more people can build successful careers in AI, create and develop new and bigger businesses, and will Boost the diversity of this growing and innovative sector. I hope to see further investment and programs such as ours with SkillsBuild as key drivers in change. Finding solutions and initiatives such as these will ensure we are providing a significant boost for the UK while providing a rewarding career for many.
This article was authored by Sreeram Visvanathan, Chief Executive of IBM UK and Ireland
The MarketWatch News Department was not involved in the creation of this content.
Jul 29, 2022 (AmericaNewsHour) -- Kenneth Research, in its repository of market research reports, have recently added a report on Global Education Technology Market which emphasizes on the latest trends, key opportunities, drivers, and the challenges associated with the growth of the market during the forecast period, i.e., 2022-2031. The Global Education Technology Market is anticipated to grow primarily on account of the growing trade of ICT goods and services worldwide. According to the statistics by the World Bank, the exports of ICT goods globally increased from 11.164% of total goods exports in 2017 to 11.53% of total goods exports in 2019.
U.S. Market recovers fast; In a release on May 4th 2021, the U.S. Bureau and Economic Analsysis and U.S. Census Bureau mentions the recovery in the U.S. International trade in March 2021. Exports in the country reached $200 billion, up by $12.4 billion in Feb 2021. Following the continuous incremental trend, imports tallied at $274.5 billion, picked up by $16.4 billion in Feb 2021. However, as COVID19 still haunts the economies across the globe, year-over-year (y-o-y) avergae exports in the U.S. declined by $7.0 billion from March 2020 till March 2021 whilest imports increased by $20.7 billion during the same time. This definitely shows how the market is trying to recover back and this will have a direct impact on the Healthcare/ICT/Chemical industries, creating a huge demand for Global Education Technology Market products.
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The growth of the market can be attributed to the growing accessibility to internet amongst the households globally and the need for advanced technologies that promote effective communication between two distant geographies. In the United States, internet access to households grew from around 73% of the households in 2015 to close to 80% of the households in 2019. In Korea, it was around 98% in 2014 which grew to nearly 100% in 2020. On the other hand, in the Netherlands, internet access to households touched nearly 98% in 2019. Countries in the Latin America, such as Brazil and Mexico grew at a significant pace by about 1.45x and 1.63x respectively within a span of 4 years between 2015 and 2019.
The Global Education Technology Market is expected to grow with a significant CAGR during the forecast period, i.e. 2021-2024, on the back of growing internet penetration around the world along with the rising adoption of smartphone. The statistics by the GSMA Intelligence stated that the total unique mobile subscribers as on May 2020 around the world was 5.24 billion.
The education industry has witnessed dramatic changes in the past decade and is still undergoing radical process changes in the delivery of its products and services. The advancements in technology and innovations are changing the market scenario and increasing the need for cost-effective and superior customer services. There is an increasing need for the implementation of technological innovations in the educational processes and data to enable better decision plans, greater responsiveness to customer demands, improved product design & quality, and faster turnaround times.
"Final Report will add the analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on this industry."
The availability of basic digital infrastructure is a key driver for education technology that will impel the prospects for the market growth during the forecast period. The availability of an essential infrastructure that offers technical support to staff and students is critical to the successful implementation of online learning and teaching in institutions across all levels. In addition, the academic institutions across the world are providing off-campus licenses for software, repositories for course & study materials and online course catalogs. This has resulted in a wider acceptance of digital modes of learning, giving a further boost to the growth of the education technology market.
Download demo of This Strategic Report-:kennethresearch.com/sample-request-10084918
Regions and Vendors Analysis:
The report contains an in-depth analysis of the vendors profile, which includes financial health, business units, key business priorities, SWOT, strategies, and views; and competitive landscape. The key and the prominent vendors covered in the report include Google Inc., Microsoft Corporation, IBM, Apple Inc., EdX, Byju's, and others. The vendors have been identified based on the portfolio, geographical presence, marketing & distribution channels, revenue generation, and significant investments in R&D.
The regions covered in the report are North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Middle East and Africa. The revenue is generated mainly from North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. North America is leading the market, followed by Europe, with Asia Pacific emerging in the education technology market.
