A job as an ICT specialist has been a constant in the list of under-staffed professions for years. There are currently thousands of vacancies in VDAB. The project Campus 19 People without ICT background promise an innovative way to start in this sector. “This course has all the advantages of self-study and university,” says student Fiona Celano, 36. How important is it to work as an IT professional? What are the pros and cons? How much do you earn?
Since 2015, a number of ICT occupations have been a constant item in the list of occupations in shortage, for both quantitative and qualitative reasons. In other words, there are very few ICT professionals and there are high quality demands on vacancies. “We expect the demand to rise even more in the future due to increased digitization, which is also boosted by, for example, Corona,” says Bjorn Smits, ICT expert at VDAB.
IT Business Analyst, IT Manager, IT Integration and Implementation Expert, Network Administrator, Database Administrator, IT Analyst Developer… The number of different IT profiles in the list of VDAB-deficient occupations speaks for itself. The number of vacancies as well. Between October 2021 and September 2022, VDAB received a total of approximately 11,000, for all these profiles added together. At the end of September, more than 2,000 of them were still vacant.
Among the advantages of a job as an ICT professional, VDAB places challenge and diversity, plenty of opportunities for growth and specialization, job security, freedom of forms of collaboration and work on continuous innovations.
Total 3700 EUR
“Joint efforts for education and VDAB to put more ICT profiles on the market are currently insufficient to meet the high demand,” says Smits. In order to get more young people excited about a job in this sector, the Flemish government is investing heavily in running and promoting STEM courses, which stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. According to VDAB, you can go in many directions with ICT: “Working as an ICT professional is very interesting, especially for someone who has a passion for technology. It is a field with so many future and rapid developments. It is hard to imagine where the developments will end up. Within ICT, “There are also jobs that have a lot of customer contact or none at all, and you can work as a freelancer or as an employee,” Smits says.
Among the advantages of the job, VDAB places challenge and diversity, many opportunities for growth and specialization, job security, freedom of forms of cooperation and work on continuous innovations. Disadvantages, according to VDAB, are the relatively low starting salary and the fact that – depending on the company and the job – you may have to deal with flexible hours, backup shifts and/or weekend work. Most ICT professionals work for the Joint Commission 200, which means that the starting salary often fluctuates around the €2,000 total. In addition, there are additional benefits such as a company car – possibly including a fuel card – and hospital and group insurance, laptop and smartphone. The pay also rises very quickly based on your knowledge and experience, with the average wage eventually being around 3,700 total. You can also transition from classic IT jobs to more specialized IT jobs, which also have an impact on salary,” says Smits.
Those who wish to work in the ICT field can choose from several fields of study. For example, there are subject-oriented ICT courses (including via VDAB), Graduate Programming, Systems Management, Networks and Internet of Things, Professional Bachelor’s in Applied Computer Science and Master’s in ICT. According to VDAB, there are often options without an accompanying certificate. “People with good analytical skills who want to learn quickly and who know how to handle it can get started fairly quickly in the workplace. Lifelong learning is also a message for those with a diploma in ICT,” says Smits. New ways of working are being modified, society and the work environment are digitizing at a rapid pace.”
I didn’t want to study in university and when I study online I lost a lot of information. Then I read about Campus 19.
Since its establishment in 2018, Campus 19 has also offered innovative and innovative IT training that focuses on projects and teamwork rather than theoretical education. “Our unique position in the world of higher education is built on strong values, such as true accessibility for all, free education and excellence. The ultimate goal appears to be sustainable professional integration in the labor market.”
Fiona, 36, retrains to become an IT professional via Campus 19: “All the benefits of self-study and university”
One enthusiastic student at Campus 19 is Fiona Selanno (36) from Brussels. “I have a background in marketing and communications, but since I was a little girl, computers have fascinated me,” she says. “A few years ago, I switched my job to IT. I ended up in web development, worked on great projects, but felt that I lacked certain knowledge. I didn’t want to study at university, and when I study online I lost a lot of information. Then I read about Campus 19. It gave me the advantages of self-study – flexibility and your own pace – and the advantages of university: the hardware is available, there is a campus to work in, you have fellow students to dodge.With a syllabus you can be sure that you will gain the right knowledge to get started on this Sector. Training is also project related. You learn by doing, not by reading about it.”
Campus 19 is also creating links with the business community, Fiona is following. Meetings with companies and professional seminars are organized. The atmosphere is also nice. There is a close friendship with your fellow students. We learn from each other and help each other.” She herself wants to create easy-to-use, great but above all safe apps that make people happy.” IT is indispensable and the industry will only grow. I don’t know exactly where I’ll end up yet. So far I find everything I learn very interesting and I try to gain as much knowledge as possible. My goal has always been to help others. I want to get excited and educate the younger generation about information technology.”
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