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March 16, 2023

Main reasons behind the lack of ICT talent

It doesn't matter which country you analyse: the labour market demands more technology professionals than there are available. To get an idea of the scale of the problem, suffice it to say that in three years' time, the market will need 90,000 professionals in the data and artificial intelligence sector alone, according to a report by IndesIA.

What's more, the more modern the technology, the more pronounced the lack of talent there is, which makes it difficult to adopt these emerging tools, substantiates Gartner. So much so that companies believe talent shortages are the biggest obstacle standing in the way of the 64% of new technologies they would like to adopt.

The Gartner survey also shows that technology areas affected by IT talent shortages include infrastructure services and computing platforms, network, security, digital workplace, IT automation, storage and database systems. IT executives cited talent availability as the top adoption risk factor for most IT automation technologies (75%) and almost half of digital workplace technologies (41%).

This is a clear example of the law of supply and demand and one of the main reasons behind the lack of ICT talent: there are more jobs to be filled than professionals who can aspire to these positions.

Insufficient training

This is not only true for purely technical careers; both university and vocational training limit students to one field of action only and too often neglect to give a more global vision encompassing technology and digital skills.

In the case of more STEM-focused studies, many courses, especially at universities, do not adapt their curricula to the needs of the industry. By neglecting to convey the real application of software engineering, they fail to prepare students for the real world. Most computer science departments concentrate on the theoretical parts of their disciplines and forget to teach their students the necessary skills.

But that's not the only reason. Thus, regardless of whether the available training offer is capable of satisfying all the demand for qualified profiles, another of the reasons for the lack of technology talent is the insufficient internal training in companies. Instead of looking outside their organisations, companies should look to their internal talent and identify those people who, having basic knowledge, skills and abilities, can be trained for these new professional roles.

It is not only about training those with more technical profiles, but professionals from any area can also receive knowledge that will allow them to improve their digital skills and even redirect their careers towards new positions. It is about a change of mentality in which skills and abilities are valued over knowledge and considered during the hiring process.

Training is also an excellent way for employees to feel valued within their organisation while increasing their sense of belonging and preventing high turnover.

In this regard, it should be noted that the rapid evolution of technologies is one limiting factor. Companies must update their software on a regular basis to account for the constant changes in coding standards. This means that the code usually has a lifespan of just a few years. Professionals must remain constantly up-to-date to keep up with new developments, languages and strategies.

Inadequate incentives

One of the reasons why companies have difficulties in attracting the scarce talent is because they do not offer the right incentives for the profiles they are looking for.

Beyond a good salary, many professionals increasingly value other benefits. Beyond health insurance or fresh fruit in the office, more and more professionals are looking for places where they can enjoy flexible working conditions or corporate values that match their personal values.

In fact, in the United States, many believe that the movement known as the Great Resignation (whereby, after two years of the pandemic, many employees are leaving their jobs, even without another job in sight) is another cause that is aggravating the shortage of available technology talent.

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