The report provides an in-depth analysis of the global education technology market aiming to reduce time to market for educational products and services, reduce operational cost, and operational performance. The growth of the education technology market is driven by the growing Internet usage among the population, increased use of cloud-based technology by education service companies, use of mobile-based applications along with cross-industry partnerships, and a significant increase in venture capital investments. The evolution of technologies such as cloud computing, cognitive computing, and machine learning are paving the way for the growth of education technology. Major companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Apple, and Google among others are providing solutions related to education technology; for instance, IBM's Watson for education technology and Google's G Suite for education. The report provides details about educational systems, end-users, and regions. Furthermore, the report provides details about the major challenges impacting the market growth.
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About Kenneth Research
Kenneth Research provides scheduled syndicated reports that help industry professionals and organizations decipher market trends to take significant decisions and plan strategies. We cater to a wide range of industries including healthcare & pharmaceuticals, ICT & telecom, automotive & transportation, energy & power, chemicals, FMCG & food, aerospace & defense, among others. Our research team ensures to track and analyze the industry on a regular basis to offer strategic business consultancy services on a global level. We, at Kenneth Research are adept at capturing descriptive insights on crucial subjects to help our clients make their informed decisions.
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Datatec CEO Jens Montanana.
Datatec-owned Logicalis UK&I has acquired Q Associates, a UK-based IT consultancy, as the JSE-listed company makes a swift play into higher education and government secured services.
Q Associates is one of the UK’s top providers of IT consultancy and advisory services around data management, data protection, compliance and information security.
The consultancy provides technology solutions to UK universities and research councils, government security services and home office departments, as well as commercial clients across major industry sectors, including finance, legal, transportation and energy.
Q Associates also holds advanced technical accreditations with many of the world's leading technology vendors, including Microsoft, NetApp, Oracle, IBM and Rubrik.
"The acquisition of Q Associates will extend the reach and skills of Logicalis UK&I, underlining our commitment to grow and provide increased value to customers across all sectors, especially higher education and government secured services,” says Jens Montanana, Datatec CEO.
The Q Associates acquisition is the latest addition to the Datatec stable, which has been broadening its reach across industries globally.
Earlier this year, Datatec expanded into 5G and satellite technologies through the acquisition of satellite and space market research firm Northern Sky Research (NSR).
The JSE-listed group announced the deal through its subsidiary’s Analysys Mason, in a bid to expand services to new and existing clients worldwide.
NSR specialises in analysis of growth opportunities across four core satellite industry sectors: satellite communications, satellite and space applications, financial analysis, and satellite and space infrastructure.
Datatec group also took control of Siticom, a 5G integrator based in Germany. Siticom has expertise in telecommunication and software-defined networking architecture, internet of things implementations and next-generation public and private networks.
The Africa-America Institute Announces Details for its 38th Annual Awards Gala
Ceremony Set to Honor the Remarkable Achievements of Africa, Africans and African Descendants Across Industries
2022 Honorees Include:
The Republic of Botswana, Filmmaker and Culture Curator Mahen Bonetti, Rockefeller Foundation Executive Betty Wambui Kibaara and IBM Executive Dr. Solomon Assefa
Hosted by Bozoma Saint John
Tuesday, September 20, 2022 – 6 P.M.
At Cipriani’s 42 nd St. in New York City
(New York, NY – July 28, 2022) – The Africa-America Institute (AAI) - the premier U.S.-based international organization connecting Africa to America through education, training and dialogue - announced details for its 38th Annual Awards Gala celebrating the vast contributions of Africa and its worldwide diaspora. Returning to an in-person format, the Awards Gala will take place at the upscale Cipriani 42 nd St. in New York City, on Tuesday, September 20, 2022 at 6 P.M.
Launched in 1984, the AAI Awards Gala is the most anticipated African-centered event convened in New York City. Held during the week of the United Nations General Assembly, the Gala brings together a host of distinguished notables including heads of state, diplomats, government officials, business and civil society leaders, scholars, journalists and other leading figures for an unforgettable evening.
