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Now is the time to support new skills development in preparation for 5G

By Sergio Fasce, Vice President - People Services, NokiaEDU

March 14 2021 - Now more than ever, technology is dramatically influencing every aspect of our daily lives: how we do business, how we stay connected and how we learn. As Human Resources professionals, we play a pivotal role in ensuring that employees develop the new skills and training they'll need for the digital world.

Given all of the advertising and media attention, it's easy to see that the 5G Revolution has begun. Over the next five years, 71% of companies will invest in this technology - with the potential to add $8 trillion in value to businesses, economies and societies globally by 2030. The 5G promise of low latency, high reliability, low power consumption, high bandwidth, multi-level security, and ubiquitous connectivity will turn the much-discussed concepts of smart cities, autonomous vehicles, virtual learning and remote healthcare into impactful realities.

The advent of 5G will bring about new requirements and roles that have never before existed. Entire sectors will suddenly be at the forefront of our digital economy, creating opportunities for those in fields of which we are currently unaware. Major opportunities exist for those eager to adapt and able to perform the jobs of the future.

Technology acceleration

The spread of COVID-19 initially seemed to undermine expectations that 2020 would be the year when widespread 5G deployment took hold, however the world responded. As we adapted to 'the new normal', the importance of technology became even more apparent. The business case for 5G grew stronger than ever and research we commissioned found that rather than stepping back from technology investment in the wake of the pandemic, larger companies doubled down - with 45% saying they had accelerated their digital transformation programs as a result of the pandemic.

Business preparation for 5G

Still, many businesses and individuals remain unprepared.

Our study found that despite 86% of decision-makers saying that they have some kind of strategy in place for 5G, only 15% are currently investing in its implementation. Just a third of decision-makers currently have a dedicated team for 5G within their organizations, and just one-in-ten of the technology buyers surveyed said they were fully resourced for 5G (across budget, personnel, software and hardware).

As a leader in the creation of critical networks and technologies, Nokia helps individuals and businesses fully understand the potential of 5G. So, whether you work in HR at a communications service provider, or within an industry vertical that is on the leading edge of digitalization, encouraging and supporting staff to take advantage of 5G training programs and future-proofing their skills is essential. Learning about 5G is not just important for their personal growth. Their understanding and knowledge of 5G will also help their businesses gain a competitive advantage in bringing the skills and expertise needed to strategize and plan new 5G business solutions.

There are a number of 5G training programs available - from entry level starting points that focus on basic 5G concepts and frameworks to professional level certifications that offer more detailed perspectives into the various 5G domains, complete with real-life use cases. Of particular benefit are training programs that are vendor agnostic and aren't tied to a particular technology or pure theory. This way participants will gain a broader understanding of 5G and be better equipped to engage in, and contribute to, 5G strategy and planning initiatives.

No time to wait

While many companies see 5G as a vital technology for their future success, most currently lack the workforce skills and expertise to begin reaping the benefits. Investing in education and sharing real use cases of 5G is key to helping people understand how the technology fits into our world. Companies that invest strategically during these times will emerge much stronger and remain competitive.

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