Skilled workers & Education
How can Switzerland meet the ever-increasing demand for digital talent
The dynamic development in the ICT industry is posing a series of challenges to Switzerland’s education policy. Despite a basically positive educational and labour market situation, the country is currently facing rapidly increasing growth in ICT jobs, which is, at the same time, accompanied by low numbers of young people who are actually joining this sector. Demand for skilled IT staff in Switzerland is high – also due to the cross-departmental function and pacemaker role of information and communication technology.
Switzerland needs highly qualified staff if it does not want to fall behind other leading countries in the STEM fields. Attractive education is absolutely critical.
In addition, the importance of ICT for general education must not be underestimated as it has been defined as a basic skill of adults by the Federal Council in the Federal Act on Further Education. If the conditions have already been created in schools, it will prove an immense advantage.
Concerning the current status
Since Switzerland is a country poor in natural resources, education is the country’s most important resource and builds the foundations for innovation, research, and prosperity. The Swiss dual education system is unique in the world, but there are plans to significantly reduce services to the detriment of education at all education levels. In doing so, youth will be denied the best possible education, and Switzerland’s position as a location for research and business will be endangered.
The current shortfall in educated and skilled staff in STEM professions gives cause for concern and should encourage a rethink of the value of STEM subjects in schools and other educational institutions. Studies show that the interest in STEM subjects must be awakened and fostered at an early stage. Therefore, it is crucial to implement the subject «Media and IT» as part of Education Plan 21 (Lehrplan 21). Good education in ICT is an absolute prerequisite for the country’s future success.
«Switzerland has one of the leading educational systems in the world. For this to continue policymakers must be willing and able to create the necessary conditions.»