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From a technology industry perspective, one of the most common things you hear about the pandemic is that it dramatically accelerates the rate at which many companies are adopting new technologies, including cloud computing.
However, at a deeper level, I would like to argue that the pandemic has significantly increased the rate at which many major trends affect society and, in general, work with technology, which once again plays a critical role.
It’s hard to ignore the fact that some industries, and the jobs associated with them, which were expected to decline moderately, have instead seen a dramatic collapse. From the increased use of robotic automation to the online shift of stores, there are many examples of companies – and even across the industry – accelerating technology adoption during the pandemic. An unfortunate result is the number of people who lose their jobs earlier than expected.
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As Intel CEO Bob Swan briefly put it when I spoke to him about manufacturing technology in the US (See “Why US Semiconductor Chip Manufacturing Is Critical? Manufacturing with improved technology can lead to eliminating jobs that people used to do.
Swan, however, points to a cry that has attracted a great deal of attention across the tech industry in recent days. “With the advancement of technologies that can replace some of these jobs, the responsibility of technology companies is how to prepare new workers for the future.”
Fortunately, many large tech companies are helping to achieve this. Amazon, Microsoft, and Intel, among many others, respond to basic business and social adjustments with retraining (learning new skills) and improvement programs (learning more experiences). They provide new opportunities for people at all levels of education and work experience to acquire new skills and find jobs with a more confident future.
In most cases, tech companies have implemented these types of training programs for years, but the pandemic has pushed them forward. As Ardine Williams, Amazon’s vice president of job development, put it, “Millions of people in the US and around the world continue to be severely affected by the economic effects of COVID-19, needing skills training at an elevated time. “.
In particular, there is a significant gap in technology skills available today, which is expected to deteriorate in the future. Tech space companies need more skilled workers, so ultimately they hope to help themselves and other related companies that will help drive the growth of the broader ecosystem.
And they do it on a large scale. Last week, for example, Amazon’s cloud computing service AWS (Amazon Web Services) announced a program to provide education and training programs to 29 million people around the world from now until 2025..
Through free programs like AWS Educate and AWS Training and Certification, the company hopes to improve the cloud computing skills of potential workers, even if they are not currently working or intend to work for Amazon.
Amazon announced a separate $ 700 million program last year to upgrade existing workers, including those who might start out as entry-level warehouse workers but want to move to higher pay. more advanced work.
The e-retailer also has an AWS reset / restart program, specifically designed for unemployed or unemployed people without any technical knowledge to transition into the tech industry.
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