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Competence Mismatch and Gender Imbalance a Problem Across ICT Profession

Brussels, 11 December 2014:

A dangerous shortage of skilled ICT professionals is threatening Europe’s capacity for economic growth and ability to stay competitive. The latest research from the CEPIS e-Competence Benchmark European report reveals the urgent need for training and increased professionalism in ICT, with only 23% of respondents to the study having the competences associated with their jobs.

With experts predicting that over 900,000 ICT jobs may be unfilled by 2020 in Europe[1], the lack of adequately e-skilled professionals threatens ICT’s ability to act as a catalyst for growth, innovation and competitiveness. The European report is based on data collected through the CEPIS e-Competence Benchmark, an online assessment tool used by over 2,200 ICT professionals across greater Europe.

This assessment tool is powered by the European e-Competence Framework (e-CF), the common language for ICT competences that can be understood by all. In addition to the Europe-wide report, 8 country reports were produced detailing the national situation in more focus.

The study highlights strong competence mismatches amongst ICT professionals. Project Manager was the most popular job profile among research respondents; yet only 7% of surveyed ICT professionals had the necessary skills for that role. The research also points to future competence mismatches. For instance, Technical Specialist was the job profile for which most professionals matched the required e-competences. However, recent studies show that this is not the profile most likely to be needed in Europe in the future[2].

Fiona Fanning, Secretary General of CEPIS said, “ICT professionals have the potential to make a huge contribution to economic recovery in Europe, but that won’t happen unless there are enough people with the right skills and competences.

“What we’re seeing in this report is a clear mismatch in the competences ICT professionals have, compared to what is needed. Ensuring that we have enough professionals with the right competences needs to be a higher priority.”

Besides the competence mismatch, the report highlights a lack of young talent entering the profession, and reiterates the gender imbalance. The average European ICT professional is 42 years old, with only 16% of professionals under the age of 30. Across Europe, only 15% of ICT professionals are women with ICT Trainer, Project Manager and ICT Trainer being the most popular jobs for women.

Over 2,200 ICT professionals from 31 countries across greater Europe participated in the study, using the CEPIS e-Competence Benchmark, a web-based self-assessment tool. The tool is based on the European e-Competence Framework, and allowed participants to indicate their proficiency in 36 e-CF competences.

Read the European report

[1]European Commission; ‘e-Skills for Jobs in Europe – Measuring Progress and Moving Ahead’, 2014


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