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Data center in Leipzig: Eight out of ten vacancies for university graduates not filled

Photo: Jan Woitas / dpa

The shortage of skilled workers in IT professions reached a new record level in Germany last year. In total, there were an average of 2022,67 vacancies in the field of information technology nationwide in 924 – more than ever before since the beginning of the observation period in 2010, the Competence Center for Securing Skilled Workers (Kofa) of the employer-related Institute of the German Economy (IW) reported on Thursday. At the same time, there were only 27,136 unemployed people with an IT qualification.

Due to the increasing expansion of the digital infrastructure in all sectors of the economy, the demand for qualified specialists in the industry is increasing, the Kofa experts reported. Since 2015, it has not been possible to fill all positions in IT professions with qualified unemployed. During the corona pandemic, there was a temporary decline in the number of vacancies. But since 2021, the number has been rising significantly again.

According to the study, the shortage of experts with a university degree is particularly great. Last year alone, there was a shortage of almost 34,000 skilled workers. For eight out of ten vacancies at this skill level, there were no suitably qualified unemployed, according to Kofa.

In the short to medium term, this gap cannot be closed by graduates, the Kofa experts emphasized. Since the number of students in the fields of mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technology in the first semesters of higher education has decreased in recent years, a further decline in the number of graduates is to be expected.

In this situation, one way for companies in the fight against the shortage of skilled workers in the IT sector is to recruit skilled workers from abroad. However, a promising strategy is also to give lateral entrants from other occupational groups and climbers from lower qualification levels a chance.