The FINANCIAL -- In the European Union (EU), 8.2 million persons were employed in 2016 as Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) specialists, representing 3.7% of total employment. Over recent years, both the number and the share of ICT specialists in total employment have continuously risen to better adapt to an ever digitalised world.
This profession is largely made up of men, accounting in 2016 for more than 8 out of 10 ICT specialists employed in the EU (83.3%), and of highly educated people, with more than 6 in 10 ICT specialists (61.8%) having a tertiary education or higher.
In 2016, 1 in 5 enterprises in the EU (20%) employed ICT specialists and nearly 1 in 10 (9%) recruited or tried to recruit ICT specialists. However, 41% of enterprises which recruited or tried to recruit ICT specialists had difficulties in filling vacancies.
These data, issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, are notably used for several EU policies, in particular the initiatives under the Digital Single Market strategy.
Share of ICT specialists in employment highest in Finland and Sweden
In 2016, three Member States accounted for half of all ICT specialists employed in the EU. These were the United Kingdom (1.6 million persons), Germany (1.5 million) and France (1.0 million).
In relative terms, the highest shares of ICT specialists in total employment were recorded in Finland (6.6%) and Sweden (6.3%), ahead of Estonia (5.3%), the United Kingdom (5.1%) and the Netherlands (5.0%). At the opposite end of the scale, Greece (1.4%) registered the lowest proportion, followed by Romania (2.0%), Cyprus and Latvia (both 2.2%).
Compared with 2011, both the absolute number and the share of ICT specialists in total employment increased in almost all Member States by 2016, notably in Estonia, France, Germany, Portugal, Finland, Bulgaria, Croatia and Hungary. At EU level between 2011 and 2016, the number of ICT specialists rose by 1.8 million persons and their share in total employment grew from 3.0% to 3.7%.
Highest share of male ICT specialists in Slovakia and the Czech Republic…
Women are under-represented among ICT specialists in all EU Member States, a striking contrast with total employment, where the genders are broadly balanced. Figures show that in 2016, an overwhelming majority (83.3%) of ICT specialists employed in the EU were men. This was the case in every EU Member State. The highest shares of male ICT specialists were observed in Slovakia (90.8%), the Czech Republic (88.8%), Malta (88.3%), Greece (87.3%), Hungary (86.9%) and Croatia (86.7%), while Bulgaria (69.8%), Romania (73.7%), Latvia and Lithuania (both 75.2%) recorded the lowest.
… of ICT specialists with tertiary education in Ireland and Lithuania…
In the EU in 2016, 6 in 10 (61.8%) ICT specialists had a tertiary education level. The highest proportions were registered in Ireland (82.4%) and Lithuania (80.7%), ahead of Spain (79.1%), France (78.4%) and Belgium (76.2%). At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest proportions of ICT specialists having completed tertiary education were recorded in Italy (32.8%), followed by Germany (49.6%), Portugal (51.2%) and Croatia (52.5%).
In 2016, the share of employed persons with tertiary education was higher among ICT specialists than in total employment in all EU Member States.
… and of ICT specialists younger than 35 in Malta, Latvia and Poland
In 2016, more than 1 out of 3 ICT specialists (36.3%) in the EU was younger than 35. Across Member States, the majority of ICT specialists employed were younger than 35 in Malta (63.1%), Latvia (54.1%), Poland (53.6%) and Lithuania (50.2%). In contrast, persons younger than 35 accounted for fewer than a third of all ICT specialists employed in Italy (24.5%) and the three EU Nordic Member States: Finland (28.6%), Sweden (30.0%) and Denmark (30.4%).
In 2016, there were proportionally more persons younger than 35 among ICT specialists than in total employment in a majority of Member States, with the exceptions of Denmark, Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom.
Difficulties in recruiting ICT specialists reported in every Member State
In the EU in 2016, 41% of enterprises which recruited or tried to recruit ICT specialists reported hard-to-fill vacancies. The highest percentages were recorded in the Czech Republic (66% of enterprises which recruited or tried to recruit ICT specialists), followed by Slovenia (63%), Luxembourg and Austria (both 61%), Belgium (59%), Estonia (58%) and the Netherlands (57%). In contrast, this share was lowest in Spain (17%), Greece (28%), Poland and Italy (both 31%) as well as Portugal (32%).