There is no company that does not depend on a computer, that does not use computer programs to improve its production or that does not require experts when it needs to adapt the technology to its needs or simply maintain the performance of the system. For all this, programmers, IT administrators and a few other highly qualified technological profiles are needed, whose presence in the labor market today is below demand.
The report Tech Cities 2021 , prepared by the human resources company ManpowerGroup, offers a revealing data: every two years, the demand for technology profiles in Spain doubles. This figure is encouraging in a country with twice the unemployment rate than the European average (the 15, 4% compared to 7.3 %, according to April data from Eurostat), but it represents a problem for employers, since the number of professionals available in the market does not grow at the same rate as job offers.
Oscar Sanjuán, Vice President of Engineering and Applications of the telecommunications company Lumen Technologies, with more than 400 engineers under his charge, corroborates this lack. “Historically it was easier to find computer scientists in Spain than in other places, such as the United States, where you have to compete with large technology companies such as Apple and Microsoft to hire the best professionals, but now it has become much more complicated,” he remarks.
Mario Monge, executive director of the cloud services company Unified Cloud Services (UCS), specifies that the most complicated positions to fill and also the most requested are those that require greater specialization. “We have a dozen selection processes for positions that require highly qualified personnel that have been open for several months because we cannot find the right profiles. Today all professionals are already working ”
These professions offer advantageous conditions for workers, such as a high labor insertion rate —the 73, 91% for professionals in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector and 70, 8% for physicists and mathematicians, according to the Labor Force Survey (EPA) of the National Institute of Statistics (INE) – and a salary band above the average. In Madrid, where a large part of the offer is concentrated, the salary of the technological field exceeds 41. annual euros, while the general average does not reach 29 . 000 euros, according to Tech Cities 2021 .
This represents an opportunity for workers and higher education centers. On the one hand, experts emphasize, it is a way out both for students who are considering what they are going to do for the first time and for professionals who seek to recycle their career. And, on the other, it is presented as a favorable conjuncture for universities to take advantage of this trend and attract students through innovative degrees that train those highly demanded professionals.
Javier Parra, deputy director of the School of Engineering and Technology (ESIT) of the International University of La Rioja (UNIR) highlights that many universities make the effort to adapt quickly to what the market needs. “We are in continuous contact with companies and, when we detect something new, we incorporate it into our methodology,” he says.
An advance that Monge also perceives: It is difficult for the university to keep up with the evolution of the industry, but in recent years they are opening more with the creation of degrees and postgraduate degrees, accredited by the National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation (ANECA), in addition to own degrees, which seek to respond to the needs of the economy. ”
Where are these professionals trained?
Javier Parra highlights that many of the students who enroll in their university come in search of what they cannot find in traditional classrooms: studies that train them in what the market is really demanding with an updated and, above all, flexible methodology, something that is achieved thanks to its nature 100% online. At the Higher School of Engineering and Technology, they have designed specialized degrees, such as Data Science, postgraduate degrees in Artificial Intelligence or Information Security, and expert degrees in Cloud Computing and DevOps & Cloud, thanks to constant market research.
“We know what is being sought because we periodically organize expert committees and we have our own applications based on big data and artificial intelligence to identify large websites of employment, what needs are there, how many jobs are in demand and where are there more difficulties to cover them ”, he details. “From that”, he adds, “we devised a realistic and practical plan so that the student, upon leaving the course, is ready to work from minute one.”
A degree to enhance an already prosperous career
Engineers are enrolled at UNIR seeking to delve into an area to specialize, something that few recent graduates consider. Daniel Sánchez from Zaragoza decided three years ago to study the master’s degree in Computer Security at UNIR because he wanted to have a global vision of the discipline and apply it to his businesses. This 46 year-old computer engineer works in a small technology solutions company in the Aragonese capital. After obtaining the degree, he has been able to grow in the sector by opening a business line in computer security within his organization. “It is very useful because customers see that you have the right knowledge and trust you. In addition, it helps you make sure that the staff you hire controls the matter, ”he explains.
Fátima Saiz, a geomatics engineer and surveyor from San Sebastián, defends the idea of specializing as soon as she finishes her degree . “Engineers have jobs when they finish their studies and they forget to continue training, but they lose the possibility of aspiring to more qualified positions. I decided to combine my working life with an online master’s degree. It is an effort of a year or two, but it will open many more doors for you ”. Sainz, from 26, opted for the university master’s degree in Analysis and Visualization of Massive Data (Visual Analytics and Big Data) from UNIR , while working in a center for applied research in the automotive sector in the Basque Country. This postgraduate degree, he says, has helped him improve his working conditions in the AI department where he works. Now she is immersed in her doctoral thesis and although she does not consider it for the moment, she does not rule out continuing her training. “Today it is essential to recycle yourself, because the technology sector is going very fast, in less than a year the systems will have changed”, he concludes.
Have a computer scientist say good morning
Technology companies demand professionals who have certain personal qualities that facilitate their daily work, that of their colleagues and the general functioning of the organization, but which will also allow them to adapt to the continuous changes of the digital world in which systems change rapidly.
Javier Parra , Deputy Director of the Higher School of Engineering and Technology of the International University of La Rioja (UNIR), mentions the essential qualities: “The ability to create and innovate, to be flexible and to learn to work with other teams and, above all, with other technologies. ”
This expert highlights that those who are not tolerant and ductile in the face of new situations, such as the implementation of an innovative either language or software, it will not prosper in the industry. For this reason, he adds, in the UNIR study programs the learning of these soft skills is reinforced: “What the professional learned on the fly in his work or with Management studies, he acquires today during his career.”
Mario Monge, CEO of the cloud services company Unified Cloud Services (UCS), emphasizes the importance of the engineer showing personal qualities in his work. “Although he is the number one in his class, we are also interested in him relating to his colleagues, showing social skills and, to give very clear examples, saying good morning and going out for coffee,” he illustrates.