As technology becomes increasingly important in our daily lives, IEEE Computer Society has a growing obligation to guide its members throughout their careers to meet a higher standard of performance. This is an underappreciated aspect of professional development – in our increasingly global society, technical professionals must constantly adjust to changes in technology rather than rely on the skills they had when they first entered the workforce. The CS is leading the way for its members by providing programs, products, and services to aid this transition.
It has been estimated that by 2020, 50 percent of the world’s population will be under age 18, and 20 percent will be over age 65, leaving 30 percent of the population to act as the backbone of society, doing whatever work needs to be done. Not all of these people will be engineering and technology professionals. Those who are will be expected to handle water shortages, air pollution, energy requirements, environmental footprints, and many other large-scale concerns.
There are numerous ways that the CS is working to prepare its members for the future. We’re providing resources such as continuing education programs, certification, and mentoring to make the learning process a lifelong one. We’re encouraging and facilitating dialogue by organizing summits to bring together academic and industry leaders. We’re advocating and promoting the computing professions so that the world will understand and appreciate what engineers and technicians are doing to improve global conditions.
It’s not going to be easy to address our future technological needs. Non-governmental organizations, the media and all professional societies will have to be involved, and it will take significant investment of resources and financial commitment to move forward. With its curriculum, accreditation, standards committees, chapters, and publications, the CS is committed to being an essential part of the global technical community. Together we will all make the world a better place.
If you have any thoughts or questions, I’d like to hear them.
Rangachar Kasturi, 2008 IEEE Computer Society President