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IO1: Focus group in Berlin, Germany

On August 31st, 2019 a German focus group was conducted at the Hertie School of Governance (Friedrichstrasse 180) in Berlin with 8 participants and 2 facilitators (Grigoriy Grigoriev & Haytham Mones). The composure of the group included 3 individuals that are working in the digital environment, 2 youth workers, and 3 youth persons.

Overall the goal of the focus group was to present the results of the survey (employer and yp/yw) with regards to digital competencies, their knowledge and identify possible venues for their improvement via certain methods & tools.

The format was structured and notes were hand recorded. Additionally, when working within activities, the groups/individuals classified and wrote out their input that is recorded and available to be further examined. With regards to the summary of the focus group, some more interesting thoughts and discussions are below, divided by individual activities.

Activity 1: Presentation of the employer survey and incomplete youth survey
  • ‘Self taught … not surprising as tech is fas and learned often on the job. Uni’s have adelay and perhaps it doesn’t make sense for them. Learn how to learn is the biggest trait.’
  • ‘Youtube are for basic but to get in depth you have to read. Agreement where it’s general knowledge and going deeper would cause one to buy a book.’
  • ‘Coding … interest by students and it’s a general one (cross sectoral) as it is a basic logic concept that is important.’
  • ‘Practicing and see how it works (playing w/ it) and seeing it how it works and if interested then go on and study/practice more.’
Activity 2: Selecting 10 most popular jobs

Two groups of 4 were divided and discussed the identified 10 jobs and what they thought about them as well as ranked them accordingly to their ideas (scanned available and analysis further down below – TBI).

Some mentioned thoughts and discussion were:

  • Comment that Data Engineer Analyst is absent; or big data structure. Mentioning that our profiles are perhaps not reflective.
  • The list of 10 jobs, where from – ‘how it was made?’ – what about Data Perception Survey (perhaps biased?).
  • Consultants – not surprised to see it on the list:
    • Mention that consultants save money for companies and are particular experts where it will be more efficient.
    • Cost analysis will cause firms to have consultants than in house experts.
    • Everything is project driven, no reason to have specialists w/o projects
  • Healthcare/workers will always be needed, whatever the economy is
    • Technology is attracting not just because of money but lure of the future. But on the other hand there will be and is demand for public/service jobs.
  • Position of Production Assistant was not well understood by the whole group
  • What are at the top?
    • Healthcare top for one
    • Sales is least for at least two of three
    • See List with A, B, C grading for the group
Activity Three – Identifying digital competences in the new market

Worked in the same groups of four but now to identify the importance of capabilities as were identified by the survey (most mentioned words).

Four competencies for the focus group were identified to use in the following activity. Some mentioned thoughts and discussion were:

  • ‘Every data data scientist needs to learn Machine Learning.’
  • ‘Algorithms and devops are building blocks where the 3D printing is later on.’
  • Tools vs Competency? Important question for them ranking as they did.
  • Digital Media/Social Media:
    • ‘not much of priority and is largely self-taught’
    • ‘very important in promotion of ideas and individuals.’
    •  ‘already w/ interest of the young”
  • ‘Software Architecture you pick up on your own.”

Activity 4 – Template of Teaching

Template of Teaching was presented and used to do in one group for 1 competency together to understand the format. Fourth most important competency was chosen ‘3D printing’ (see photographs). Three groups were created with individuals joining one they wanted to work on.

Three most important competencies as identified by the focus group were

  1. Programming;
  2. Digital Security;
  3. Devops.

To see the provided outcome see scanned copies of suggested methods, tools and topics to be covered.

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