The Current E-Skills Gap in Europe

ICT workforce development 2011 – 2012 and expected development until 2015 by ICT job categories in Europe


Source: Eurostat LFS, IDC Europe. empirica calculations and forecasts (Gareis, K., Hüsing, T., Bludova, I., Schulz, C., Korte, W.B.: e-Skills: Monitoring and Benchmarking Policies and Partnerships in Europe - Final Report for the European Commission, January 2014) (www.eskills-monitor2013.eu)

Higher educational institutions in Europe appear to be failing to deliver graduates with the necessary skills to match the growing demand. The number of computer science graduates has been more or less stable, ranging between 115.000 and 125.000 each year. Since 2006 there has been a decrease and since 2010 numbers have stagnated at the lower level of around 110,000 computer science graduates leaving higher education institutions annually in the 27 member states of the European Union (EU27). The effect of the decrease in the number of entrants to the ICT workforce is intensified in Europe by an increasing number of exits, as ICT practitioners now begin to retire from the workforce.

Development of the number of tertiary level computer science graduates in European countries 2000 – 2011


Source: Based on Eurostat, some estimates by empirica.

The most dramatic decrease of graduate numbers can be observed in the UK, where the number of graduates today is down to just 63% of 2003 numbers. Decreases can also be observed many other countries, with the notable exception of Germany and France.

France, overtaking the United Kingdom, now contributes 18% of European ICT graduates. The UK supplies 17%, and Germany is third with a contribution of 15% of European computer science graduates entering the labour market. The shares have changed dramatically, if compared to ten years earlier when the UK produced almost a third of Europe’s Computer Scientists (30%) and Germany just 7% (Gareis, K., Hüsing, T., Bludova, I., Schulz, C., Korte, W.B.: e-Skills: Monitoring and Benchmarking Policies and Partnerships in Europe - Final Report for the European Commission, January 2014) (www.eskills-monitor2013.eu).