Analytics, needless to deny it, is the magic word that is making the digital skills sector fly (+21.3 percent investment in 2019 according to research by Politecnico di Milano Observatories).
So if this Analytics market were examined, we could easily assume that digital transformation in Italy is now a well-established process. The reality is unfortunately different, and it is a study in which AICA participated that points this out. TheDigital Skills Observatory, now in its fifth edition, more than a gap between supply and demand describes a real chasm, which will need to be reduced as quickly as possible for the industrial development of the country system.
He who finds a “specialist” finds a treasure!
Whereas until a few years ago it was sufficient for the candidate’s profile to include an engineering/informatics degree to meet the needs of companies, now the situation is radically different. Specialized professionals are increasingly difficult to “ferret out,” either because they are physically unavailable or because they have not yet been ratified by the eCF, e-Competence Framework, standard. But let’s go in order.
If your current (or upcoming) profile falls among any of these, Data Analyst, Data Visualition Expert, Data Engineer, AI specialist, Blockchain specialist, IOT specialist, Mobile specialist, and Robotics specialist, your (immediate) future is assured. And while universities for their part are graduating young specialists at a steady pace, companies are increasing their demand for even more hybrid figures, possibly already ready to enter within increasingly challenging and articulated projects. Contributions in this area are fortunately higher than average, but soft skills of coordination, design and development are also required. Thus, with the same training, it is these that make the difference, and careful selection requires specific knowledge on the part of the internal or increasingly, external recruiter.
There is a lack of “human material”
Let’s look at some data. For the three-year period 2019-2021, between 67,100 and 94,500 applications are expected from companies, while the education system will provide less than 82,000, two-thirds of whom will be high school graduates and one-third graduates. The total, although growing (in the previous three-year period there were 73,000) still sees, for the year that is about to close, a disproportion between high school graduates (17,200) and college graduates (9,300). Companies don’t get enough.
In 2017, 4,400 graduates were missing. In 2019 the gap increases to 5100, as much as 35 percent of the requirement. Companies are therefore turning to the thriving “market” for high school graduates, which is increasing sharply and steadily year on year (95 percent more than the industry demands). The problem of the low specialized qualification of the latter is therefore overcome by companies with postgraduate courses and in-house training. Academies and training and consulting companies therefore play an important role. In any case, there is a need to increase the interaction between industry and colleges, further reducing the learning period and the placement of young and motivated people in companies.
Analytics and AI drive the industry
According to the findings of AICA’s research, it is now up to universities to remove the closed/programmed number and do digital orientation and awareness. The market demands increasingly hybrid figures, not just experts in Analytics, who can integrate knowledge in the humanities with in-depth digital skills, as in AI. Therefore, the long market adjustment time of university pathways needs to be drastically reduced. According to the research, there are currently more than 4,500 vacancies not yet configured for the new highly specialized professions. Thanks in part to an Analytics market, which will be worth 1.7 BILLION in 2019, ICT degrees with a focus on Big Data and Data Science (49 percent of courses with medium-to-high coverage) and Information Security/Cybersecurity (56 percent of courses with medium-to-high coverage) are on the rise.
Training on AI, where more than 64 percent of courses surveyed have medium to high coverage of the topics, and IOT, where at least 25 percent cover the subject in some depth, is also growing strongly.
However, the research shows limited training offerings in the area of cloud computing (24 percent of courses with medium to high coverage), while coverage of topics on enterprise use and contractual/legal and financial aspects is still lacking.
In conclusion, we report here what emerged from the joint research of AICA, Anitec-Assinform, Assintel and Assinter Italia, with the contribution of CFMT and the sponsorship of Miur and Agid.
Interviews with companies reveal some immediately needed priority interventions:
– Strengthen training and updating the skills of teaching staff.
– Raise awareness that higher-skilled jobs will increase and lower-skilled jobs will be replaced by smart machines.
– Stimulating the upskilling of the ICT workforce in companies.
– Continuously realign study paths to innovation and interdisciplinarity, including directing students who drop out of ICT degree programs to ITS.
– Enhance teachings on new technologies, methodologies and soft skills.
– Ensure a more conducive ecosystem for the spread of an entrepreneurial culture among ICT professionals.
– Multiply opportunities for apprenticeship experiences.
– Increasing digital entrepreneurship opportunities for recent ICT graduates.
– Create cross-cutting or supply chain ICT degree pathways (e.g. cloud, cognitive computing).
– Promoting collaborative supply chain networks as models for acceleration