The issue of the ICT labour shortage has been topical for many years and most of the studies have reached the conclusion that there is a growing shortage of staff. This study, however, reveals that the growth of demand could lead to a situation where the number of graduates meets more or less the labour needs.
„There is not a shortage of staff in all ICT positions. The labour supply does not necessarily meet the labour demand.“ – Anne Jürgenson
It was found that there are a total of 16,287 ICT professionals in Estonia, about half of whom work in the ICT sector and half in other fields. It turned out that about half of the ICT staff has higher education. Nearly 80% of them are managers, analysts or architects. In other fields of work the number of employees with degree is generally the same but there are fewer professionals with special education. The share of foreign labour is relatively large in the ICT sector. The labour demand forecast found that occupations which require ICT professional training need additional labour of 2,661 to 4,456 people until the year 2020 according to the growth scenario of the sector.
- About 4,200 to 5,600 university graduates are needed but the supply will remain on the level of 4,550 graduates.
- About 2,500 to 2,900 vocational education graduates are needed but the supply will remain on the level of 4,000 graduates.
Employers consider that they are generally satisfied with the existing workforce which is connected to the fact that many employers have trained their employees in their enterprise, which proves that ICT specialists with adequate knowledge and experience are hard to find. The overall level of competence is valued more and more – communication, problem solving, teamwork, leadership and professional skills. Employers say that the quality of training is not equivalent to the growing number of graduates and the general competence level of the ICT graduates is also criticized.
- The emphasis of the higher education has to be linked with the training of software development specialist, the development of general competencies, cooperation between specialties and improvement of the cooperation between enterprises and educational institutions.
- In vocational education the supply of the ICT specialties should be reviewed in terms of volume and quality of the education.
- In general education the acquisition of the general competences and ability to learn should be pushed ahead in order to build additional base on the philosophy of lifelong learning.