Interview with Daniela Granados from Digital Cayman
As an industry body, Digital Cayman has held a number of discussions on tech education, supporting a tech industry in the Cayman Islands, digital transformation, and the growing demand for a skilled digital-savvy labour force. This month we sat down with Digital Cayman’s Administrative Assistant, Daniela Granados, a recent graduate and young Caymanian who is planning on pursuing her master’s in digital media and is dedicated to supporting Cayman’s growing digital sector.
We met up with Daniela to discuss all things digital and what opportunities lie ahead for Cayman’s next generation.
DC: Let’s jump right in, as Cayman’s digital economy grows where do key opportunities lie for Cayman’s next generation?
DG: It seems to me that a lot of digital opportunities worldwide will come in the form of optimization or innovation of already existing infrastructures. The idea that tech jobs can be neatly isolated into a digital sector removed from the rest of the job market, and that they require you to choose between ‘tech’ and ‘everything else’, is not real anymore. For example, my interests lie in its applications within the creative fields. As each sector finds unique forms of digital application, more opportunities should follow, so I think key opportunities can lie wherever an individual’s interests and career motivations lie – it’s just a matter of keeping an open mind to building new skill sets that provide value.
DC: Closing the digital divide and ensuring that everyone has access to quality learning opportunities has been a major topic of discussion. In your opinion, how should Cayman’s tech companies invest in the next generation and prepare for the future?
DG: Investing in Cayman’s next generation should start young and be far-reaching – i.e., across all schools. It should come in the form of work experience with real-world applicability to provide insight on the impact tech can have. By fostering a community through interschool events and by providing guidance and mentorship, young people will be able to build their skill sets early and more interest should be generated. Once this interest grows, it’s just as important to support and encourage further training and development opportunities on island and abroad.
DC: What are your thoughts on diversity? Why is supporting a truly diverse digital-savvy workforce so vital and what, in your opinion, can be done to fill Cayman’s tech industry with more diverse workers?
DG: Diversity and inclusion are essential in all sectors for the simple fact that more variety amongst people exchanging information results in new ideas informed by the different experiences and perspectives brought to the table. It’s also these experiences that attract different people to work within different fields. For this reason, if the goal is to attract more diverse workers, I think the initial focus should be on raising awareness of the wide reach of digital applications into all fields and their potential to solve problems. By showing a truly diverse range of interdisciplinary problems, you attract a diverse set of problem solvers interested in solving them. This starts with demystifying digital opportunities – through lectures, competitions, early education, mentorships etc.– by showing people that it can apply to their individual interests and priorities, whether that be money, innovation or continuous learning, for example.
DC: As a young Caymanian, what excites you the most about Cayman’s growing digital sector?
DG: The fact that there is so much potential for growth and that it can be done from anywhere. Generally, a good number of people benefit from the optimization of established systems and sectors (e.g., if the food industry optimizes food delivery services, the country benefits from it). It’s exciting that by fostering a diverse community of different skill sets and creating new opportunities within the digital workforce, Cayman could optimise products and services that provide value to everyday lives on an international level. This is made possible by the fact that tech is decentralizing everything that interests us, which means we can create these opportunities from anywhere.
DC: Alright, time for the sales pitch. Why should young adults, like yourself, become Digital Cayman members?
DG: Everyone likes the word ‘FREE’ so I should start by saying memberships for students are free! Also, an individual membership will provide you with a number of opportunities to network with key players in person and on social media – which is an invaluable skill that can benefit everyone, regardless of what you do – as well as allow you to stay informed on what’s happening within local industries working with tech and on an international level, considering the applicability of the discussions to other countries. It’s also always good fun to be part of a community of like-minded individuals – you never know what opportunities that can bring!