Digital transformation to drive growth in STEM industries

Posted on 6 Sep 2017 by Jonny Williamson

Emerging technologies such as Autonomy, IoT, AI, Augmented and Virtual reality, and Cloud Computing are reformatting customer and market expectations, a new study shows.

The study revealed 7 STEM clusters – image courtesy of Pixabay

Businesses are, and will continue to restructure their operating models and redefine their core competencies, particularly in areas of STEM-related skills, where the supply is intermittent and of varying currency and quality, a study by the STEM Foundation shows.

Digital centricity is the common theme that ties together technology trends, interconnectedness and the need to be responsive. Such a theme presents an expectation that makes digital a ubiquitous presence in today’s talent world.

Every sector in the economy from manufacturing to professional services and retail – can now be classified as a technology company.

This has changed forever the way talent acquisition experts do their jobs, and what candidates have come to expect. Digital transformation in business means that organisations of all types are fighting over digital talent resulting in many hard to fill vacancies.

This is particularly evident in such roles as data scientists, Customer Experience(CX) professionals, experience designers, digital business leaders, software developers, bioelectronics, analysts skilled at statistical and predictive analytics, cybersecurity professionals, content professionals skilled at storytelling, and augmented and virtual reality designers.

Balancing the skills development of what the economy needs today and in the future, calls for a systematic approach and a shared responsibility by all the key stakeholders in a region to raise productivity and improve the level of regional GVA (Gross Value Added).

Seven STEM clusters of focus

The study has identified seven key clusters as areas of potential growth that the educational providers and related stakeholders will need to focus their efforts on, to create the required baseline capability to drive and sustain growth in STEM related industries within the ‘Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise LED’, and in the UK more generally.

  • Value Engineering
  • Life sciences & Biotech
  • Sustainable tourism & leisure
  • Construction & conversation
  • Agro-Tech food & drink
  • Smart energy & clean technologies
  • Digital

What is needed

As the need for companies to compete with ever more sophisticated smart technology grows, a new collaborative model that predicts talent shortages in STEM-related fields is required to overcome the talent shortage that has been creeping up for some time.

This collaborative approach requires the participation of several stakeholders at a regional level including among others those providers teaching STEM subjects (schools, colleges, training providers and universities). Furthermore enterprises employing people with STEM skills and those funding the STEM provision are needed.

Such a predictive model will need to be shaped by technological disruptions, business model changes, societal trends and economic priorities.

Sector participation:

  • 29% engineering
  • 20% IT & telecommunications
  • 11% medical & pharma
  • 9 % electronics & microelectronics
  • 9% construction
  • 6% automotive
  • 6% education
  • 4% public sector
  • 3% logistic & supply chain
  • 3% energy & power