Cloud Companies Like Vend POS Boom, but Educator David Kinane Urges Caution in Tech Career Choices

Industry: Technology

San Francisco, CA (PRUnderground) December 14th, 2017

The ubiquitous high-speed internet and artificial intelligence (AI) may be the best technological advances since the industrial revolution fired up the Luddites 200 years ago, but many people are having trouble dealing with the pace of change. 

Those who believe in software engineering as a career may not consider how the impact of AI and the growing demand it has generated for graduates to think creatively and flexibly. 

David Kinane, a digital consultant in the education sector, says whole departments of computer graduates hired to maintain networks of computers are being overtaken by cloud computing. That is a direct result of the high-speed, accessible and affordable internet and the consistent, quantum advances of AI. 

‘Costly computer networks, air-conditioned rooms and costly network engineers are diminishing as entire server farms are outsourced to the cloud, and with frightening speed.’

Companies such as Vend, a cloud-based, point-of-sale and retail management software that lets retailers run their business in-store, online, and via mobile, still need engineers, but the emphasis on skill sets is changing.

Kinane says the pace of change is lost on many, particularly those who think a career in computers is a ticket to lifelong and lucrative employment – that includes parents who encourage their children in that direction.

‘It probably won’t.’

He says companies outsourcing to the cloud pay only a flat fee for renting space. With the internet being so ubiquitous and affordable, the cloud makes obvious sense but that is still seldom a factor when choosing a digital career.

One of the challenges of the education system and digital world is preparing students for an ‘increasingly seismic and increasingly rapidly changing environment. Some educators themselves have yet to freely accept that the world in which they think they are preparing the children for is not the world they come from.

‘So, a lot of kids are being prepared for stuff that is entirely irrelevant. The kids can see it, but some teachers may not, and that is part of the problem.’

He says the industry now demands those looking at a digital career have a skill set that lets them work creatively, flexibly, collaboratively, remotely and work in a physical environment which lets them ‘co-construct without meeting’.

‘We don’t want kids who can just regurgitate content. We want kids who can create new content or who can work creatively, think outside the box, who can work collaboratively, who can process information from different sources.

‘Traditional pedagogy is hindering the wholesale implementation of a radical new way to present the curriculum, and some teachers (through their adherence to this traditional pedagogy) could be seen as luddites.’

Big organizations such as Microsoft, are crying out for computer science graduates that can manipulate data, work with data and interrogate data.

He says AI will replace many careers considered a safe bet such as low-level accounting and even routine legal work. 

‘Xero is a good example of AI accounting. Input your stuff and depending on what level you pay for, it will just do it all for you.’

‘Which begs the rhetorical question, if we are teaching content that is Google-able, then what relevance can education be in the eyes of well-connected students?’

That is the sort of digital development, he said, that is turning many parents into digital Luddites as they encourage their children into careers that may be heading nowhere.

“Undergraduate courses once seen as safe career choices – including accounting and law – may not offer the potential they once did. 

“The push from Universities and Governments is towards the STEM subjects, of which manipulating “big data” is one of the new big ones – many parents are not fully aware of this shift in emphasis,” he said.

About Vend

Vend is America’s leading retail POS software, inventory management, ecommerce & customer loyalty for iPad, Mac and PC that let retailers easily manage and grow your business in the cloud.

Described as a beautifully designed, responsive point of sale system that gives retail customers the ability to service their customers quickly and efficiently, Vend POS is available online and offline and easily connects to all the latest hardware – barcode scanners, receipt printers, cash drawers.

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