European Commission alert: Spain will soon have 864,000 vacancies in IT

Silvia Leal. Professor. IE Business School

8 March 2013

Brussels estimates that in just two years’ time, in 2015, there will be 864,000 vacancies going begging in Spain’s IT sector. What an excellent opportunity to combat unemployment.

The European Commission has alerted Spain that by 2015 it will be unable to fill some 864,000 positions that will be needed in its IT sector. The figures speak volumes.  With annual growth of over 3% over the last ten years, the sector already employs over 6.6 million people in Europe, 3.1% of the entire labor market. The situation in Spain is no exception in this new paradigm. Today the IT sector today employs over 600,000 people, 3.3% of Spain’s workers. In other words the current crisis has not had the usual adverse effect in this case. Rather the opposite in fact – it has placed them among the most demanded and highly paid professionals in the country.

Forecasts indicate that not only will this trend continue, but it will also intensify, which is why the European Commission is urging governments to take urgent measures for two reasons. First, because it offers hope in the battle against unemployment. For a country like Spain, where employment figures don’t seem to be moving in the right direction following deep structural reform, this warning is good news. This is an unprecedented opportunity not only for our young hopefuls but also for seasoned professionals to find their place in the labor market.

However this is not the only reason. The European Commission is pushing for urgent measures because the levels of competitiveness of Spain’s businesses depends on the country’s capacity to innovate through new technologies, and that will only be possible if they can find the talent to do it. In fact, 40% of the increase in GDP fuelled by Spanish companies, and 25% of productivity, is driven by IT tools.

Unfortunately, it is no easy challenge. The number of enrolments in IT studies n Spain has gone down since 2003 by about 40%. This means that it is going to be difficult to cover not only these long time coming vacancies, but also the new levels of demand that will grow in line with new trends (Big Data, Mobility, Gamification, etc.) which require a high level of business knowledge as well as excellent IT skills.

That’s why here at IE Business School we are firmly committed to IT, and are collaborating with the European Commission in its e-skills GUIDE project as part of the steering committee. At the same time we are supporting the launch and development of the Digital Agenda for Europe through workshops like the one held last December in Valencia.

Additionally we have adapted the content of our programs to help fill the dangerous gap that currently exists between labor supply and demand. As a result, we have achieved extraordinary employability ratios among our students along with recognition from the market. Only recently Businessweek positioned IE as the No 1 business school in Europe for IT education in its programs, and No.4 worldwide.

In short, new technologies bring the opportunity to start afresh, and to build a new future. We are already embracing this opportunity. It won’t be an easy path to take, but it will be a sure one. Don’t let it pass you by.


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Tel. +34 915 689 600