Hosted by marketing executive, entrepreneur and author Bozoma Saint John , this year’s awards will center around the theme of “Africa in the World.” During the ceremony, AAI will honor an illustrious group of leaders across industries who have used their platforms to advance and affect substantive change locally, nationally and globally in their respective areas.
The 2022 Awards and Honorees include:
National Achievement Award
AAI will honor the Republic of Botswana with the National Achievement Award in recognition of the country’s commitment to democracy and stability in the region as well as its focus on addressing the importance of education, healthcare and youth development. The Award will b e accepted by His Excellency Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, President of the Republic of Botswana. President Masisi - the 5 th President of the Republic of Botswana - comes from a background dedicated to education, having worked as an Education Project Officer with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Throughout his career, he has worked to promote and strengthen global partnerships supporting Botswana’s youth.
Ambassador for African Cinema Award
Mahen Bonetti - Founder and Executive Director of the African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF) and Executive Director of the New York African Film Festival (NYAFF). She will receive the Ambassador for African Cinema Award recognizing her role as a master curator of African films and champion of African Diaspora filmmakers. For more than 30 years, Bonetti has created platforms that have given a voice to African filmmakers and their work and has devoted her life’s work to generating opportunities for Black storytellers to tell their stories through film. Under her stewardship, NYAFF has taken African cinema out of the art houses and into communities while AFF has given countless filmmakers their first introduction to U.S. audiences and has developed the world’s largest digital database on African film .
Science and Technology Leadership Award
Dr. Solomon Assefa - Vice President of IBM Research. Dr. Assefa heads the global effort at IBM Research focused on developing core technologies for climate change mitigation and adaptation, healthcare and life sciences, computing and technology. Additionally, he is responsible for IBM’s Africa Labs, forming new models for partnership with government, industry, academia, non-profits, and start-ups. The Africa Labs are instrumental in not only addressing Africa’s grand challenges, but also serving as a model internationally. Under his leadership, researchers from IBM’s global labs are applying and advancing disruptive technologies that will transform industries and benefit society. With the Science and Leadership Award, AAI will recognize Dr. Assefa for his work in advancing purpose-driven global innovation to enable sustainable futures.
Distinguished Alumna Award
Betty Wambui Kibaara - Director of the Food Initiative at the Rockefeller Foundation. Kibaara leads the Foundation’s investments in food systems and its efforts in increasing access to nutritious foods and improved nutrition. She serves as the regional champion for the Rockefeller Foundation’s initiatives in strengthening food security, agribusiness, and resilience to the devastating effects of climate change to enable real, sustainable, and equitable economic growth. The Distinguished Alumna Award recognizes an alum from AAI’s programs who has made significant contribution to their country or field of work. Kibaara participated in AAI’s Strategic Technical Assistance for Results with Training (START) program where she received a Master of Science in Agricultural and Resource Economics from Colorado State University in 2005.
“The occasion of this year's Gala is especially exciting as it marks our return to an in-person event. We are delighted to have the opportunity to honor the people of the Republic of Botswana for their steadfast commitment to democracy and ground-breaking global partnerships in medical research and education,” said Kofi Appenteng , AAI’s President & CEO . “We’re also celebrating Dr. Solomon Assefa's crucial work in deploying AI to enable sustainable futures, Betty Kibaara's work championing food security and agribusiness investments, and Mahen Benetti's legacy of bringing African and Diasporan voices to the forefront of global cinema. In geographical, scientific, artistic, and cultural terms these honorees embody this year’s Gala theme of Africa in the World.”
“ Given the challenges the world has faced over the past two years, we are so excited to gather in person to celebrate the genius of Africa and its worldwide diaspora,” said AAI Board Chair Christal Jackson . “Our collective journey is a reflection of our commitment to excellence and the legacy we want to leave for generations to come.”
AAI strives to enrich the social fabric of humanity by connecting students and leaders across sectors, facilitating access to reliable information about Africa, and transforming the way we understand Africa and its worldwide diaspora. For the past six decades, AAI has provided over 23,000 scholarships and fellowships to African students. The Annual Awards Gala raises funds to support AAI programs and initiatives, such as its work to assist K-12 districts and schools in the U.S. want to expose students to scholarly, unbiased knowledge about Africa, and advanced education and training scholarship programs for professionals across the African continent.
