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EDUCATION – 230,000 positions in digital professions will be available by 2025. This figure, synonymous with occupation, should be a source of joy. It also represents a formidable challenge for us in the face of the already announced talent shortage. To remedy this, the French system of education and training in the digital professions, which has not changed in 40 years, must become widely accessible to a greater diversity of profiles.
Bac + 5 as the only horizon?
The first evolution of the training sector for digital professions must be structural. It offers almost only bac + 5 courses, meeting the hiring expectations of historical employers in the sector, large groups and ESNs (digital service companies). But this does not meet the latest needs of companies and especially those of often smaller sizes, all sectors combined. For example, these can be jobs related to web development, the Cloud or even digital marketing, for which the bac + 2 or bac + 3 levels are sufficient.
This would also allow for a more robust and inclusive approach to training in digital professions. The current offering is ultimately elitist, requiring a multi-year financial commitment to pay for school fees, housing and daily life, which many middle-class and working-class families cannot afford. By limiting the number of years of study required to access the digital professions, a completely new segment of the French population could be able to feed the talent pool and solve the problems of shortage of candidates.
Learning is part of the solution
Promoting access to learning is another way to combat talent shortages in digital professions. Apprenticeship, in fact, is equally advantageous for young people, who thus pursue paid studies and develop their employability, as it is for companies, which can train this workforce, certainly unskilled but operational, to meet their specific needs, albeit with financial help.
In the digital professions, the room for progress in this area is enormous. Because if they account for 6% of salaried jobs in France, they represent just over 2% of apprenticeship items. Why are the numbers so low? Especially since access to apprenticeships in the sector is now almost exclusively reserved for holders of bac + 2, a level that only one out of two students can reach. Again, a structural change in training for digital professions can only be beneficial. This requires extensive access systems to apprenticeships at all levels, but also at all company dimensions.
Profiles can be renewed, diversified and enriched
Of course, bac + 2 and bac + 3 degrees have already been created in recent years for digital professions. In some highly sought after areas of specialization, work-study programs are even starting to gain ground. But this is not enough. Here are 3 ways to go further:
- Create operational readiness for digital learning
It is impossible for a digital company to entrust tasks to a person without minimal technical background. One could therefore imagine the creation of a device similar to Operational Preparations for Employment (POE), but specifically intended for learning in the digital sector. This operational preparation for digital learning (POAn) would offer young people a short and intensive training on digital skills, ie this minimal technical background that allows them to enter an apprenticeship;
- Create a strong incentive for small digital companies to take on apprenticeships
Small businesses see the vast majority of profiles stolen by large ones. The entry into apprenticeship immediately after the bac, with an operational preparation device would allow them to be able to recruit. And this measure could be complemented by keeping the financial aid from the recovery plan for small businesses to the hiring of apprentices;
- Decompartmentalize initial and continuing education to facilitate the acquisition of new digital skills throughout life
Faced with the constant evolution of technologies, continuous training allows employees and job seekers to maintain their employability, training for life to improve their skills or retrain; and at the same time meet the needs of businesses.
Digital technology and its professions can become accessible to everyone, regardless of their initial career path and personal situation. Proof of this is the schools created to train people far from work in the digital professions, which have a very satisfactory rate of professional integration. To solve the problem of talent in the digital sector, the training system must evolve to take this opportunity into account and include a greater number of profiles.
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