Technology skills and Soft-skills

A Computer Science student wrote to me: “In your article “The best Career Today” , you mentioned 5G, but in my country, we are still using 3G and I do not know how long we will have 5G? Do I need to learn about 5G? Is it too early to learn something? Please advise.”

Answer: 5G is the Fifth Generation of wireless broadband technology that can provide faster speeds and wider coverage than the current 3G or 4G technology. Since the number of people uses wireless devices such as mobile phones, Laptops, Tablets, Internet of Things is increasing fast, I think 5G will be implemented to meet the demand for faster information flow, no matter where you live.

Image: Gettyimages

Today 5 G already being used in some places, in a limited way. For example, in the winter Olympic in Pyeong Chang, South Korea’s SK Telecom already demonstrate their 5G technology for people to send, receive, and stream video much faster than before. Japan is planning to launch 5G service in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Several telecommunication companies in the U.S. and Europe are also planning to deliver 5G technology for customers by 2020. Their business rule is: “Move fast to capture the market before your competitors do.” A senior market analyst predicted: “Company that has this technology first can capture the market as most people will switch to a provider with higher speed and better quality. At this time, telecommunication companies in the U.S., Japan, Korea and China are working on implement 5 G technology in their countries, but most also plan to expand their operation to other countries to capture a larger market. If they do, local companies that are slow to adopt this technology may not be able to compete.”

As a technical student, you need to develop certain technical skills that are needed by the time you graduate and continue to keep them current for the future. If you are planning to work for a telecommunication company or similar domain, you need to know about the technology that they are using today as well as what they will need tomorrow. You must develop a career plan in which you identify all the skills that you need for your career and how you will acquire them. If your school does not teach them, you can go online for tutorials on YouTube, MOOCs and other sources.

Technology changes fast, and you need to stay current by developing a lifelong learning attitude, else you will be left behind. However, there are certain skills that will always remain with you and never change such as problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, ethics, responsibility, and accountability. If you have these soft-skills and technical skills, you will never have to worry about finding a job.


  • Blogs of Prof. John Vu, Carnegie Mellon University