Work 4.0 is becoming ever more digital. Accordingly, the demand for well-qualified employees is very high – in the IT sector, for example. However, the shortfall of qualified staff is growing around the world.

Professionals wanted - experts are sought worldwide. Especially in the field of IT, the shortage is great. Foto: Fotolia - fegefox

Professionals wanted – experts are searched worldwide. Especially in the IT sector, the shortage is great. Foto: Fotolia – fegefox

It doesn’t matter the industry, nor whether a company is big or small – IT and software have become a central element in modern business. This has long had a pronounced effect on the job market – the number of open positions for IT specialists has never been higher than in 2018. This is reinforced by the DEKRA Job Market Report 2018, for which the expert organization evaluated almost 13,000 randomly selected advertisements for jobs across Germany.

For the first time, IT jobs represented the highest proportion of the sample population – considerably more than one in ten candidates will find their vocation in this field. For engineers, the market appears to be slowing somewhat. For the first time, neither mechanical/automotive nor electrotechnical engineers were represented in the top-ten most sought-after positions. In this category remain architects and civil engineers. The top ten positions on the job market were, however, by no means just jobs demanding advanced academic qualifications. Electricians, carers and sales staff were among the talent most in demand.

Countries set to miss out on most revenue, organized by sector

In China, Japan, Germany and the USA there is a large shortage of skilled workers. Source: Korn Ferry, “The Future Of Work”, 2018.

In China, Japan, Germany and the USA there is a large shortage of skilled workers. Source: Korn Ferry, “The Future Of Work”, 2018.

Overall, at least one in ten job advertisements targeted applicants with leadership experience, with the number of positions with personnel responsibilities remaining stable. Ambitious project managers are faced with a plethora of opportunities – almost one in three positions with direct reports was targeted toward them. This is forecast to continue, as project work is on an upward trajectory.

Global shortfall of skilled workers is growing

The report shows that there is no shortage of job offers out there. However, businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to fill vacant positions. Across the board, there is a shortage of well-­qualified candidates. “Due to this very fact, Germany’s economic output is up to 30 billion dollars lower than it could be,” estimates Dr. Peter Littig, Education Policy Consultant for the DEKRA ­Akademie GmbH management. Among his sources are investigations performed by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research. The shortfall of talent is far from being solely a German problem – it is affecting enterprises across the globe. This is having considerable economic consequences, reports ‘The Future Of Work 2018’ study, titled the ‘­Talent Shift,’ performed by international personnel consultancy Korn Ferry. According to the study, by 2030, there may be a global shortfall of 85.2 million professionals, leading to annual revenue losses of almost 8.5 trillion US dollars. That equates to the gross domestic product of Germany and Japan put together.

3 Questions for Dr. Peter Littig

Dr. Peter Littig ist Education Policy Consultant for DEKRA Akademie. Photo: Mario Brunner

Dr. Peter Littig ist Education Policy Consultant for DEKRA Akademie. Photo: Mario Brunner

IT professionals in Germany are in higher demand than ever. Is this a trend that can be observed globally as well?

Littig: Yes, digitalization and networking are not topics that stop at the border. The rapid globalization and associated conflation of markets and businesses has increased demand for IT specialists globally, for example in the area of production and supply process. There is especially high demand for software developers and programmers, as well as IT consultants. This demand cannot be met by current supply.

Is digitalization only having an effect on talent in the IT industry and its specialist disciplines?

Littig: Absolutely not – the onward march of digitalization in less IT-related sectors means that processes and employee requirements are changing here too. In facility management, for example, there are new technologies that offer huge potential for the more professional and efficient management of buildings.

How high do you regard the risk that digitalization may lead to mass redundancies?

Littig: This is a fear that I do not share. Of course, digitalization will irreversibly change the world of work. But I mainly see the huge opportunity for creating new jobs. This is becoming clear in the field of IT security, and the number of cyber-attacks is projected to grow in the future. Data protection also poses a series of challenges. One decisive factor is the qualification of staff. HR personnel often request a university degree, though advertisements often seek talent from a variety of fields. An IT degree puts applicants on the safe side, but studies in business information systems or the MINT fields of mathematics, information science, natural sciences and technology are all listed under desired qualifications. Economists are also faced with good job prospects, assuming that they have a basic understanding and interest in IT security.

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