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Shortage of Computer Scientists: Let’s Make the Sector More Attractive Again!

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For more than 10 years, IT careers have been in stress. An increasingly important issue while the needs of companies (SMEs-ETIs, star-ups, etc.) in this area have never been so important. The main consequence of this shortage of skilled workers: a 30-50% increase in wages, which is very difficult for companies to afford, unless they are part of GAFAM or startups that have raised big money. If there are sure to be solutions for companies to differentiate themselves and be able to hire today, then long-term solutions are necessary to make the sector attractive again.

Ending the pre-digital era to increase our production capacity

In contrast to countries that, like India, have built a large part of their economy on digital technology and whose populations see these professions as a powerful social lever, France, and Europe more broadly, has remained wedded to a situation that has not changed since the end of the 1990s. The most disturbing situation is when digital technology has never been present in our lives and essential professions for our companies. We must act today to increase our digital production capacity, using two levers.

The first lever to achieve this relates to training. Like the IT plan of the 1980s, it is necessary to take courses in IT professions from college or elementary school. To make the sector more attractive again, a new plan must be launched. A plan that promotes gender equality in access to technology and relies on specially trained or professional educators to operate.

The second lever is directly related to business. IT jobs, particularly in the field of expertise, are often short-handed in France. Career advancement passes through management at the expense of experience. However, in IT professions, experience has real value in a company, including in terms of simple productivity. Recognizing and developing an expertise sector within companies means keeping a larger group at the heart of the business, but it also means making yourself more attractive to this community. But to achieve this, companies must above all else listen to the needs and expectations of their employees.

Companies, hear your employees’ expectations

In the face of an increasingly competitive market, companies should redouble their efforts, on the one hand, to retain their employees, and on the other hand, to attract new employees. There is no longer any question here about investing in modern table football or offering a few days of remote work (which has now become evident since the Covid-19 pandemic). But in order to create a truly attractive proposition whose foundation will be the ethos and culture of the company around which it will be necessary to build a work environment that will be valuable in the long run.

And in order to do this, it is necessary to go back to the reasons why IT experts have taken this path. IT experts are above all passionate profiles who want to maintain and improve their skills. Only companies that understood the work and expectations of these employees were able to retain and hire new talent for the long term. First, and as obvious as it may seem, they must be able to offer the best possible production conditions, with the right equipment, whether working remotely or face-to-face. Secondly, they must be agile and encourage the exchange of knowledge and the acquisition of new skills, in particular by inviting inspirational people, whether they are managers or architects within the company or the possibility of training through conferences. Despite all the companies’ good intentions to retain and recruit new talent, the issue of understaffing in IT professions remains.

Europe’s digital supremacy, the competitiveness of our large digitizing companies, and the place of our start-ups in the global marketplace depend on their ability to recruit talent in their IT expertise area. We must act now.

Tribune by Paul Pinault, Vice President of Market Strategies and IIoT Product at Braincube

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