Lack of qualified IT personnel is at the centre of public and scientific interest. One cause for lack of qualified personnel is that the extent of the strong dynamism in the area of information and communications technology of the past years has taken executives in the economy and in politics by surprise - a few visionaries were the only ones that had expected this development. In order to alleviate the lack of qualified personnel, the state and enterprises pin their hopes on training and further training of IT experts. Several countries opened their labour markets for IT experts. There are fears that the lack of qualified IT personnel might give rise to a host of negative effects on investments, innovations, economic growth, and employment. As the employment of IT experts also creates jobs in other corporate divisions, the employment trend as a whole might be impaired. Slackening growth of the IT industry would have negative repercussions for the rest of the economy. Additionally, the lack of qualified IT personnel might culminate in job relocations abroad. Concentration trends in the IT sector are another possible result of lack of qualified IT personnel. The limited supply of IT experts would be pooled, yet with potentially negative implications for efficiency and competition. Furthermore, there are fears that IT specialists working in the training system will be hired away by private enterprises. As a result there will be a lack of qualified teaching staff for the training of junior staff. A tight labour market for IT experts in turn will increase competition among employers for IT experts and thus will lead to soaring recruitment costs. For the first time in Germany we conducted a representative company survey on the extent of lack of qualified IT personnel, the companies´ reactions, and qualification requirements. Several issues were analysed:

  • Employment potential in the IT sector
  • Direct and indirect employment effects of IT technologies
  • Impact of IT technologies on qualification requirements
  • Data collection on lack of qualified IT personnel (vacant jobs, economic sectors, company sizes, fields of activity for IT, and subject area of training)
  • Causes for lack of qualified IT personnel
  • Implications and corporate measures to overcome the lack of qualified IT personnel

Effects of lack of qualified IT personnel on the training system. First of all, we analysed the determinants of lack of qualified personnel by applying microeconometric methods. We then investigated the determinants of the measures that had been taken to overcome lack of qualified personnel (further training activities, willingness to receive training, and outsourcing), and their impact on employment, turnover growth, and innovations. Finally, we analysed determinants of IT qualification requirements in the respective fields of activity.

Project duration

01.04.2000 - 30.06.2001

Cooperation partner

Dr. Werner Dostal, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung der Bundesanstalt für Arbeit, Nürnberg, DE
Dr. Stefan Pfisterer, Fachverband Informationstechnik, Frankfurt am Main, DE
Dr. Helmut Schröder, Institut für angewandte Sozialwissenschaft, Bonn, DE