The skills gap
One of the most discussed topics in education policy circles these days is how to narrow the gap between what educational institutions are teaching, and the knowledge and skills required in today’s job market. This gap is often referred to as the “education gap”, “skills gap” or “skills mismatch”, and there is evidence that this gap is widening in engineering disciplines, with considerable socio-economic consequences .
As an academic now working in industry, it is clear to me that addressing this gap necessitates collaboration among four main stakeholders: government, education providers (including schools and universities), industry and learned societies. Industry stakeholders in particular have a major role to play, not only in facilitating educational institutions’ access to the latest technologies, but also as content creators in their own right. The unprecedented pace of technological change in the last few decades makes it difficult, if not impossible, for educators to keep their teaching materials up-to-date, especially given the increasing pressure on educators to balance teaching with research. As the stakeholder responsible for the execution of technology roadmaps, industry is best positioned to produce content that matches this pace.
ARM Education Media: bridging the gap
With this in mind, we at ARM have recently launched ARM Education Media, a subscription-based digital content hub offering interactive online courses and e-first textbooks. As the world’s leading semiconductor Intellectual Property (IP) provider that powers most of today’s mobile computers, among many other products, ARM is very well placed to play a leading role in addressing the skills gap. Our hub will allow academics, students, professional engineers and the wider training market to keep up with the latest technologies from the ARM ecosystem; technologies that are reaching 80% of the global population.
ARM Education Media’s online courses combine theoretical and practical materials in the form of lecture slides and videos, interactive quizzes, and engaging lab videos demonstrating state-of-the-art software and hardware technologies. They are ideal for “flipped classroom” pedagogy or individual self-study. The first four online courses, available now on our hub, focus on efficient and rapid embedded systems design, the Internet of Things, and Digital Signal Processing. More courses, and our first textbooks, will follow soon.
To ensure they maintain industry relevance, all of ARM Education Media’s materials will operate a one-year maintenance cycle and a four-year major revamp cycle following major industry roadmaps. Besides, the materials have been designed in a highly modular and configurable manner in order to allow for the rapid creation of new content that suits different learner needs.
Working in partnership
ARM Education Media is the culmination of several years of collaboration with thousands of educational institutions, industrial partners, students, recruiters and managers worldwide. It complements other initiatives and programs at ARM such as the ARM Education Partnership, which helps teachers and children learn with technology, the ARM University Program, which provides university academics worldwide with free teaching materials and technologies for many Computer Engineering and related courses, and ARM Training, which provides professional engineers with training on core ARM technology topics.
Whether you are an academic, researcher, student, librarian, professional engineer or hobbyist, visit the ARM Education Media website, let us know what you think of our offerings, and tell us how we can make them better. We look forward to hearing from you.
Khaled Benkrid, PhD, CEng, MBA
Director of Education and Research, ARM Ltd
 ] Susan Lord, CIP 443 Future of Engineering Education: An IEEE Report, Conference for Industry and Education Collaboration, PalmSprings Hilton Feb. 4-6, 2015.
 Engineering UK 2015 Report, http://www.engineeringuk.com/Research/Engineering_UK_Report_2015/
 Still Searching: Job Vacancies and STEM Skills, Brookings Report, July 2014, https://www.brookings.edu/interactives/still-searching-job-vacancies-and-stem-skills/