IT expert desperately soughtIs there really no solution to the IT skills shortage?
German companies lack something crucial: Qualified IT specialists. The numbers sound frightening. In recent surveys, trade and industry associations talk of a shortage of up to 137,000 IT experts in German companies. The digital association Bitkom sees the cross-industry shortage as a major obstacle to digital transformation. For example, a Bitkom survey of hundreds of German companies found, among other things, that only eight percent have enough IT specialists. Three out of four companies surveyed, on the other hand, speak of a shortage of IT specialists. What’s more, many companies are despairing of being able to fill vacancies for IT experts adequately and promptly: According to the Bitkom survey, vacant IT positions remain unfilled for more than seven months on average.
The employer-affiliated Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft (Institute of the German Economy) has also conducted a study on the shortage of IT specialists and is also talking about record figures for 2022. On average, almost 68,000 IT positions will remain unfilled in that year – more than at any time since the start of the observation period in 2010.
IT skills shortage puts the brakes on digitization
Whether it’s 137,000 or 68,000 vacant IT positions – the shortage of IT specialists is slowing down the digitization of small, medium and large companies across diverse industries. At the same time, however, the IT industry is far from the frontrunner when it comes to unfilled positions. According to the 2019 Skilled Worker Index, the shortage of skilled workers in the care and healthcare sector remains much more dramatic. The index also shows higher vacancies for jobs in HR and finance and accounting.
Causes of the IT skills shortage
It is not only in Germany that small businesses, SMEs and corporations are worried about qualified IT staff. The phenomenon can be observed worldwide – more or less pronounced.
What are the reasons for the shortage of IT specialists?
- IT is booming: in recent years, professions in IT have become significantly more important for the development of companies. Almost all companies are still undergoing a digital transformation and are using new digital technologies for more and more processes and business operations. It is therefore obvious that digitization experts, software developers, data analysts and co. are increasingly in demand.
- Fast change: Digital transformation is accompanied by rapid technological development. As enterprise software developers, we know the rapid evolution and increasing complexity of the software technologies used from our daily development work for our customers. New programming languages and frameworks, platforms and other technologies are constantly emerging, which then naturally require experts with the latest knowledge and skills. In addition, there is a frequent mismatch between supply and demand for IT specializations and available experts. Thus, some specialty skills are in high demand at times, while others are no longer as relevant.
- Welcome to “uncharted territory”: Most people have probably already noticed that Germany in particular is no longer a pioneer in terms of digitization. The reasons for this lie in the education system and, more specifically, in the curricula at German schools. Not only the infamous overhead projectors and fax machines are symbolic of the sleepy digitalization, but also rigid curricula and outdated methods in the teaching of IT knowledge. So it’s little wonder that institutes close to employers and digital associations are pulling out all the stops to motivate politicians, schools and universities to make adjustments.
- Global competition for talent: IT experts sometimes have a free choice when it comes to choosing an employer. German family-owned companies from the Sauerland region compete with tech corporations from California and hip start-ups from Berlin. Small and medium-sized companies often can’t keep up with the attractive salaries, additional benefits and exciting projects of global tech giants. In addition, IT jobs in particular are very often done remotely. Companies compete accordingly also with comparable companies from abroad.
How can the IT skills shortage be alleviated?
The study results on the shortage of IT specialists in Germany sound alarming. This is because the shortage is slowing down the digital development of companies and institutions – there is also a glaring shortage of IT specialists in the public sector. This impacts the overall performance of German companies and slows down economic development across all industries and regions.
The Institute of the German Economy complains in particular about the insufficient number of IT experts with a university degree. There would be a shortage of almost 34,000 IT specialists here alone in 2022. At the same time, this gap could not be closed so quickly. One reason is the backlog in the German education system mentioned above: Insufficient numbers of students and graduates in STEM subjects at German universities mean that the shortage of qualified IT talent cannot be adequately reduced in the coming years either.
One way out of the digital dilemma is to recruit specialists from abroad. As in the care sector, gaps can be closed by recruiting IT specialists in a targeted manner. Expanded opportunities for IT career changers and less qualified applicants could also help to combat the shortage.
Secondment of IT professionals
One successful way is often not mentioned by experts from politics and business: sending IT experts to temporarily bridge vacancies. At trinidat, we have not only been producing custom-fit individual software for many years, but also placing custom-fit developers with our customers. In this way, our customers – from small medium-sized companies to large international corporations – benefit from highly qualified programmers who are permanently deployed on-site or completely remotely in the customer’s projects. Temporary gaps can be filled without high costs for recruiting and, above all, quickly. The advantage for companies is the rapid availability of highly qualified and experienced IT specialists who integrate seamlessly into existing company structures.
Your company urgently needs IT specialists?
We send highly qualified IT experts on a temporary basis.