Headhunter Dr. Ole von Mensching on the skills shortage in IT and what applicants can do to find a job.
Dr. Ole Mensching studied economics and psychology, worked at Kienbaum Management Consultants and did his doctorate at the University of Cologne and at the University of California, Berkeley, before he founded Careerteam. As a headhunter, he specializes in Company the old economy in a digital transformation. Ole Mensching gives lectures on skills shortages at relevant events such as the NOHA Conference and moderates the online career day, which wants to teach graduates and young professionals in the digital industry in various cities.
Mr. Dr. Menschning, do we have a shortage of skilled labor in Germany?
Certainly in the IT industry. Many companies do not find the specialists they need. And the digital industry is ten years ahead of the old economics in most things - even when it comes to skills shortages: digitalization is already causing problems that other companies will face in ten years' time. At the same time, digitization with its innovative culture offers enormous opportunities - also for skilled workers.
What is the reason for the increased demand in the digital sector?
On the one hand, the industry is booming. Due to the low interest rates and the continuing uncertainty on the stock markets, capital is being increasingly invested in start ups so that they are experiencing strong growth.
In addition, most SMEs and corporations are now expanding their digital units and also have a high demand for digital professionals. At the same time, the existing specialists in the market have grown as digital natives with the digital industry, so they know this culture very well and are accordingly elective.
What about training and further training?
Unfortunately rather bad. Many companies do not want to train because they lack the professional structures they would need. Trainee programs are also very hesitant. To implement something like this takes time and money.
The universities, on the other hand, hardly follow the digital development, which means that relevant degrees are missing.
So good chances for cross-borderers?
This depends on the fact that if an applicant already brings the required skills, then yes. But companies do not want to have a career ladder, which they have yet to learn.
There have been major changes in the last few years: A few years ago, the companies were still looking for people for marketing; nowadays specialists are being searched, for example, SEO, Affiliate or Real Time Bidding (RTB) managers.
How can the entry into the IT industry succeed?
You have to be smart and acquire knowledge yourself, then you have a chance - for example, by self-taught into the search algorithms or similar incorporated. Anyone who is clever and quickly opens up new content can quickly establish himself as an expert, also because expert knowledge in the digital world has a short half-life.
Sounds like a university degree is superfluous ...
Whether or not you have a university degree does not matter. Many digital entrepreneurs just do not look for college graduates because the not so good hands on work as experienced practitioners.
A good way to get started is, for example, an online marketing agency, because you can learn a lot of different areas and learn a lot. Internships can provide an initial orientation, while the rare trainee programs should be cautious. Often, poorly paid trainees are employed as fire brigade workers for all possible tasks without being able to build up a deeper expertise in any area.
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