Digital competencies today: what knowledge should an IT specialist have?

19 марта, 2020


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 On March 19, a meeting of the working group on the national qualifications system and its role in the implementation of the national program "Digital economy of the Russian Federation"was held. As part of the discussions, one of the most pressing issues was the set of competencies that IT industry specialists should have today.

In the era of digital technologies, there is practically no field of activity where digital competencies are not in demand, and all labor processes are digitized in one way or another. It is in digital qualifications that there is a great interest and need for industrial organizations.
According to the task of the working group, Bauman University specialists conducted research among about 1200 organizations of different industries, each of which requires qualified IT industry personnel who understand the physics of the production technology process. "A software engineer should be able to model certain processes that he, as a developer, is able to describe, and for this he needs to have certain skills. They should have a good understanding of how to set the task and how to decipher the results that will be obtained in the course of work," comments Valery Kashin, Deputy General Director of JSC NPO high - Precision complexes, General designer of JSC Scientific and production Corporation Design Bureau of mechanical engineering. Thus, industry representatives consider the knowledge of "pure programmers" to be insufficient for working in current production organizations without directed additional training. There is a need to create such training programs for IT specialists that would combine comprehensive training in IT technologies and engineering disciplines.
During the working group's work, the existing state educational standards of higher education were analyzed for digital competencies. Their content and relationship to the current bachelor's, master's, and specialty programs have a number of discrepancies that need to be removed and corrected. However, the digital world is improving every day, inventing and discovering something new. "We are faced with the task of creating a system for forming digital economy competencies. We understand that this work can only be done ahead of the current time. Therefore, our task is to teach students the necessary skills not of yesterday and today, but of tomorrow," said Boris Padalkin, first Vice - rector for academic Affairs of Bauman Moscow state technical University. 
At the moment the working group has a number of objectives:
Update, Refine and Refine existing professional standards, create recommendations and standard modules that will meet professional qualifications.
Monitor the labor market, all its sectors and branches of specific professional qualifications and monitor the needs of employers of all competencies that are associated with these qualifications.
Ensure a balance in the formation of control figures for admission and training directions. "One cannot exist without the other. There can't be a cohort of specialists who can apply digital solutions in their activities if there are no digital solutions themselves," comments Alexander Leibovich, General Director of the National Agency for development of qualifications.
In order to ensure this balance and formulate professional standards, it is necessary to understand with what set of basic digital competencies universities accept graduates of secondary vocational education. "There should be continuity between levels of education. We must understand what we will teach," said Ekaterina Babelyuk, Director of the Department of state policy in higher education of the Ministry of science and higher education of the Russian Federation. Thus, starting from the basic set of digital competencies of a school graduate, you can start adapting the higher education system. However, the structure of the labor market is extremely diverse and the demand for digital competencies is fundamentally different for each industry. Therefore, increasing the number of IT specialists only in the direction of "pure programmer" will not bring the desired result. "Our task as a professional community, with the support of industry departments, is to identify what is common between engineering specialties should be given to all students, regardless of the training program, and what should be left for specialization. And then it will become clear how many control figures we need for what direction of training," added Ekaterina Babelyuk.
As a result of the meeting, representatives of higher education, special industry and the Ministry of science of higher education of the Russian Federation agreed on the priority issue of forming a system of digital competencies. "For IT specialists in different areas of training, digital competence is different. But we must clearly understand what we put in the educational program, so that at the end of their training activities, the specialist meets the qualification level approved by the national Council of qualifications and required by special industrial organizations," the rector of MSTU summed up. Bauman Anatoly Alexandrov.