ICT bolsters the economy, but a talent shortage can stunt its growth
The Information and Communications Technology’s (ICT) sector has been suffering from an acute shortage of talent. This can act as a handicap for many businesses that leverage technology as a catalyst for their growth.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) notes that ICT is a key economic sector and generator of jobs, and may be considered the backbone of the digital economy across all sectors. However, it notes that a shortage of skilled labour will constrain future growth and job creation in the sector.
“The availability of highly-skilled ICT specialists will become an important competitive factor in existing industries, including in the provision of IT services to industry 4.02 and within ICT, and for innovative industries and services that are currently being developed,” it said.
As the ICT field is continuously evolving, this makes it essential for professionals to keep pace with these rapid developments. Postgraduate studies serve as great starting points for graduates and professionals who want to develop specialities in the field and stay competitive.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the employment of computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 12% from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations, and add some 546,200 new jobs. Demand for these workers will stem from greater emphasis on cloud computing, the collection and storage of big data, and information security, it said.
Demand for ICT professionals in our technology-dependent world
ICT is crucial across numerous industries as they adapt to more technology into their workflow, be it for improving workflow to strategy-related matters, to help them thrive in our tech-driven era. Meanwhile, a report by US IT multinational Cognizant notes that jobs such as shadow IT, edge computing and man-machine professionals will be among those needed in the future, all of which requires postgraduate study in computer science or a related field.
The median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was US$86,320 in May 2018, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of US$38,640.
The decision for postgraduate studies in an ICT-related field stretches beyond earning power, but also to future-proof the self.
Many universities across the world are increasingly offering computer science-related postgraduate degrees. According to Times Higher Education (THE), some of the best universities for computer science study for 2020 in the world including University of Oxford, Stanford University, ETH Zurich, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Cambridge and Carnegie Mellon University.
Over in the US, the US News and World Report noted that the top institutions for computer science master programmes include Carnegie Mellon University, MIT, Stanford University, University of California – Berkeley, among others.
With so much riding on technology and ICT, it becomes increasingly apparent for professionals and graduates to enhance their knowledge and skillset in the field to carve themselves a strong career in the field.