For more information about AAI’s 38 th Annual Awards Gala, visit aaionline.org/gala . Get social! For exclusive photos, updates and more follow us across social media : @aaiafric a #AAIGala2022 #AAIAfrica
The Africa-America Institute (AAI) strives to enrich the social fabric of humanity by connecting students and leaders across sectors, facilitating access to reliable information about Africa, and transforming the way we understand Africa and its worldwide diaspora. Since its founding in 1953, AAI has awarded scholarships and fellowships to over 23,000 Africans. These individuals comprise an esteemed network of alumni, many of whom are leaders and influencers across public, private, and governmental sectors in Africa and globally. Included in this network are current Heads of State, H.E. Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia; H.E. Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire; H.E. Mohamed Bazoum, President of the Republic of Niger; and H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa. Many of AAI’s Alumni have left an indelible imprint, including the late 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Mathaai and the late Barack Obama, Sr.
By Sumanth Palepu
A decade ago, if anyone had talked about self-driven cars, there would be disbelief. From year 2023, Hyundai Motors will be doing this. The automobile giant has collaborated with Motional, the global leader in driverless technology, to deploy the Level 4 autonomous vehicles across major U.S. cities starting in 2023.
There’s a team of data scientists behind this innovation that has worked with other teams to make this a reality. And a clear example of how data science is a stepping-stone for the future. The best part? Someone with a non-technical degree can also become a data scientist. The criteria being a knowledge of mathematics, especially statistics. Both the Indian and the global markets are witnessing a huge spike in the number of students and young professionals from the tech and non-tech fields who have chosen to deep dive into data science.
According to a report by the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, the rise of data science will create roughly 11.5 million job openings by 2026. Data science has also topped LinkedIn’s Emerging Jobs Report for three years running.
This is owing to the emergence of new technologies like AI, big data analytics, blockchain, IoT and more, making data science a vital part of multiple business functions. Moreover, with the emergence of Metaverse, it is expected that data science will be put under spotlight creating a pool of opportunities for skilled professionals. Even world’s tech giants like – Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook — are the biggest employers of data scientists and engineers today.
Demystifying a Data Scientist
A data scientist is an analyst who combines social science with technical expertise to not just manage data but to also predict trends. This expert prepares data for analysis through various steps like cleansing, aggregating, and manipulating the data. Though algorithms are fed in the machines, a data scientist must understand how those algorithms function, select the right one and even tweak them if required.
Anyone with an undergraduate or post-graduate degree in science or commerce or a basic knowledge of maths and statistics, can apply to be a data scientist.
Data Science Course: Quality Matters
Though there are a plethora of courses available, it’s important to choose a quality course. GUS Edology has collaborated with IBM to provide a customised IBM ICE Data Science Program, that teaches a learner how to use methods, processes, algorithms, and systems to extract useful business information from structured and unstructured data and apply this knowledge for making strategic decisions. This intermediate certification course is aimed at young professionals with two years of work experience.
The USP of this course is that it’s taught by instructors from IBM or authorised by IBM, and there’s a high probability of employability and an opportunity to do real life industry-based projects. The skills taught include Data Analysis, Excel for Business Analytics, Data Visualisation. This course aids the learner in acquiring a good knowledge in using excel for all business requirements, have an in-depth understanding of data Science, and apply it to solve business problems using analytical tools, effectively.
Skills, Career Prospects and Future
Besides being adept at debugging, storytelling, competence in SQL and Python, understanding of statistics, organizations provide equal emphasis to soft skills in their prospective employees. These include critical thinking and reasoning, creativity, adaptability, good communication and decision-making skills, with the ability to multitask and work in teams.
The career prospects in this field include Data Analyst, Business Analyst, Financial Analyst, Business Intelligence Analyst.
Impact of Metaverse on Data Science
With metaverse on the horizon, businesses will have to deal with a humungous data explosion that will need streamlining and analysis. Consequently, this will create a greater push for data scientists and their actionable insights will be even more critical for businesses and organizations.
