The world is continually evolving, and technology plays a crucial role in this respect. The development of the IoT industry, known as the Internet of Things, is expected to impact the business realm, in a significant way. According to US Technology firm Gartner, the IoT is anticipated to reach 26 billion units installed, by 2020. That is translated in no less than $1.9 trillion in global economic value.
At the moment, the IoT is revolutionizing all sectors. The transportation, hospitality and travel sectors, along with industrial manufacturing, represent industry areas that have invested heavily in IoT.
Nonetheless, considering that the Internet of Things is continually expanding at a fast pace, we expect it to revolutionize a broad range of sectors.
All this outlines one thing: the IoT is growing, and it is going to increase furthermore.
What does that entail?
The need for professionals who are knowledgeable in their expertise. Nonetheless, it appears that the shortage of employee skills and knowledge are the two biggest obstacles that stand in the way of organizations who wish to implement the Internet of Things. Based on a recent study, approximatively 45 percent of developers reckon that IoT development is critical to their business strategy.
Various skills can be used in this industry, considering its most versatile character. That is because jobs are expected to imply varied work with data science, software, sensors, so on and so forth. In other words, the Internet of Things is continually creating jobs and is projected to grow by 50 percent till 2020.
The Role of Women in IoT
Now, directing the spotlight towards the role of women in IoT, what is the current situation? Based on an official report released in 2009, 41 percent of women decided to leave technology companies, in comparison with 17 percent of men. This discrepancy is explained by the fact that women face a range of obstacles in this business.
According to official data, the median base salary for women working in IT is $10,000 lower compared to men. What is more, this considerable gap persists at greater levels as well, as female managers earn a median base salary that is $9,000 lower than the one for male executives.
In spite of that, a study developed by the University of Texas at Austin indicates that the lack of skills isn’t the reason women don’t consider forgoing STEM fields. On the opposite, they excel in these subjects. The fact that women have a hard time is the primary cause. It appears that women are prone to feeling like outsiders since most companies don’t cultivate environments that address the needs of both males and females. On that note, Google’s tech team has 81 percent men, while Facebook’s tech team includes 83 percent men, and Apple’s tech team features 77 percent men.
In spite of this, the Internet of Things is a competitive sector that needs women as well. And that is evident through the presence of many inspiring ladies who are running their high-tech businesses. Many women have reached the top of the industry, by confronting the gender gap and showing that it can be made.
An engineer and an innovative thinker, Limor Fried has established Adafruit Industries in her MIT dorm room, in 2005. From that point, she has grown into a successful figure in the tech industry.
Her business caters DIY kits that assist individuals in learning the ropes regarding engineering and promoting the skills necessary for a career in technology, math, science, IT, so on and so forth. Her accomplishments as an engineer have been rewarded through numerous awards.
She was the first female engineer to be featuring the cover of WIRED magazine, and she also received the White House Champion of Change title. Fried aims at making education and careers in tech and IoT more accessible to an extended group.
Having a resume overcrowded with accomplishments, Natalia Burina is acknowledged as a superstar in the realm of high-tech. Still, her success didn’t come easy, and she had a share of difficulties to overcome. During college years and the first years of her career, Burina often felt like an outsider, being patronized regarding her plans for family and children.
Nonetheless, she fought against these, and she aimed at rising above the obstacles. As recently indicated, many women leave midcareer because they feel as if they hit a glass ceiling, being underpaid and less likely to be promoted.
In spite of all that, Burina managed to earn important positions at eBay and Microsoft, while far-reaching experience with founding software startups.
Another notable female leader in the IoT industry is Anne Lauvergeon, the woman who is the Chairman of SIGFOX – a supplier of cellular connectivity to IoT communications. At the moment, SIGFOX is known for providing the largest IoT network available, aiming at diminishing the hurdles linked to the implementation of IoT and M2M solutions.
