EU, New Survey Points to ICT Skills

Science and Technology - November 25, 2023

According to a Eurostat Survey, in the European Employment Market the Professional Figures Experts in Information and Communication Technologies (Ict) are Increasingly Attractive but Even less Available.

Despite the growing demand, there is a worrying shortage of IT technicians on the Italian and part of the European market. The lack of specialized skills and adequate training are the main reasons for these employment gaps that technological progress requires to fill as soon as possible. Information technologies are constantly evolving, but university faculties and educational institutions struggle to keep up with the rapid changes in the sector, so that companies find themselves having to look for talent abroad or invest in internal training to narrow the skills gap. In the Nordic countries of Europe and Northern Italy, private employees actively work 2 months more per year than professionals in the same sector in other areas. The offer is growing but, for companies, the search for ICT personnel was very complex last year: 62.8% said they had difficulty filling the vacancies even going so far as to give up the job.

The lack of applications as well as that of relevant qualifications and experience have hindered companies in their attempts to recruit specialists who, in many cases, have shown high salary expectations for their position, not always justified by their real skills. Large companies encountered the greatest difficulties in the search, with 72.2% of the sample declaring criticality in the search for experts in information technology and communication.

Slovenia and Germany are the countries that have encountered the greatest problems in the search for IT technicians, with peaks of 78% followed by Italy in full EU average around 60% while companies in Bulgaria and in Spain find specialized IT personnel more easily (32.8%). Another very important obstacle in the search for IT technicians by companies is represented by the brain drain. In fact, many young Italian talents choose to emigrate in search of better opportunities abroad, where they can often find higher wages and better working conditions, making it even more difficult for companies to find and retain qualified talent. To address this challenge, the Italian government and companies in the sector must work together to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education from elementary school and it will be essential to incentivize continuing education by offering professional development programs to help workers to keep up to date with new technologies.

According to an Experis research by the Manpower group, the most requested ICT profiles in Italy all gravitate around the cybersecurity sector: Sap technology experts, Java developers and data scientist architects find employment much more easily. Milan confirms itself as the city that offers the most opportunities with 30% of national announcements related to the IT, digital and technology sector and also the exponential growth of e-commerce in recent years has greatly influenced professional demand. Consumers are increasingly willing to shop online prompting companies to invest in advanced e-commerce solutions to remain relevant in the market with the consequent increase in demand for cyber security experts, website developers and digital marketing specialists.

Another factor that has contributed to the high demand for computer technicians is the increasingly widespread adoption of information technologies in industries not traditionally related to IT. Areas such as healthcare, agriculture, manufacturing and education are exploiting the potential of digital technologies to improve their services and processes by opening new job opportunities for IT professionals in sectors other than strictly technological ones. With targeted investments in education and training, Italy can close the skills gap and exploit the full potential of technological innovation to stimulate economic growth and employment in the country.