How to become an independent IT manager in Ireland
The IT sector is growing faster than ever before, with nearly 10 per cent of Irish businesses now using online technology, but some have struggled to find people with the skills they need.
A report by the Irish Business Alliance for Digital Transformation (IBACT) reveals that almost one in five IT professionals in Ireland have never set foot in the sector, with just 10 per on the island.
Its chief executive, Mark Lacey, says that Ireland’s IT sector needs to adapt to meet the needs of businesses across the country, and that there needs to be more opportunities for people to start their own businesses.
“The industry is really going through an incredibly turbulent period right now and I think that’s a good thing,” he said.
“In Ireland, we have a lot of people with no real qualifications that we’re going to be seeing more of in the future, and the IT industry is a huge part of that.”
He says that the sector needs a range of skilled individuals who can work with large teams, but he is also hopeful that there are many people out there who can become IT managers, who can develop and grow their skills.
“There’s a lot more that we can do.
We have a number of initiatives that are being rolled out, for example, to train people in IT skills,” he told Al Jazeera.”
I would hope that we would be seeing an increase in the number of people working in IT.
I think there is a lot that needs to happen.”
The IBACT report, titled ‘The IT Revolution: What Can We Learn From the UK?’ paints a bleak picture of the future of the IT sector.
It points to the fact that the technology that is being developed in Ireland is being deployed on a much larger scale than in the UK, with more than one million jobs in the IT market in 2020.
It points out that in the past five years, the number working in the software sector has doubled, while there are more than 6,000 IT jobs at risk.
And the report also notes that there is little awareness of the challenges facing IT in Ireland.
Its president, Mary O’Sullivan, told Al Jazeeras that there were a number different barriers to entry for people with little or no experience in IT, which is why there is so much emphasis on training and apprenticeships.
“This is something that we’ve talked about quite a lot with the IBACT [and] it’s a huge issue,” she said.
The IBAC is calling for a shift in mindset to support the IT professionals that are looking for work, and for businesses to find ways to hire more people with more skills.
In a statement to Al Jazeera, IT professional services company Gartner said it is working to help to make Ireland a more welcoming environment for IT professionals.
“We recognise the difficulties that IT professionals face in finding jobs and that the Irish economy is not the best place to work, but we also recognise the huge opportunity that this sector has for our customers and our customers are our customers,” it said.
It added that it has seen a sharp increase in applications from employers to hire IT professionals, with the majority of the applications coming from the United Kingdom.
“It is a global industry and it is incredibly important that we all get on the same page and understand that there will be challenges, that there won’t be opportunities for everybody.
And that’s why we are doing all of these different things to help our customers to have an understanding of how the Irish IT industry works and how to apply for jobs,” Gartger said.