Lauvergeon has fought against gender stereotypes established in the tech industry, being ranked as one of the most important international female leaders. That only proves the crucial role played by women in the IoT industry.
These are only some of the many ambitious women that have brought their unmatched contribution to the realm of IoT. They have played their part in creating a diversified concept regarding the image of a successful tech innovator and leader.
The mere aspect that these women’s input influences the current and future IoT development is proof that females should aspire to become great in tech-related careers.
Why Do We Need Women in IoT?
So, how important is it to have women in IoT? It’s crucial! If more women pursued a career in this domain, young girls would feel more encouraged to do the same. That would improve gender equality. Not to mention that there is a growing demand for qualified individuals in this domain.
What is more, there is a definite shortcoming of innovation in a range of female-oriented sub-industries, due to the dominating number of male employees. For instance, some products are catered almost exclusively to women. Plus, individuals are less likely to set up a business in a sub-industry if they aren’t acquainted with it. In such sectors and many others, there is need of women professionals!
A different approach is more than welcome
As a general rule, men and women convey everything differently. We are different, and that’s fine, we all know it. Typically, women have a tendency to be more empathetic and emotionally sensitive, while being also more focused on design.
In this respect, a balance of both gender’s strength points would ensure better development and product teams.
So, having a company comprised of individuals who approach matters from unique angles can be really beneficial.
Since the percentage of men in the technology realm prevails, women often have to deal with sexism and discrimination. For instance, one study encompassing identical resumes (apart from the names of the candidates) aimed at putting the finger on this issue.
The resumes were sent in for a lab manager position. The academics indicated that they’d offer female candidates $26,500 and male candidates $30,000, although their resumes were 100% identical, apart from the name and gender information.
Considering that more and more devices are becoming connected to the Internet, companies have the possibility to thrive by embracing the right strategy. The Internet of Things challenges innovators to think outside the box and come up with ways of reinventing the wheel.
If you’re part of this industry that is evolving on fast-forward speed, there are some skills you should master. As you already know, this is a challenging realm which is equally provocative and rewarding. So, we have gathered a range of essential tips that will aid you in this direction.
- Expand your security knowledge
At the moment, there is a growing concern regarding security. That is somehow linked to the fact that our lives are connected to the Internet to a large extent. In this regard, one should note that this awareness is going to reach onto the Internet of Things realm. One should anticipate that security might become a more stressing concern than it currently is.
But why is that? Let’s imagine a scenario. Think that there is an in-home device that communicates a broad range of data regarding you and your possessions. Now, how would you feel is you weren’t 100 percent confident about the security of the device? Without a doubt, such a feeling is far from being reassuring.
In this respect, it’s crucial for apps and devices to address security concerns. Making security a priority implies anticipating these issues, and including the solutions in the architecture development from the very start. Bear in mind that de-duplicated and cleansed data is crucial in this process, just as laying the basis for real-time detection of fraudulent activities and security breaches.
- Learn to anticipate
Right now, there is a lot of uncertainty regarding the specifics of IoT. There isn’t any standard platform that facilitates simple communication. Plus, there aren’t any universal rules that apply in all scenarios at this initial stage.
So, it is explainable that embracing a pragmatic mindset is highly recommended. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t experiment. Experimenting is the key to success in a realm that is developing so quickly. Even so, you should anticipate, even expect changes to occur, and be willing to take risks.
- Apply for scholarships
Applying for scholarships provides you with a range of unmatched opportunities. That is why we advise you to consider this option.
In this respect, Anita Borg Institute offers GHC Scholarship Grants, providing students with the chance to be a part of Grace Hopper Celebration. Here, you can become associated with women who are part of innovative organizations and hear the experiences of experts in computing.
Individuals of all levels are encouraged to apply. We believe this is an unmatched chance to obtain quality advice that matches your needs. What is more, access this link to get acquainted with a range of international scholarships offered to women.
