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Despite the announced shortage of IT specialists, competition in this area is growing

RIGF 2023 continued with the session, “The real and the virtual worlds: The red lines,” moderated by Veronika Romanova (RBC). The discussion was attended by Yelizaveta Belyakova (Alliance for the Protection of Children's Rights in the Digital Environment), Dmitry Gulyayev (Youth Digital Ombudsman), Olga Rubtsova (Academy of Innovative Education and Development), Vladimir Todorov (Rambler&Co,, Sergei Mardanov (VK), and Irina Smolyarchuk (Anti-Crisis Psychological Center).

The session focused on the influence of the internet on the formation of a personality, interaction between children and youth in the virtual environment, conditions for the harmonious development and upbringing of the younger generation in a digital society, the creation of media and information culture for participants in educational relations, and the legal aspects of regulating the internet space for children.

Olga Rubtsova spoke about immersing children in the digital environment. “We see that the digital environment and, in particular, social media play a huge role in the socialization of children. If previously there were three main institutions for the socialization of children: parents, school and friends, now there is one more factor – the internet. Events are no longer just events on a screen. They turn into markers, reasons for new messages and actions. What should we do with the wealth of the digital world that surrounds us? The answer is simple: all together – parents, teachers, and representatives of public organizations should form an internal filter for personality development,” Rubtsova said.

Yelizaveta Belyakova noted that a database to exchange data on negative content between companies belonging to the alliance has recently been launched in test mode. She also recalled that the Digital Ethics of Childhood Charter, developed in 2021, is open for signing, and all organizations that share the principles in the Charter can join it. To date, the Charter has been signed by more than 12,000 organizations in all regions of Russia.

“Content is emotions. And the virtual world is now much more emotional than the traditional environments for a child's socialization – home, school and friends. Adults try to interest children by referring to their cultural layer, to the content of the past. But the younger generation is not interested in this. And this discrepancy can lead to serious social crises and other social problems. Therefore, if we want to interact effectively with young people, we must first understand what they are really interested in and why, and only then speak carefully about those things that we consider destructive. At the same time, we should not ban them, but create and offer an attractive alternative,” said Vladimir Todorov.

Sergei Mardanov shared his experience of creating a game on the history of Russia for kids: “We see that through the game, children have a completely different perception of complex historical moments, they understand more and play the game with interest.”

The session participants agreed that adults should not ban children from using the internet, as it creates opportunities for learning about the world and developing personality and abilities, but it is necessary to understand its dangers and teach children safe online behavior.

At the “Personnel for the digital economy” session, the participants discussed what to do about the “personnel shortage” and whether it is a myth, and which shortage is more acute – that of people or skills, and how to respond to modern challenges in the field of personnel policy. Session moderator Gleb Shuklin (Big Data Association) and participants – Yulia Goryachkina (Digital Economy), Dmitry Zubtsov (SberUniversity), Vitaly Terentyev (HeadHunter), Anna Abramova (MGIMO), Evgenia Shvyrkunova (University of National Technology Initiative 2035) – spoke about the IT job market in Russia, the main employers and job seekers, and how the state can help overcome personnel problems in the industry.

Vitaly Terentyev stated that due to the departure of many foreign companies, the number of vacancies in the IT market has greatly decreased, and there are now 3.3 active CVs per vacancy. This data demonstrates that now the IT market is not a market for job seekers, and the competition is high. “Over the past two years, the number of women among IT professionals has grown significantly; every third specialist in this market is a woman. And this trend is gaining momentum. The number of CVs from female job seekers is growing, and at the same time, the number of responses from companies to ‘female’ CVs has increased,” the speaker said.

Yulia Goryachkina stated that to create more human resource potential and personnel sovereignty in the country, IT specialists are needed, but so are representatives from the scientific community. “It is important to form common initiatives from the state, society and education institutions. There are government initiatives that can help resolve the problem of the shortage of well-trained personnel – an example is the digital departments at universities, where non-IT specialists can retrain and gain skills in IT. But nothing will ever move forward if we do not pay attention to children and engage in early career guidance for them. There are also relevant projects for this, such as the Digital Lesson, Digital Educational Program and others,” she said.

The next sessions are ahead – stay tuned.