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Computer and related activities

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NACE 2002 - 72 Computer and related activities

Employment in IT services, as computer and related activities are often described, has been showing a major growth in recent years and this trend will continue in the future. The overal importance of IT in the economy is constantly increasing along with the number of areas of IT application. This trend will also continue in the upcoming years and IT will expand into areas that have so far been less IT-intensive (agriculture, less technology-intensive industries, etc.). For its pay levels the industry is very attractive for those who make their career decisions and the number of those interested in studying these disciplines is growing. Moreover, foreign investors prefer this area, particualrly as regards the development of software and service centres. The only drawback is the shortage of available workforce. At the same time, IT specialists constitute a major group in terms of employment in other industries, and there are expectations that they will move from customer segments (industry, state administration, banking…) to the supplier segment – i.e. NACE 72. 

The financial crisis will also be apparent in this industry. However, it should not result in deteriorated employment opportunities for IT workers. It is likely that the only impact will consist in reducing the severe excess of demand over supply as regards IT specialisations. The number of individuals with IT skills will grow over the long term, but there will be certain changes in the requirements for their knowledge and skills.  While at present the predominating requirements for technical knowledge concern database systems, ICT administration and, partly, the development of applications and foreign languages, the importance of technical knowledge is going to decrease over the long term. There are three reasons for this: Firstly, thanks to the development of technologies instruments for the development of applications will become more simple and, at the same time, these technologies will be more widely available and easier to use for ordinary users. Secondly, special tailor-made solutions will gradually drop in number and an increasing part of ICT will become a commodity. Along with this, the cost of the work of programmers, testers and ICT administrators will rise to such an extent that the demand might be pushed out of the Czech market to cheaper locations. Due to these changes the labour market will be short of high quality developers with analytical thinking in particular. In this context there is discussion about the need to “turn technicians into analysts and consultants”. The last factor that should be mentioned is the incerase in ergonomic demands for ICT. As the number of ICT users surges, demands for higher comfort levels, intuitiveness, easiness and security in working with the technologies also grow. The “easy”, “friendly” and “invisible” factors of ICT are major features by means of which suppliers and developers may attract large groups of new users who have not yet been identified as a target group. However, this will require the development of skills focused on identification of customer needs and combination of technological, sales and marketing thinking which has so far been considered as a weakness on the part of Czech ICT experts.

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