UPDATED 15:53 EDT / NOVEMBER 19 2021


Aspirational Futures, Netscout help prepare the next generation for careers in tech

For technology to continuously improve and evolve, it needs motivated engineers, designers and researchers willing to push it into the next generation.

With proper science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics education and preparation, children everywhere today will be ready to lead and develop technology into another era of technological wonder, according to professor Sally Eaves (pictured, left), chief executive officer of Aspirational Futures, a non-profit organization focused on opening up opportunities of joining the tech industry to a more diverse population.

“It comes down to curiosity, encouraging people to get into the sector, showing what you can do, building creative confidence, emotional intelligence, those types of skills alongside the tech skills to build it,” Eaves said. “For me, STEAM is a great way to get holistic learning for life. With the rate of change we’ve got at the moment, it gives you that toolset to work from to be empowered and confident for the future.”

Eaves and Karen McCloskey (pictured, right), director of internal communications and corporate philanthropy at Netscout Systems Inc., spoke with Lisa Martin, host of SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming video studio theCUBE. They discussed the importance of STEM and STEAM, preparing children of all ages for jobs in tech, Netscout’s efforts to promote STEM, and more. (* Disclosure below.)

Preparing the next generation

The pandemic thrust the world into a remote, technology-dependent economy, revealing the gaps in tech-focused roles across the board, as well as the lack of computer literacy spanning all ages. And the tech industry is seeing higher churn because of a lack of data literacy skills, according to McCloskey.

“Let’s think creatively, let’s be pragmatic and address some of these data literacy gaps,” she said. “But we have to do it at all levels of the community and also for adult learners too.”

To mitigate the digital divide, Netscout believes it’s imperative for tech companies to act as “guardians of the connected world,” according to McCloskey, not just with customers and products, but also with people in the community.

“We engaged with Tech Goes Home, which … works with families and students, and they say their programs go from nine to 90,” she said. “So they’ve got everybody covered. And what’s exciting for us is it kind of falls, from a volunteer perspective, right in our wheelhouse.” 

Despite the stereotype of a tech-savvy younger generation, research numbers reveal a startling lack of technological confidence, according to Eaves.

“Forty-three percent of teenagers about 16 to 21 years of age … don’t feel data literate,” she stated. “So we need to make sure to include everyone in this conversation, going as young as possible in terms of introducing people to these opportunities, but making sure we don’t leave any particular age group behind. It’s that breadth of engagement with all ages that is absolutely key.”

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s CUBE Conversations(* Disclosure: Netscout Systems Inc. sponsored this segment of theCUBE. Neither Netscout nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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