The best well-known research companies are continuously publishing reports with estimates and forecasts on the burgeoning IoT market, including device growth, amount invested and potential return on investment. But there is an important reality that only a few warn: the educational gap and practical knowledge absence to cover the workforce needed to develop IoT solutions.

Moreover, IoT devices will account for 24 billion by 2020, while traditional computing devices (e.g. smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, etc.) will comprise 10 billion. Different consultancy forecast reports states that nearly $6 trillion will be spent on IoT solutions over the next five years.

Current students must select their degrees knowing that around 4-5 million of job positions will be required to work as IoT developer in the next years and technology progresses so fast that demand is growing daily. In fact, 26% of European companies do not find the right profiles for their vacant positions. The Internet of Things market opens a new opportunity for electronic and computing engineers and Libelium is focusing on education by training current students that will be the future leaders in the sector.

Libelium’s commitment with education pursues fostering the IoT skills among students in every University and Educational Institution all over the world. Enhancing education in IoT development will reinforce employment opportunities for future generations to reduce the educational gap between skills demanded by IoT companies and practical knowledge of workforce. This risk could even decrease or even endanger the expected growing of the market.

In this sense, the Internet of Things market opens a new opportunity for electronic and computing engineers and Libelium is focusing on education by training current students that will be the future leaders in the sector. Due to the increasing demand of IoT solutions, Libelium has launched the second edition of the free online educational program “IoT Spartans Challenge”. The aim of this training program is to improve the practical knowledge that IoT companies usually demand when recruiting future developers studying Computing or Electronic Engineering.

The IoT Spartans Challenge is now opened to find the best IoT developers among 600 worldwide participants from 250 engineering universities and technical schools enrolled in the battle.

This e-learning contest offers teaching materials, webinars, online quiz and tests in nine different modules about IoT, analog and digital I/O, SC card, interruptions, accelerometer, RTC, power management, networking and sensors to prepare students for the IoT world.

Eight universities are competing at the moment: Aarhus University from Denmark, Charles Sturt University from Australia, Instituto Politécnico do Cávado e do Ave (IPCA) from Portugal, Telecommunications and Remote Sensing Lab (University of Pavia) from Italy, University of the Philippines Diliman from Philippines, Grupo San Valero from Spain, and Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá.

This year, in addition to the 10,000 € prizes, the top 3 Spartans will obtain special learning discounts and the possibility to be presented to other organization talent matching programs thanks to the collaboration of Mioti and the IoT Talent Consortium.

The more “Spartans” we have for the future, the greater will the IoT market be and the faster it will reach our companies and lives.

It should be a shared commitment of corporate and social responsibility that should include governments, educational institutions and private companies to reinforce employment opportunities for future generations.

Alicia Asín, Libelium’s CEO

Alicia Asín is CEO and co-founder of Libelium, the wireless sensor hardware provider, creators of Waspmote, a modular, open source sensor platform for the Internet of Things (IoT). Alicia is an intuitive technologist focused on how IoT can change our world, starting with Smart Cities and smart agriculture. She is a frequent speaker at international conferences on issues related to Smart Cities, wireless sensor networks and IoT.

Alicia holds a master’s degree in computer engineering from the Polytechnic Center, University of Zaragoza, and is a graduate of the Cambridge Judge Business School and ESADE.

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