The fourth industrial revolution has led to a tremendous increase in the demand for IT specialists. Until recently, this sector had traditionally recruited university graduates, but given the shortage of candidates, it has turned to individuals with vocational training, finding that they are capable of performing the same work with a similar level of efficiency. This article examines the role of IT technicians linked to VET, the objective being to obtain evidence that can help adapt the training system to the new economic model. This analysis is carried out as part of an action research process in Bilbao involving digital firms, VET institutions, policymakers, and the authors of the paper as researchers. Twenty-eight semi-structured interviews were conducted with managers of digital firms to determine the role and related skills (technical, transversal, and work-related organisation) of IT technicians. The findings demonstrate that IT technicians play a critical role in digital firms’ business model and that their profile is currently on a par with those of university students. Also apparent is the necessity of establishing a shared language between firms, educational centres, and other agents in order to facilitate the adjustment of the training system in the fourth industrial revolution.
- Keywords: vocational training, VET, IT specialist, ICT firms, fourth industrial revolution