Chris McGuganAugust 21, 2019

Building the Next Generation of Engineers with Avaya Academy

Engineering has historically always been of great importance, but perhaps more than ever in today’s advanced, digital world. The next generation of engineers will be responsible for creating innovative new designs that benefit humanity, reimagining the world as we know it. Yet research shows many engineer graduates are far from market-ready, which is why Avaya has expanded its Avaya Academy to include engineers from our R&D team. The immersive, global program helps accelerate development, long-term engagement and professional growth to help prepare engineers for today’s fast-paced and rapidly evolving industry.  

According to LinkedIn, two of today’s top three most-recruited jobs are engineer-related. Yet studies show that the majority of engineering graduates are not fit for hiring, with today’s top IT companies accepting only 6%. So, what happens to the other 94%? They’re left to their own devices.

Or, just maybe, it’s up to us to educate, engage and empower these individuals to reach their fullest potential. The market is still largely unexplored, with terms like “DevOps” being relatively unknown just a few years ago. Now, DevOps engineer is the most-recruited job on LinkedIn. Newer positions like these are still being defined within organizations, with many engineers making the excellent point that the role is more of a culture shift than a single job (see here for why I 100% agree).

The bottom line is that this unique role requires mentorship, guidance and support. As the latest expansion to our successful Avaya Academy, our third class will support 14 talented and motivated individuals in engineering and R&D with exceptional training, advanced industry knowledge, and a customer-focused mindset that will propel them and us into the future. We launched Avaya Academy last year, recruiting 50 individuals across 15 countries for a learning experience you simply can’t get on campus. I’m thrilled to help shape this year’s recruits, who will be engaging with my R&D team as critical drivers of innovation at Avaya.

Requests are now open for Engineering Academy participants, who will begin in July and graduate in December. During the first month of the program, all Academy recruits (sales, R&D, etc.) will train together and learn about Avaya’s vision, mission and unique product portfolio. After this, they’ll split into their respective organizations for shadowing and job-specific training. For engineering participants, this can include:

  • Design, implementation and maintenance of data communications systems
  • Network and cybersecurity
  • Network visualizations
  • Network management and architecture
  • R&D on networking

A core element of the program is the ability to learn from one another in an innovative and experimental environment, gaining fresh perspectives and finding new ways to solve challenges that deliver transformative value to our customers. With mentorship, guidance and support from managers, peers and executive leaders like me, Avaya Academy participants will help bring emerging new technologies to market, deliver product breadth and depth, and provide new high-value services.

With the world becoming increasingly dependent on technology, the industry has become more dependent on skilled engineers. The Avaya Academy is something special and much-needed in a new era of innovation. While we continue to invest in leading-edge technology, we are also taking innovative approaches to invest in our people to enable customer and partner success. I look forward to the arrival of our Academy recruits in July and the learning, growing and mentoring that will take place over the following months.  

You can learn more about the Avaya Academy Program in our 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report. If interested, please visit our career pages to apply for a position in our 2019 Avaya Academy program.

Avaya Academy Engineers

Chris McGugan

Chris leads Avaya's technology strategy development to guide future investments. His focus is on assessing customer needs, market trends and how new and emerging technologies can drive value and improved customer experience as part of the digital transformation in communications that Avaya is leading.

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