I-LINC NATIONAL EVENT: Digital Skills and the Future of Jobs

On the 8th June the I-LINC national event was celebrated. This time it was in Spain, and took place thanks to the collaboration between the IE Business School, Telefónica and I-LINC.

During the sessions, we had the chance of meeting important people on the Employability, Entrepreneurship and Educational field.

The event was divided in three different slots:

The first one was driven by Silvia Torres Communication Director of Talentum Schools and mentor of internships in Telefonica. It was an inspirational TedTalk to make students feel the need of acquiring digital skills to improve their chances to find a job in the early future. She pinpointed the need of acquiring skills that you cannot learn at school: "It's key to learn by self-education and to go further than what you are taught".  

During that session, Ms. Torres explained that we are in the age of digital disruption: New companies based in technology are growing faster and with better results while old large companies are simply disappearing. The status quo is changing and we need to be flexible and to discover where are the needs and where trends are going; nowadays the innovation model is also changing: it is becoming open, interactive, multidisciplinary and thanks to that, new jobs and professions are appearing. Professions like SEO/SEM Expert or Social Media Manager, are now really demanded but in the future they will be developed and new others will appear like NanoMedics, CyberLawyers, and young people with no digital skills will be "out of the market".

She made also a special mention on the importance of improving also the soft skills: Young people need to work on their networking, the flexibility and the need of adaptation or the independency.

The second was based on the point of view of representatives from Large Companies: María José Cantarino, Coordinator University Partnerships at Telefonica, Yago Castillo, Digital Commercial Director at Publiespaña, Jaime del Valle, Chief Marketing Officer at L'Oréal and Luis Carmona, Partner at IBM reveal how companies are looking for young talent and the need of new profiles they are facing: "As a big company, we need fresh knowledge" said Ms Cantarino.

They also share their thoughts about how companies are changing thanks to the digital disruption: "Every industry is being disrupted by technology" "we have to be a step ahead to be competitive in the market, and now we have to reinvent the company everyday" said Luis Carmona. In words of Jaime del Valle: "We (as L'Oréal) use also the last technology on our day to day and it is helping us to improve our processes.

So, when they were asked about what profiles are companies looking for when hiring, they all agreed on the fact that there are no differences between a digital worker and another kind of worker because, up until now, there is NO job that doesn't require this atributes; what you need to have at work is Decision making skills, a computer and digital skills. As and advice for the students Ms. Cantarino added "you have to have the digital knowledge related with what you are, if you are a lawyer you need to be able to deal with digital rights, if you are a journalist with SEO and SEM, so of course it all depends on your background".

On the other side, we had the opportunity to enjoy the startups' point of view, with a fresher style and a faster way of working we could appreciate how technologies are helping them to gain market and to compete against large companies but with way less resources and experience. As Marcos Withington, Commercial Manager from Brandtrack told us "I don't know if I'm the best seller but I'm the commercial manager of my startup and I try to sell a lot". To be an entrepreneur, the most important capability you need to have is courage. Paloma Castellano director at Wayra supported that idea by saying "The difference between an entrepreneur and one that is not, is that the first one does it", each and every entrepreneur knows that even, Fernando Dal Re CEO of Pupilum has gone into unsuccessful companies before creating pupilum and under his point of view, "when you are an entrepreneur you learn by doing and you always have to be ready to fail... –and added- eentrepreneurship is the hardest job you can find but the most gratified". "One of the most important things we look when investing on a startup is for attitude" added Liz Fleming.

New technologies and the knowledge of digital competences are helping young entrepreneurs to succeed in their business and lots of new business are also growing up thanks to the technology.

So, either you want to start a business or to work for other company is key to acquire digital skills otherwise you won't even be competitive in the market...



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