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Digital skills: the skill mismatch has gone digital

A real alert on the digital gap front that can slow down the restart of companies in the post-covid period

We have already talked about upskilling and reskilling in times of pandemic, the growing importance of digital skills and the extreme importance of lifelong learning

Today, more than ever, many knots seem to be coming to the surface, mainly due to the acceleration of the digital transformation of companies and the lack of digital figures on the job market. In addition to the digital trend, already present before the pandemic, the need for technological acceleration has been brought to the extreme by the pandemic and by the consequent demand for digital and ICT skills from companies to their personnel. 

Not to mention the demand for soft skills, increasingly pervasive in all ICT professions.

Compared to a year ago, the profiles required have changed. According to the latest Digital Skills Observatory the professions most in demand on the market are: 

  • big data specialist, 
  • process automation specialist, 
  • digital transformation specialist, 
  • information security analyst, 
  • software and application developer. 

In short, all professions particularly affected by the "upheavals" brought about by the development of AI and machine learning and for which continuous updating is necessary, but it will be even more so in the next decade. 

In the words of Alessandro Perego, scientific director of the Digital Innovation Observatories of the Politecnico di Milano, "Many traditional jobs are being transformed into new digital professions, and negative employment balances are to be expected in the short term, also considering the extreme speed of the digital revolution and the complexity of many technologies." 

Today, it is precisely digital technology that is redesigning the organization, work, workforce and workplace of seven out of ten companies. And all company functions and business areas are involved in this process.

On the other hand, the shortage of ICT graduates is growing. According to data from the Assintec-Assinform Observatory, the accumulated need for these professional figures at the end of 2021 will reach 671 thousand (in the best hypothesis) or, even, 945 thousand (in the most realistic hypothesis). 

Moreover, the latest Gartner survey reveals that every year, one in three digital skills will become obsolete for positions in IT, manufacturing, finance or sales.

The demand for digital figures is destined to grow and, in this sense, a critical point to define the real extent of the phenomenon, also lies in the current awareness of companies. According to data from the Politecnico di Milano, half of companies (42%) have not yet started an assessment of their internal skills needs in terms of digital transformation, 26% intend to start it, while only 6% have concluded it.

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