Neumont College of Computer Science honored graduates at the 2018 Commencement Ceremony on Friday, August 31 at The Capitol Theatre in Salt Lake City. John Knotwell, CEO and president of the Utah Technology Council, provided the keynote address. Neumont President Aaron Reed, Ed.D. also spoke briefly. You can watch the full ceremony at the YouTube link below.
Knotwell, a 12-year veteran in Utah's growing tech community spoke of the value of listening, sharing that, "…true listening shows that you value those people around you. It shows that you are invested in them as people, and that you, as a colleague, coworker, boss, or friend, want them to succeed. And a world where we all wish one another success is the only way to find success ourselves. It's how we build each other up, how we build up our organizations, how we have faith in the future."
Making a plug for Utah's tech future as well, Knotwell shared, "We have over 6,500 tech firms in Utah. We are the fastest growing in the country, adding job after job after job to every listing site that has ever existed," noting that, "There will never be a moment where opportunity is not calling you. The only real impact that you can make, in your career or in your life, is your choice," and invited Neumont graduates to stay local.
"Make the choice to stay," he implored. "Make this community your home. Explore opportunities and the mountains. Invest your time here finding the balance that we all want in work and in life."
After noting three key life lessons gleaned from his time in tech and higher education, Dr. Reed closed his remarks reminding graduates, "Today was the day you joined an elite tech workforce -- the one-and-a-half percent that are chiefly responsible for the future of America's economy and national security," referencing remarks earlier where he noted that while 30 percent of Americans have bachelors degrees, only 3 percent of all awarded degrees go to computer science, and only 1.5 percent of people in the United States work in computer science.
But "even more exclusively than that," Reed said, "remember that today is the day you joined a growing army of tech giants that are part of a family of Neumont alumni."