Data science is one of the critical steppingstones to the future and the figures speak for themselves. It’s estimated that over 43 percent retailers and fashion brands will invest in customer-based data science to map trends, predict consumer behavior over the next five years. This is just one field. Today data scientists and analysts are taking over the world from aviation, media, advertising, branding, oil and gas, petroleum, corporate sector to even political parties. The future is bright and growing exponentially. The only question is, are you upskilling to be a part of it?
The author is business head, GUS Edology. Views expressed are personal.
“Microsoft (US), IBM (US), Google (US), Oracle (US), AWS (US), Meta (US), Artificial Solutions (Sweden), eGain (US), Baidu (China), Inbenta (US), Alvaria (US), SAP (Germany), Creative Virtual (UK), Gupshup (US), Rasa (US), Pandorabots (US), Botego (US), Chatfuel (US), Pypestream (US), Avaamo (US), Webio (Ireland), ServisBOT (US).”
Bot Services Market by Service Type (Platform & Framework), Mode of Channel (Social Media, Website), Interaction Type, Business Function (Sales & Marketing, IT, HR), Vertical (BFSI, Retail & eCommerce) and Region – Global Forecast to 2027
The Bot Services Market size to grow from USD 1.6 billion in 2022 to USD 6.7 billion by 2027, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 33.2% during the forecast period. Various factors such as rise in the need for 24X7 customer support at a lower operational cost, integration of chatbots with social media to augment marketing strategy, and innovations in AI and ML technologies for chatbots resulting in better customer experience are expected to drive the adoption of bot services.
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According to Microsoft, Azure Bot Service provides an integrated development environment for bot building. Its integration with Power Virtual Agents, a fully hosted low-code platform, enables developers of all technical abilities to build conversational AI bots without the need for any further coding. The integration of Azure Bot Service and Power Virtual Agents enables a multidisciplinary team with a range of expertise and abilities to build bots inside a single software as a service (SaaS) solution.
Healthcare and Life Sciences vertical to witness the highest CAGR during the forecast period
The segmentation of the bot services market by vertical includes BFSI, retail & eCommerce, healthcare & life sciences, media & entertainment, travel & hospitality, IT & telecom, government, and others (automotive, utilities, education and real estate). The healthcare industry is developing rapidly due to many major technological advancements to enhance the overall patients experience. Hospitals and other health institutions are increasingly adopting bot services to Boost the overall experience of patients, doctors, and other staff. Additionally, bot services can enhance patient experience and build patient loyalty, while improving organizational efficiency. Moreover, bots, also known as virtual health assistants, notify patients about their medication plan, address concerns, deliver diagnosis reports, educate them regarding certain diseases, motivate them to exercise, and personalize user experience.
Some major players in the bot services market include Microsoft (US), IBM (US), Google (US), Oracle (US), AWS (US), Meta (US), Artificial Solutions (Sweden), eGain (US), Baidu (China), Inbenta (US), Alvaria (US), SAP (Germany), CM.com (Netherlands), Creative Virtual (UK), Kore.ai (US), 7.ai (US), Gupshup (US), Rasa (US), Pandorabots (US), Botego (US), Chatfuel (US), Pypestream (US), Avaamo (US), Webio (Ireland), ServisBOT (US), Morph.ai (India), Cognigy (Germany), Enterprise Bot (Switzerland), Engati (US), and Haptik (US). These players have adopted various organic and inorganic growth strategies, such as new product launches, partnerships and collaborations, and mergers and acquisitions, to expand their presence in the global bot services market.
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Artificial Solutions (Sweden) is a leading specialist in Conversational AI solutions and services. The solution offered by the company enables communication with applications, websites, and devices in everyday, human-like natural language via voice, text, touch, or gesture inputs. Artificial Solutions’ conversational AI technology makes it easy to build, implement, and manage a wide range of natural language applications, such as virtual assistants, conversational bots, and speech-based conversational UIs for smart devices. Artificial Solutions offers bot services and solutions to various industries, such as financial services, retail, automotive, telecom, energy and utilities, travel and leisure, and entertainment. Artificial Solutions has won several awards, such as the 2019 Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service, the 2018 Speech Industry Awards, and the 2018 AICONICS: Best Intelligent Assistant Innovation. The company’s major customers include AT&T, Shell, Vodafone, TIAA, Volkswagen Group, Deutsche Post, Widiba, Telenor Group, Accenture, KPMG, Cognizant, Wipro, and Publicis Sapient. It has development centers in Barcelona, Hamburg, London, and Stockholm and offices across Europe, Asia Pacific, and South America.