- Never stop learning
We already established one aspect: the Internet of Things is continually evolving, which means that things don’t stay put for long. So, in this context, having the right mindset and being open to learning is crucial.
That is why we recommend you to attend intensive boot camps that aim at addressing common problems. So, if you want to be the best in your expertise, this is the way to do it.
The MIT Internet of Things Bootcamp is an intense course whose purpose is to teach individuals how to solve significant problems. By the end of this boot camp, you’ll have met numerous leading figures in the industry, enabling you to join a global community. If you’re the owner of a startup and you’re eager to embrace development and attain great success, you can always consider applying for Startup Bootcamp IoT & Data Tech.
Attending courses that are crafted for beginners or pros is also an option. Frugal Labs, for instance, offers online training, which might turn out to be useful to many.
Apart from boot camps, there are always books from where you can derive your inspiration. The Silent Intelligence: The Internet of Things is an excellent book fitted for those of you who wish to expand your comprehension of the subject.
IoT Disruptions: The Internet of Things – Innovation & Jobs is another great read that encourages everyone to consider this challenging realm for a career. Designing the Internet of Things is the perfect foundation if you have high aspirations and you wish to create the next must-have product.
- Mastering the skill of collaboration
Without a doubt, the versatile nature of the IoT is one of the numerous reasons it is due to add such significant value to the economy. IoT devices can be implemented in every industry, through adoption, development or both.
In this respect, you should learn to collaborate with people from distinct sectors. Make sure your training is diverse so that you can apply it to numerous businesses. At the end of the day, you won’t get what you deserve; you get what you’ve managed to earn through networking and collaboration.
- Learn the ropes of hardware engineering
Computer hardware engineers are the ones that built the electronics that lie at the foundation of the Internet of Things movement. In this respect, there is a considerable demand for engineers that can develop and install Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and other connectivity solutions.
Other crucial skills worth developing are micro-electromechanical systems, wireless sensor design, (MEMS) engineering, and quality assurance.
- Acknowledge the demand for circuit design
The ever-growing use of connected devices requires firms to adapt chip design and development to meet the specifications of new system requirements.
For instance, applications that depend entirely on long-life batteries might need circuit boards that are optimized primarily to maximize power consumption. Another solution to this problem might be to incorporate various sensors and chips on one circuit board. Apparently, the demand for such skills is no less than 231 percent.
- Microcontroller programming
The Internet of Things embodies billions of interconnected devices. These necessitate, at a minimum, a microcontroller that would add intelligence to the device, contributing to processing the tasks.
Microcontrollers account for low power, low cost embedded chips that present data memory and programming incorporated into the systems. On that note, many companies are looking for professionals who are acquainted with the Arduino programming language, which is utilized in the creation of sensors and automatic projects.
- Machine learning algorithms
Machine learning algorithms contribute to creating smart appliances, applications, and similar products by utilizing connected devices and data sensors.
Machine learning algorithms can turn out to be quite useful in making predictions by identifying data patterns from the devices. Nonetheless, bear in mind that this implies machine learning and big data management. So, building adaptive algorithms is crucial for extracting the value of new data.
- Business intelligence – an unmatched skill
Since there are so many devices consuming and sending information, the actual potential of real data cannot be undermined. Organizations will need to collect, store and analyze smart device data. In this respect, business intelligence experts that have the right set of skills in sensor data analysis will be up for the challenge. Business awareness is also crucial for taking advantage of the opportunities that land in the realm of the Internet of Things.
On a final note, succeeding in the field of the Internet of Things is far from being easy, especially for a woman. Nonetheless, the success of so many career women is proof that when there’s a will, there is a way, and one can reach their targets in spite of difficulties and challenges. At the end of the day, hard work and determination remain a winning combination.
By implementing diversity and gender equality in the high-tech world, innovation will be more approachable. Be confident in your capabilities and keep going against the tide. This way, you will succeed in the IoT department, and you will have the career you’ve always wanted!