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If you are looking for a job, become an expert in programming | Training | Economy

Programming, web development, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, computer engineering Software, Data Science… Professional profiles related to technology continue to enjoy a very high demand and employability, to the point that it is estimated that, at present, there is a shortage in Spain of more than 125,000 professionals with digital training. And not only in technology companies, since more and more organizations are turning to this type of disruptive technologies in their business areas. Now, which profiles are the most sought after and which skills are the most appreciated in the labor market?

It is worth remembering that, in the last 10 years, the demand for technology professionals has increased by 50%, as shown by the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI). And although the current number of ICT professionals is 9 million, the European Union expects this to increase to 20 million by 2030. A labour market in which lifelong training is essential: “We must bear in mind that we are in a market that is constantly changing and evolving, so it is important that professionals update their knowledge throughout their professional career and that they are informed about the technological advances that occur,” explains Juan Luis Moreno, Chief Innovation Officer (CLO) from The Valley.

However, in light of the recent waves of layoffs in large technology companies, it is worth asking whether this demand reflects a theoretical rather than a real trend. Juan Riva, CEO of the Immune Technology Institute, stated in a recent interview with EL PAÍS that these layoffs were due more to a readjustment after the pandemic than to a negative trend in the market, since the changes that occurred as a result of it led companies to over-hire in order to meet the new needs of the population. “In terms of forecasts, we see that technological employment will continue to grow at rates above 5%. In fact, it has not stopped increasing in the last seven years, during which time it has grown more than the services as a whole,” adds Antonio Rueda, director of the VASS Foundation and professor at the Autonomous University of Madrid.

What is the most in-demand training?

The persistence of a gap between the skills demanded by companies and the knowledge acquired at university, “especially in areas such as Java programming, auditing and security management, web 3.0, virtual and augmented reality and ERP management,” says Rueda, accentuates the need for continuous training to remain competitive. A situation in which bootcamps, Intensive technological training programs focused on the development of practical skills and facilitating rapid insertion into the workforce seem to have a certain advantage. The options, however, are numerous, and often complement each other:

  • Bootcamps web development Full Stack. This training is designed to teach students the skills necessary to work both in the front-end (the visible part of a website) such as the back-end (the hidden part that makes sure everything works as it should).
  • Masters in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. “There has been a very significant growth in areas of knowledge related to artificial intelligence and its disciplines such as machine learning (machine learning),” says Rueda. These fields, in turn, require knowledge of data analysis and natural language processing. In this area, the Expert Diploma in Python Programming for Data Science and the Web from the International University of Valencia stands out.
  • Higher Degree Cycles in Web Application Development. These vocational training programs are often a fast track to gaining practical skills in web design and programming. front-end and back-end. Training courses such as the Master’s in UX/UI from The Valley or the Higher Vocational Training Cycle in Multiplatform Application Development from CCC.
  • The university degrees in Computer Science and Engineering Software provide a solid foundation of knowledge in fields such as programming, mathematics and computer theory. A training that can then be complemented with any of the above-mentioned courses focused on cybersecurity, cloud computing and DevOps and even a master’s degree in video game development, a field that is enjoying good health.

Beyond these options, Rueda draws attention to the need to generate programs and initiatives both upskilling (training in new skills to maximize a worker’s performance) as well as reskilling (a professional retraining focused on preparing someone to fill a new position). “Developing a complete and effective training itinerary requires a holistic approach that combines technical aspects, interpersonal skills and adaptability to a constantly changing technological environment,” says Moreno.

For The Valley’s CLO, acquiring that solid foundation of knowledge mentioned above is just the beginning. Then, the areas of greatest growth and demand must be identified, so that students can specialize in one or more of these. “In addition, it is essential to promote training in which practical application of knowledge is made through real projects, which demonstrate how to solve real-world problems and help them develop soft skills such as communication, leadership, teamwork and conflict resolution.”

And what about job prospects?

The truth is that, in areas such as programming, everything points to a situation very close to full employment. In fact, V Study on Employability and Digital Talent, Prepared by the VASS Foundation and the Autonomous University of Madrid Foundation, it shows that companies could even create around 15% more jobs if there were a greater number of suitable and available profiles.

“Despite the many layoffs experienced in this sector, professional profiles specialised in programming are, this year, among the most in-demand within the digital world, even above digital marketing. This is because they are increasingly present in other industries beyond the technological one, such as pharmaceuticals, finance, logistics or human resources,” says Moreno. Therefore, given the possibility that fluctuations in employment may occur again, the permanent updating of knowledge plays a key role in maintaining (or increasing) competitiveness.

However, there are also some factors that currently limit this growth, such as demand problems (new projects), the already mentioned lack of competent human resources (the problem has tripled since 2020) and the financial restrictions derived from the new restrictive profile of monetary policy, according to the latest TIC Monitor of the VASS Foundation. In any case, the expectations of businessmen in the sector remain positive, especially with regard to the short-term forecast of the evolution of the activity.

Challenges and challenges for ICT professionals

Due to this need to constantly update one’s knowledge, skills such as the ability to learn and adaptability are essential to maintain employability. A challenge that is also compounded by the ethical challenges posed by artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, with regard to data protection. Cybersecurity attacks are becoming more sophisticated and regulatory requirements more complex.

On the other hand, the lack of diversity in the technology industry is a persistent problem that companies are trying to address. “We are aware that, here, the challenge is twofold: we face a shortage of technological talent and a gender gap within the sector itself. According to data from the National Institute of Statistics, women only occupy 29.4% of the total in the ICT sector, compared to the national average of 46.4%,” argues Rueda.

For this reason, “many companies have specific programs to promote diversity and equity in their organizations. Initiatives that include mentoring, diversity training, and leadership development programs for underrepresented groups,” Moreno adds. “In addition, more and more tools and techniques are being used to eliminate unconscious bias in hiring and promotion processes.”

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