In the bot services market, it provides Teneo, a platform that enables business users and developers to collaborate to create intelligent conversational AI applications. These applications operate across 35 languages, multiple platforms, and channels in record time.
eGain (US) is a leading cloud customer engagement hub software supplier. eGain products have been used to Boost customer experience, streamline service processes, and increase revenue across the online, social media, and phone channels for over a decade. eGain helps hundreds of the worlds leading organizations turn their disjointed sales and customer service operations into unified customer engagement hubs (CEHs). In North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific, eGain Corporation develops, licenses, implements, and supports customer service infrastructure software solutions. It offers a unified cloud software platform to automate, augment, and orchestrate consumer interactions. It also provides subscription services, which provide users access to its software via a cloud-based platform, as well as professional services, including consultation, implementation, and training. The company caters to the financial services, telecommunications, retail, government, healthcare, and utilities industries.
In the bot services market, the company offers AI Chatbot Virtual Assistant software which improves customer engagement. The VA acts as a guide, helping customers navigate the website and taking them to the relevant places on a page. The virtual assistant provides answers to any queries, even helping in making shopping decisions.
Baidu (China) provides internet search services. It is divided into two segments: Baidu Core and iQIYI. The Baidu app helps customers to access search, feed, and other services through their mobile devices. Baidu Search helps users to access the companys search and other services. Baidu Feed gives users a customized timeline based on their demographics and interests. The company provides products, including Baidu Knows, an online community where users can ask questions to other users; Baidu Wiki; Baidu Healthcare Wiki; Baidu Wenku; Baidu Scholar; Baidu Experience; Baidu Post; Baidu Maps, a voice-enabled mobile app that provides travel-related services; Baidu Drive; Baijiahao; and DuerOS, a smart assistant platform. The company also provides online marketing services such as pay for performance, an auction-based service that enables customers to bid for priority placement of paid sponsored links and reach users searching for information about their products or services. Other marketing services offered by the company are display-based marketing services and other online marketing services based on performance criteria other than cost per click. The company offers a mobile ecosystem, which includes Baidu A, a portfolio of applications. Further, the company provides iQIYI, an online entertainment service, including original and licensed content; video content and membership; and online advertising services.
In the bot services market, Baidu offers Baidu Bot, a search bot software used by Baidu, which collects documents from the web to build a searchable index for the Baidu search engine.
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A report by IBM states that 60 per cent of breached businesses raised product prices post-breach. Consumers are paying the price as data breach costs reach all-time high.
The cost of data breach report by IBM revealed that there have been costlier and higher-impact data breaches than ever before, with the global average cost of a data breach reaching an all-time high of $4.35 million for surveyed organizations.
With breach costs increasing nearly 13 per cent over the last two years of the report, the findings suggest these incidents may also be contributing to rising costs of goods and services.
In India, the cost of data breach averaged at ₹176 million in 2022, reaching an all-time high. This represents a 6.6 per cent increase from last year, when the average cost of a breach was ₹165 million. The average cost has climbed 25 per cent from ₹140 million in the 2020 report.
Viswanath Ramaswamy, Vice President, Technology, IBM Technology Sales, IBM India and South Asia said, “It’s clear, businesses cannot evade cyberattacks. Keeping security capabilities flexible enough to match attacker agility will be the biggest challenge as the industry moves forward.”
To stay on top of growing cybersecurity challenges investment in zero-trust deployments, mature security practices, and AI-based platforms can help make all the difference when businesses are attacked, he added.
The perpetuality of cyberattacks is also shedding light on the “haunting effect” data breaches are having on businesses, with the report finding 83 per cent of studied organizations have experienced more than one data breach in their lifetime.
Another factor rising over time is the after-effects of breaches on these organizations, which linger long after they occur, as nearly 50 per cent of breach costs are incurred more than a year after the breach, the report said.
Published on July 27, 2022