e-leadership - don’t miss this opportunity

Silvia Leal. Professor. IE Business School

31 October 2014

While a quarter of the Spanish population is still unemployed, there are between half a million and a million jobs that remain unfilled in the ICT sector due to a shortage of appropriate profiles.

There are some figures that leave nobody indifferent.  Over the last few years the Internet has created 2.6 jobs for every job that was destroyed. Nevertheless, rates of unemployment are still very high.

The European Commission calculates that between 505,000 and 864,000 work vacancies in the ICT sector will remain empty in 2015 due to a lack of appropriate profiles.  Furthermore, many of them will remain unfilled for a long time, or, worse still, will never be filled. Why? What could be causing these imbalances in the supply of and demand for jobs? Why do days, weeks, months, etc. pass, and the problem still persists?

In 2013 the European Commission carried out extensive research in this field, part of which focused on analyzing the academic content of 1,091 programs at European universities and business schools. It was revealed that only 21 met the basic requirements in terms of ICT skills needed to ensure students’ employability.

What if we read the data the other way round? The figures are even more devastating. More than 1,070 educational programs in this field  should review their curricula given that economic paradigms have changed and they have not adapted the content of their programs. In short, 98% of educational offerings in Europe in the field of ICT are behind the times.

In view of these facts it is impossible to avoid asking what these educational programs should be like. Where is the educational system going wrong? And if we look at it from a positive and constructive perspective, the question is how can we put this right, and what type of tools do we need to do it?

At IE Business School we are happy with the results achieved, because we can “boast” (in the positive sense of the word) of having three of the 21 programs that met the requirements of the research. Hence, we know the answers to these questions. They feature in IE’s  Digital Innovation and IT Governance Management Program, which today is a European reference. It has taken a great deal of work and time, but it has been worth it.

The threesome of Innovation, Technology and Leadership is a clear answer to the first question. In order to foster employability among students (junior and/or executive, it is a universal rule) we have to ensure that they know the nature and impact of technology trends (not only current trends but future trends as well) and that they learn to use them to generate value. Technology is no longer just a tool used for efficiency purposes, it is the key to writing the future, to leading through digital innovation.

This brings us on to the tools. How do we do this? How should academic curricula meet new demands? How can we ensure that traditional education evolves?  Actually, the European Commission is making it easy for us with its e-leadership initiative.

That’s why, on June 4 of this year, key figures from the Commission came to Spain to present the project, and explain their vision of the change in paradigm that we have to make, which is also a big opportunity to regain our levels of growth.

Do you want to be a leader in these new times? Make a commitment to e-leadership.

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