86,000 vacancies for IT specialists

  • Corona crisis only temporarily dampens the shortage of skilled workers
  • Six out of ten companies expect the shortage of personnel to worsen in the future

Berlin, December 16, 2020– The shortage of IT specialists has decreased under the impression of the Corona crisis, but is still at a high level. At the end of 2020, there were 86,000 vacancies for IT experts across all industries. This is the second highest value ever measured since the first survey in 2011. Compared to the previous year, the number of vacancies fell by 31 percent, when a historic high of 124,000 vacant jobs was recorded. That is the result of the current study on the job market for IT specialists by the digital association Bitkom. The basis is a representative survey of more than 850 managing directors and HR managers in companies in all industries. Accordingly, seven out of ten (70 percent) currently state a shortage of IT specialists. A year ago it was only marginally more at 83 percent.

The search for personnel costs more and more time. On average, it takes six months to fill an IT position; two years ago it was five months. Almost half of companies (47 percent) report that IT jobs are filled more slowly than other positions. “Even during the Corona crisis, Germany suffers from a shortage of IT specialists. The crisis has revealed deficits in digitization in all industries and triggered a surge in digitization that will soon increase the demand for IT specialists again, ”says Bitkom President Achim Berg. “It is precisely during the crisis that it is decided which companies can successfully position themselves for the digital future. Now is the time to invest in digital business models, and that requires digital know-how.

Programmers and IT administrators are most sought after

Software specialists are by far the most sought-after in business. Every second company (52 percent) with vacant IT jobs is looking for software developers or software architects. This is followed by IT application supervisors or IT administrators, who are wanted by one in three of these companies (35 percent). 8 percent are looking for data scientists or big data experts, 6 percent are looking for IT project managers or IT project coordinators. 5 percent of companies with open IT positions want to hire IT security experts, 3 percent IT service consultants and 2 percent engineers for Industry 4.0 or robotics.

Reliability and the ability to work in a team are considered “must have”, empathy and intercultural competence as “nice-to-have”

In addition to professional suitability, soft skills are also decisive in the hiring process for IT specialists. Reliability (97 percent) and the ability to work in a team (95 percent) as well as analytical thinking (88 percent) are “must-have” skills and personality traits for almost all companies. Understanding also plays a major role: almost nine out of ten companies (87 percent) see German language skills as a must, eight out of ten (82 percent) see general communication skills. At the other end are empathy (21 percent) and intercultural competence (26 percent), which are rarely seen as “must-have”, that is, as an absolute requirement. However, many companies like to see these qualities in applicants: Two out of three (66 percent) want new employees to be empathetic,

Methodological note : The information is based on a survey that Bitkom Research carried out on behalf of Bitkom. 853 managing directors and HR managers from companies with 3 or more employees from all sectors (excluding agriculture and the public sector) were interviewed by telephone. The survey is representative of the overall economy in Germany.

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