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Students of the new degree in cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence, on their first day of classes. Marilú Báez
Lack of training places leads to technology job demand in Malaga not being met
Technology

Lack of training places leads to technology job demand in Malaga not being met

Hundreds of skilled jobs are going unfilled because there are not enough students with the necessary skills

Francisco Gutiérrez

Malaga

Sunday, 1 October 2023, 08:27

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The technological needs of Malaga province demands a large number of well-trained professionals, but neither the University of Malaga nor the vocational training institutes have sufficient capacity to meet the required numbers.

At the university there are courses such as the new degree in cybersecurity where only 67 of the 420 who applied have been able to enter, that is, almost seven applications per place. The case of Vocational Training is very similar: the new Campanillas Integrated Public Centre for Vocational Training, with intermediate and higher cycles, specialisation courses and certificates of professionalism in the IT and communications family, has hundreds of students on the waiting list, and this is despite the fact that it has doubled its afternoon shifts.

The Fundación Tecnológica's interactive employment map showed a demand for nearly 10,000 jobs in Malaga province last week, with 1,109 positions in the technology sector: software developer, digital project manager, community manager, software architect or systems administrator, are among the most in demand.

Employment in the technology sector is growing steadily. It is estimated that there are now more than 30,000 workers. In the last six years alone, six thousand more jobs have been added, an increase of 117%. And the arrival of new companies, some of them multinationals with hundreds of positions to fill, will only increase the demand for professionals.

"There are young people who want to study and companies willing to hire them. It is clear that the university is not responding to this social demand," said the director of the ETSI Informática, Manuel Enciso.

Demand also far exceeds the number of places on offer in the double degree in mechanics and industrial design (66 applications for 25 places) or robotics and mechatronics (145 applications and 75 places). In computer engineering, there are 1.7 applications per place.

For Enciso, the budget of the University of Malaga "cannot be stretched any further". This is why he is calling for additional investment in infrastructure and, above all, personnel. "The provision of new buildings is not a 'sine qua nom' condition; we can take on one or two more groups, with the corresponding provision of teaching staff and the commitment that the necessary infrastructures will arrive later on," he said.

For this reason, he is optimistic about the announcement made by the councillor for universities, José Carlos Gómez Villamandos, at the opening ceremony of the academic year at the UMA that there will be an increased number of places for the most popular degrees, such as the technological ones. "I think there is a social consensus, a general agreement that it is necessary to invest in the training of these future professionals," he said.

The director of the university's telecommunication school ETSIT, Rafael Godoy, said it was important to be aware of the training needed. "There will be companies that need staff trained to doctorate or master's level. For others, a university degree will suffice, and there will be many who need a higher technical profile in vocational training. This is something that should be analysed with companies in order to go hand in hand and guarantee this type of training."

In the case of telecommunications, the director acknowledges that it is more complicated to increase the number of new entry places. "We have a more stable supply and demand, we don't have as much pressure as computer science, for example," and he pointed to the cost of equipment as one of the major drawbacks to increasing the group sizes. "There are subjects in which we work with equipment that costs 30,000 euros and which is used by two students; adding one more affects the quality of this training.”

The education delegate, Miguel Briones, acknowledges the limitations in meeting the demand, but said that "in a few years we will see great results". He referred to the increase of more than a thousand of new entry places, to the six new qualifications, (with four related to technology), and to the potential of the dual system, in which part of the training takes place in the workplace.

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