100,000 vacancies: the fight for IT professionals

We have entered a period of increasing conflict and competition. Environmental, industrial, economic and global political issues are all supported in the solution with a high level of participation from IT and its megatrends.

The battle for precisely these computer scientists is raging at all levels. According to the digital association Bitkom, the number of vacancies for IT specialists in the German labor market was around 96,000 at the end of 2021. According to Bitkom experts, each vacant IT position costs sales, strains companies’ capacity for innovation and slows down digital transformation. And Bitkom goes even further: the lack of IT experts threatens the competitiveness of the entire German economy.

To improve this competitiveness, businesses and the public sector must evolve their IT. Defensiveness and skilled workers are the keys to effective computing.

The problem of vacancies

According to IT companies, open IT positions remain vacant for a long time, and these vacant positions cost every entrepreneur a lot of money. According to information compiled by recruitment consultant and artificial intelligence expert Morten Babakhani of consulting firm Brandmonks, a rule of thumb is that a vacancy that goes unfilled for 183 days costs the company the gross salary of a full year for the position. This means that for every IT developer vacancy over six months, companies experience a loss of around €126,000, assuming a gross salary of €80,000. Losses are even greater for IT consultant positions.

The corona pandemic has given the world of work a strong push towards digitization. Otherwise, we probably would have had to wait many years for this impulse. Companies and employees have recognized the benefits of New Work and mobile working and are therefore increasingly planning with hybrid working models. Flexible hours and places of work allow better compatibility with family and private life.

On the other hand, there are currently around 100,000 vacancies for IT specialists in Germany. Only one out of seven candidates for an IT position is a woman. We must quickly close this gap in order to make better use of the existing potential. This challenge does not only affect the IT industry: the lack of IT experts inhibits the whole system – administration, authorities and science. That is why we need to create better conditions for IT professionals in Germany as soon as possible. In addition, the concepts of New Work must be even more firmly anchored in daily work. The goal is to make the future of service delivery more innovative and digital.

The market needs to rethink

Many independent recruiters and established service providers have discovered the market and “business” of IT specialists. Today, it’s common for a senior IT executive to have a few positions at various mid-sized companies on their resume before eventually ending up at a large corporation or technology company.

If you think IT people are just a toy between companies, you are wrong. You benefit enormously from it. Salaries and benefits are growing much faster than in traditional professional fields. As a result, only large corporations or technology companies can afford the salaries of IT specialists.

Since mid-2021, established recruitment firms have increasingly noticed that there are fewer and fewer specialists who can be “poached”. A saturation point has been reached. It is becoming more and more difficult to find people willing to be poached. The market seems to have been “swept away”.

In the medium term, this will also result in an increase in the number of vacancies. Demand is expected to continue growing at the current rate until the end of 2025, which will widen the gap between supply and demand. This trend will continue beyond 2025 with increasing digitization.

Upgrade and harden IT

Fewer skilled workers and higher demand in one of the fastest growing markets. No large industry, medium-sized enterprise or even stationary retail trade will be able to organize its business in the future without IT specialists. Globalization, digital transformation and emerging conflicts act on the markets like a big magnifying glass. The reconversion of education and training is not yet dynamic enough. Internal qualification lacks basic skills and the continuing education market is too generic. And for the new generation of young professionals, the barriers to entry are often too high. The need for a paradigm shift that rethinks new issues, new technologies and how to transport them into the minds of tomorrow’s workforce is immanent. This can only be done sustainably if everyone involved works together. Quick, unbureaucratic and creative solutions are needed in collaboration with the private IT services industry, companies, associations, educational institutions and politics.

It is therefore high time to counter the shortage of skilled labor in order to strengthen Germany as an economic location. In the digital transformation, this is the biggest challenge to maintain the competitiveness of each of us. The economic independence and the know-how of our companies in Belgium and abroad are the guarantors of the political capacity to act in Europe and in the world. And thus the haven for companies in Germany.

We already felt the shortage of skilled labor in 2012. The abundance of projects was already difficult to manage at that time. That’s why Job Stipendium founded the www.jobstipendium training initiative with Microsoft and develops future IT professionals for use by Microsoft partners. Recently, the initiative, under the patronage of Technology Carriers, has also provided “specialty replenishment” for corporate clients with creative recruitment and a strong blended training program. Here, creative means, for example, integrating graduates from economics courses or comparable fields of study into the demanding curriculum. The company is hiring a business graduate and, after 12 months, a digitization specialist with a business background. More than 400 graduates are impressive proof of this.


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