The new digital professions in the ICT area are the most requested ones in the labor market, as shown by the research “Observatory of digital skills 2017” conducted by AICA, Assinform, Assintel and Assinter Italy and promoted by MIUR and AGID, now in its third edition.
The project, presented in Rome last June, was also exhibited on Tuesday 12 December at the Bicocca University of Milan. WollyBi also contributed to the study.
What is the situation of the demand for digital professions today? What are the most required skills? How is Italy compared with the other European countries? Here some information.
The Italian situation
In the last 10 years in Italy the trend of people employed in the ICT sector has been better than the rest of employment, with an average annual growth of 2.8% between 2004 and 2015. However, this positive percentage it is way lower than the European one (4.2%).
Italy’s delay in the adoption of ICT technologies and solutions compared to the rest of Europe is undeniable and it is evident, for instance, in the number of employees who use the PC in the company, in the number of companies with a website and that publish job offers on the website.
The few “digital employee” present also do not have the quality characteristics possessed by the “colleagues” in Europe, both for age and for the level of preparation. Only a third of our digital professionals are graduated, compared to 60% of the European average, and only a quarter belong to the under 35 range, compared to 36% in Europe.
Thanks to the analysis carried out by WollyBi, however, it is possible to observe how digital skills – albeit with different sensitivities depending on the profession – play an increasingly enabling role to adequately respond to the skills needs expressed by companies. In short, we can no longer exempt from possessing certain knowledge.
This is demonstrated by the calculation of the Skill Digital Rate, which indicates the incidence of Digital Skills in a single CEN profession. In the new ICT professions the Skill Digital Rate is very high, equal to 68%, among which some connected to new emerging technologies, as well as a high relevance of soft skills and non-cognitive skills.
Even in non-ICT professions digital skills are becoming an integral part of the sought profiles. After the analysis of over 600,000 job announcements, it emerged that the Skill Digital Rate increases for the employment areas related to support, administrative and management activities and market development (such as Human Resources, Accounting and Marketing). In particular, for some occupations basic digital skills and information intermediation are required, for others a prevalence of applicative and technical digital skills is required, even if not strictly linked to the specific role.
What awaits us in the future?
It seems that the incremental demand for ICT figures is expected to grow by 2% a year in the 2016-2018 three-year period in the most conservative scenario. Almost four times the Italian annual employment growth, that is 0.5% (according to the Excelsior 2016 forecasting model). For what it concerns the labour offer, i.e. the number of professionals ready to enter the labor market with the characteristics required by the ICT, an inflow of around 71,000 is expected, of which two thirds have the high school diploma and one third the university degree.
The numbers show how the market is changing and is evolving faster and faster. Will Italy manage to recover and keep pace with other European countries by adapting training structures on the one hand and helping companies to seize the digital opportunities of this change?