Thinking about studying technology or engineering? You might be eligible for a 3 thousand-euro grant paid in instalments over 10 months. Aiming to promote these studies, Teltonika IoT Group established a 90-thousand-euro scholarship fund for the first-year KTU students who will choose studies in technology and engineering.
Technologies are transforming our offices and homes, the monotonous tasks are being performed by automated machines, and their smooth operation is unimaginable without human supervision. However, despite the growing possibilities in the field, the number of students choosing to study technology and engineering is decreasing.
The recently published European Commission’s 2020 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) showed that the number of graduates in the field of information technology in Lithuania is only 2.7 per cent. By this criterion, Lithuania ranks 23rd among the EU member states. According to Julius Švagždys, Chief Corporate Marketing Officer at Teltonika Group, this is a rather troublesome trend indicating that Lithuania has stopped following the road leading to becoming a high-tech country.
Considering the importance of science and technologies to society, Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) and UAB Teltonika IoT Group signed a cooperation agreement. KTU students will not only have the opportunity to apply for special scholarships; the agreement will also open up wide internship and employment possibilities in all Teltonika subsidiaries.
“I am very happy that this agreement is not just a signed document, but the beginning of a cooperation that creates real value: Teltonika not only offers a financial incentive but expands our students’ employment opportunities. I believe that the exceptional opportunity to award scholarships to as many as 30 students will allow us to significantly contribute to the training of specialists who are so few in the market”, says KTU Rector Eugenijus Valatka.
30 KTU students will receive monthly scholarships amounting to 300 euros. Scholarships will be paid to each student for the first 10 months of study. The total amount of the grant per student is 3 thousand euros. The first-year students, starting KTU this September and studying in the fields of informatics, electrical and electronics engineering, mechanical engineering, mathematics and natural sciences will be able to apply for the scholarship.
“As one of the largest companies in high technologies development and production operating in Lithuania, we feel obliged to promote technology studies”, says Švagždys.
According to Švagždys, the demand for specialists having a background in technology sciences is growing every year, and their salaries are already at least three times higher than the local average. In particular, there is a shortage of embedded system programmers and electronics engineering specialists – Lithuanian companies have already started to look for specialists in neighbouring countries.
“Today, nobody doubts the added value created by technologies, and virtually every business needs new equipment to implement new and smart solutions. Thus, economically strong states invest substantial amounts not only into the invention of new technologies but also into their production. A large number of specialists is needed to develop these areas”, says Švagždys.
According to him, no matter how the use of technologies will change in the future, the demand for electronics or programming specialists will only increase.
Research reveals that in 2020, technology investment in Europe reached the all-time highest level – more than $41 billion. Meanwhile, since 1990, the employment in STEM-related jobs (natural sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics) grew by 79 per cent: from 9.7 million up to 17.3 million employees.
“By 2025, the Teltonika Group plans to increase the number of employees in Lithuania up to 3 thousand. Therefore, the need for specialists with the technology background will only increase with each passing year, thus creating one of the best working conditions in this field in Lithuania”, says the Chief Corporate Marketing Officer at Teltonika.
The Technology and Innovation Report 2021 calls on all countries to prepare for technological change. The report claims that countries will need to pursue science, technology and innovation policies that respond to future developments. Therefore, it is recommended to strengthen and combine science, technology, innovation and industrial policy, to develop society’s digital skills, to bridge the digital divide and to train future specialists – students who can adapt to innovations.
“All skills can be developed; the most important thing is to have an internal motivation to change the world by creating and applying new technologies. Each generation of specialists contributes their competencies to the team, which, working together can create the perfect end product. Technology is constantly changing, so it’s important to be interested in how each innovation works and how it can be further improved. I think this is a recipe for the success of a technology specialist”, says Švagždys.
The technological change includes technologies such as the Internet of Things, machine learning, artificial intelligence, big data, robotics, 3D printing, bio- and nanotechnology, renewable energy technologies, and more. However, rapid digitalisation is also changing the nature of the work of technology professionals and the competencies required.
“Specialists in all fields need constant work and self-education. Therefore, it is natural that self-improvement, in the long run, will allow everyone to see the importance of technology and bring a lot of creative meaning, as every project potentially is a world-changing element. The more knowledge a specialist acquires, the more effectively they can help thousands of users”, says Švagždys.