Higher education needs for the information and communication technology Spanish market

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Purpose: The main objective of the paper is to clarify the expectations held in the realm of business and by employers, in relation to the main educational parameters that respond to the employment needs of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) market in Spain, considering both technical and managerial knowledge. It also assesses whether the Spanish Technical University is providing its graduates with the knowledge currently demanded by the sector. Design/methodology/approach: The report is based on a survey completed by 43 companies, which constitutes more than 60% of the sector and is representative of the entire range of subsectors that constitute the vast ICT industry in Spain. According to the sample construction, post-stratification has been used for analyzing global results. Responses have been weighted according to the proportion that represents the employees’ population of the Spanish ICT sector. Findings: As a first conclusion of the current research it should be noted that in terms of technological knowledge, the gap between what the industry requires and the skills graduates can offer is, in general, much smaller than the gap relating to business management skills, where differences exceeding 25% have been demonstrated. This would suggest that the Spanish ICT sector needs to improve learning in the subjects related to business management. Originality/value: Finally, as an innovate factor since there are no previous bibliographic references on this topic, a surprising conclusion is that a significant segment of the Spanish ICT sector, specifically 51,2 % of the companies surveyed, did not distinguish between professional profiles, expressed indifference, and were equally likely to employ graduates as postgraduates. Although when the market was asked about the preferred profile for managerial positions, the results are quite different: 83.7% of respondents preferred a superior engineer qualification; 16.3%



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