IT industry needs more than just STEM grads, says CA

EMEA president Marco Comastri says that digital transformation means looking outside of traditional subjects

The IT industry needs more than just STEM graduates in order to solve its skills gap, according to CA Technologies' EMEA president Marco Comastri.

While the tech industry is facing a substantial shortfall in the amount of qualified professionals needed to fill key roles, Comastri argued that there are a great many positions that would be better suited to people from alternative academic backgrounds.

"These people don't necessarily need to be engineers, or physicists, or developers," he said. "If you think about digital transformation, many enterprises need people who understand the digital market in order to make the best of it."

"You may need people who understand marketing, people who understand trends, people who understand the psychology of the new customers who are presenting themselves in a digital way," he added. "If the different governments identified the opportunities for youth to embrace these new kinds of roles in the future, I think it would be a great help."

He pointed out the illogical nature of the skills gap, noting "we are living in a sort of a paradox. In Europe, we have a shortage of employment, and there are industries like IT where we do not have enough people."

On the other hand, Comastri also acknowledged the potential threat that the skills gap poses to the tech sector and stressed that key players in the IT industry have a role to play in closing it. He said that the industry needs to collaborate more with government, particularly around developing strong IT education curriculums.

"The skilled curriculums that are available in secondary schools on average in Europe - I don't think they are rich enough to address this potential issue," he said. "The university degrees are also sometimes lacking in practical information and skills in order to address the gaps."

CA itself is involved in several initiatives aimed at bringing more women and young people into the field, such as the Create Tomorrow and People Like Me programs.

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