Cities worldwide share a daunting challenge: where to find the talent to manage the technologies that make smart cities possible.
Johannesburg – South Africa's largest city -- recently unveiled its approach, a program referred to as COJEDI to educate 'digital interns' and prepare them for careers in information and communications technology (ICT). The program is a big part of the early phase of its smart city plan, and is expected to train 1,000 students in the IT industry to ensure the city has the talent it needs, according to an article in IT News Africa.
The need for IT professionals in the future… and now
City officials recognize the need for professionals with the right technological capabilities to help make the smart city plan a reality. There also is a more immediate need: the city's communities now have extensive broadband connectivity but there are too few trained professionals to efficiently manage and maintain it.
Students selected for the program will have the opportunity to see smart cities connectivity in action in other countries. The first group of students is now immersed in an intensive four-month technical training program.
During the program launch, Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau said "This program will go a long way in improving IT skills and expertise in Johannesburg. It provides a superb opportunity for some of our brightest minds to learn the skills they will need to be more employable in the future."