Published in the newspaper EL ECONOMISTA
- 60% of Workers Will Need Training by 2027
- Encouraging analytical and creative thinking are the top two priorities for companies.
By Carlos Bueno
Programmers, data analysts, and experts in cybersecurity and artificial intelligence are currently the most sought-after professions. Companies are diligently searching for these profiles, either by uncovering hidden talents within their workforce or by providing training to existing employees.
Six out of ten workers will require some form of retraining or education by the year 2027. This is partly due to the fact that 44% of the skills possessed by professionals currently in the workforce will be affected in the next five years, according to the ‘Future of the Jobs 2023’ report by the World Economic Forum.
The study also concludes that the top priority for skill development in the next three years will be analytical thinking, representing an average of 10% of training initiatives. Creative thinking takes the second spot in workforce development priorities, accounting for 8% of skill improvement initiatives. In third place for training priorities is the upskilling of workers to use artificial intelligence and big data, emphasizing the need to continue fostering cross-disciplinary skills that contribute to problem-solving regardless of their origin.
Employers aim to focus on developing workers’ leadership and social influence skills (40% of companies); resilience, flexibility, and agility (32%); and curiosity and lifelong learning (30%). Two-thirds of companies expect to see a return on their investment in professional training within the year following the investment, whether in the form of increased role mobility, higher employee satisfaction, or improved worker productivity.
Another challenging aspect of the future of work is the shortage of professionals with these in-demand profiles. The World Economic Forum notes that while companies express confidence in developing their existing workforce, they are less optimistic about the availability of talent in the next five years. To address this gap, 48% of companies identify improving talent progression and promotion processes as a key business practice to increase talent availability, ahead of offering higher salaries, a strategy employed by 36% of companies. In conclusion, if the talent isn’t found externally, companies may need to consider training their in-house staff.
Most Sought-After Profiles
BTS, a human resources consultancy, highlights cybersecurity as the top field for demand, explaining that the viability of a company and the trust of its stakeholders depend significantly on the robustness and reliability of its systems. Aleix Palau, Vice President of BTS and founder of Netmind, adds that profiles related to data analysis, such as Data Analysts, and Data Sciences professionals, remain among the top priorities for many companies. The ability to gain competitive advantages from company data is a differentiating factor in many sectors. Thirdly, the report emphasizes the importance of everything related to Artificial Intelligence (AI) for creating custom applications and programs that seamlessly integrate into daily company operations.
Where to Find Them
These profiles often include degrees in Computer Science or Telecommunications, but practical experience plays a fundamental role. ODILO emphasizes that there are brilliant individuals without higher education who lead open-source projects used by hundreds of thousands of people. According to the spokesperson from ODILO, contributions made by these professionals through technological communities such as the Cloud Native Computing Foundation often serve as a filter when choosing candidates for a position. These self-taught professionals demonstrate their skills through a solid project portfolio and showcase commitment and recognition for their involvement in real projects with tangible impact.
Via Internal Certification
BTS suggests another possible avenue: internal certifications. These certifications serve as a powerful tool to scale and standardize training and development models within organizations, especially in the IT sector. According to Aleix Palau, these certifications are highly recognized in the IT sector as they not only demonstrate theoretical knowledge at a professional level but also require practical application of knowledge in a role.
When asked about companies’ ability to train their own workers in these profiles, Aleix Palau states, “Training and continuous learning should be a fundamental part of any organizational strategy. Organizations must design programs that address not only the required technical skills but also align with the culture and strategic goals of the company.” The challenge for BTS lies in designing personalized technical training programs and continuous education that meet the specific needs of each organization.
Unlimited Machine Learning
Another piece that fits into this puzzle is what ODILO calls the ‘Unlimited Machine Learning‘ platform. According to ODILO, the current challenge in education is understanding that there is no one-size-fits-all training model; each person learns differently based on their needs, motivations, and capabilities. As a response to this, ODILO offers learning experiences tailored to different learning styles. Alberto Abel, the promoter, explains that these Unlimited Learning Ecosystems are a new training paradigm that allows organizations to create customized learning environments tailored to their needs and users. This includes access to a total of four million multi-format resources (e-books, audiobooks, courses, podcasts, press) from over 7,000 providers.
“These Ecosystems use Artificial Intelligence technology to adapt to users, offering them the possibility to consume content from any device, in any format, and without restrictions. Additionally, institutions can create and customize their own learning experiences and programs, making the best educational content just a click away among millions of options to suit each user’s preferences,” Alberto Abel adds. He mentions that they also design customized programs to prepare individuals, regardless of whether they are studying in schools and institutes, higher education institutions, or continuing to expand their skills in the workplace to enhance employability and achieve professional success.
The Value of Vocational Training
Every time we discuss training challenges, the crucial role of Vocational Training (FP, Formación Profesional in Spanish) emerges. FP, once criticized for a long time, is now playing a crucial role. “Vocational Training stands out as the training that best understands this practical and experiential approach to learning. It is, therefore, a useful way to address training related to digital skills,” emphasizes Abel.
This expert acknowledges that FP is the type of training that responds most quickly to the rapid pace of emerging technological advances and professions directly derived from these innovations. “In this sense, Vocational Training has a high capacity to design study programs that cover the competencies and skills required by these new profiles,” he justifies. Another advantage of this education is the agreements between schools and technology firms, allowing students to benefit from experiencing the development of their skills directly in the company.
Whether through certifications, unlimited machine learning platforms, continuous training, or agreements with Vocational Training schools, companies in need of hiring technological profiles can explore these different avenues to fill these gaps and continue to grow.