Filling the Talent Gap

Will Caldwell was sure he wanted to be a mechanical engineer. The 20-year-old had spent his childhood in Madison, Wis., building models of spacecraft and futuristic vehicles with whatever he could find around the house. He started a mechanical engineering club at his high school. And when he enrolled in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Engineering three years ago, he hoped to someday design cars.

But along the way, he realized that mechanical engineering skills alone would not get him where he wanted to go. His pals who recently graduated with mechanical engineering degrees had landed jobs that required them to program computers and robots, and to perform other tasks that were related more to the computerized world of the Internet of Things (IoT) than to traditional mechanical engineering.

“I met a lot of people who had figured out what IoT was and wanted to do something real with it,” he said. But neither he nor his friends had much opportunity in their mechanical engineering classes to learn about IoT-related technologies and how to apply them to real-world solutions.

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By Mounica Raj Tata
Mounica Raj Tata Graduate Career Ambassador