The IDF: A Path to High Tech

YERUSHALAYIM -

The path to high -tech in Israel often runs through the army.

A survey reported in Haaretz on Wednesday confirmed that the IDF continues to be a major supplier of talent for Israel’s scientific and technological enterprises.

The survey, conducted by The Marker and the research department of Ethosia Human Resources, a company that specializes in job placement in the high-tech and biotech fields, found that among 500 high-tech workers. 29 percent of respondents said that they had served in a technology unit in the IDF.

Not surprisingly, the percentage of veterans of IDF technology units was high among startup entrepreneurs, more than one-third of whom had served in such units. Of the 36 percent of respondents working in startups who had served in a technology unit, about 10 percent came from Unit 8200, the Israeli Intelligence Corps unit responsible for collecting signal intelligence and code decryption.

“There’s a clear understanding among all those involved in the high-tech industry that we need to expand the pool of workers to include more sectors,” said Avi Hasson, the chief scientist of the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry, commenting on the survey results.

“This isn’t just a question of what’s conventional. We must bring new personnel into high-tech because of the shortage of workers. The shortage won’t be solved by exhausting the supply of personnel in sectors that are already part of this industry. It will be solved only by bringing in people from additional sectors.”

Nearly three-quarters of the respondents were under 40 years of age, with 60 percent between the ages of 31 and 40.