ICT Professionalism and Digital Competences

Publication Date: Jun 26, 2019
 
ICT Professionalism and Digital Competences

Digital, Information and Communication Technologies are critical components of the continued progress and welfare of the business and social aspects of Europe. Europe is strongly challenged to develop sufficient appropriate skills and competences of its citizens and employees in all sectors and levels, from beginner to ICT professional, to boost the digital economy and society as a whole.
Looking at ICT professional skills and competences, in particular, demand continues to exceed the supply of the skilled professionals who design, build, implement and manage new digital technologies.  It is estimated that there will be up to 500,000 unfilled core ICT vacancies in Europe by 2020. At the same time, there is high unemployment in some parts of Europe, particularly in southern and eastern Europe, and especially among young people. As always, it is the newer skills at a senior professional level that are most in demand, currently cybersecurity, data analytics (cloud), robotics and artificial intelligence.

Establishing standards to guide the maturing of the IT profession will be of enormous benefit to the IT professional stakeholder community across all sectors of business and economics. The recognition of the ICT profession as a mature, self-confident profession, requires the standardisation of
the key pillars that characterise a profession: competences, a body of knowledge, education and training, and professional ethics. These four pillars were amply introduced through the Framework of IT Professionalism launched in 2016, and also in Malta conference organised in the same year by the eSkills Malta Foundation.  A wider aspect of IT Professionalism must also include alignment with European Union strategies, policies, social needs, or innovation trends.

ICT Professionalism and Digital Competences

CEN, the European Standardisation body, set up a Technical Committee (TC428)  in 2014, initially as a Project Committee, with the initial task of establishing the European e-Competence Framework (e-CF) standard. This objective was achieved in April 2016.  Subsequently, in 2016 the remit of CEN/TC 428 was defined as responsibility for the standardisation of a common language of professional digital and IT competences, skills and knowledge applied in all domains. And finally, in 2018, the mission was widened by giving the TC428 responsibility for all aspects of standardization related to maturing the IT Profession in all sectors, public and private. TC 428 is complemented by the Council of Professional Informatics Societies (CEPIS) expert group IT Professionalism Europe (ITPE), as a consultative role. The eSkills Malta Foundation, who is also a member of the TC428, will be hosting the Technical Committee for their next meeting in Malta in October 2019, back-to-back with an IT Professionalism conference.