The ICT Sector: Non-Traditional Entry Routes for IT Workers

Posted: 6 Nov 2019

The ICT Sector: Non-Traditional Entry Routes for IT Workers

In Ireland, as elsewhere, the skills gap is creating opportunities for workers to enter the ICT sector through non-traditional routes.

The European Commission estimates that there could be a shortage of 756,000 professionals in the European ICT sector by 2020 as the explosion of mobile technologies, big data, the cloud and social media continue to radically transform the working environment.

The World Economic Forum estimates that 133 million new roles generated as a result of the new division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms may emerge globally by 2022.

Globally, competition for talent is creating opportunities for workers to enter the ICT sector through non-traditional routes and, in some instances, programmes are being developed collaboratively between industry and educational institutions.

Already, we are seeing a trend to hire from non-traditional routes where candidates have relevant skills, particularly for developer roles. While some jobs require a degree in computer science or a related field, often candidates with up to date experience are also of interest to employers.

The skills gap is also changing approaches to education. IBM’s David Leasor made an interesting observation on this in a recent interview with The EvoLLLution, where he noted, “There’s a real surge in the number of modern middle-class jobs in tech that do not require a traditional bachelor’s degree. They’re not blue collar. They’re not white collar. We call them New Collar. These are roles that prioritize capabilities over a traditional degree. They’re in leading technology industry fields like cloud computing and cyber security, digital design and cognitive business. What matters most for these roles is finding people who have the right mix of skills to deliver these capabilities for our clients.”

Leasor went on to explain that as an alternative to pursuing a four-year degree, New Collar candidates are building their skills through community colleges, coding camps or modern career education programs like IBM’s P-TECH model.

In Ireland, a P-TECH pilot programme was launched last November to boost students’ opportunities in the digital economy. This 6-year education model seeks to integrate third-level modules and workplace experiences alongside second-level schooling with the aim of enabling students to earn a third-level qualification, and skills required to enter the workforce.The first schools to participate are Larkin Community College, Marino College and St Joseph’s CBS, Dublin. The National College of Ireland is the initial third-level education partner while IBM, Cisco, Virgin Media, Irish Water and Irish Life are the first industry partners.

Elsewhere, LinkedIn is renewing its ‘ReturnIn’ programme, piloted last year, which provides customised support for people returning to employment after taking time out of the workforce to look after children or act as a carer.

Generally, we find that employers are increasingly willing to consider candidates with non-relevant degrees for certain roles. Entry level data analysts for example with non-relevant degrees may be considered if they have relevant skills acquired through previous work or volunteer experience. Candidates who have completed relevant online courses and/or self-directed learning programmes, should mention this on their CV. New skills can be acquired or updated once you have a positive attitude.

So, if you have relevant experience and are interested in moving into the IT sector, Eolas Recruitment would like to hear from you. Our specialist recruiters can advise you on the skills most in demand and help you to find relevant opportunities. We’ll also help you to tailor your CV to optimise your chances of landing your ideal role. Check out our online reviews and contact us for more information.


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