IT skills shortage reaches highest level in 10 years

IT skills shortage reaches highest level in 10 years

Demand for IT professionals is nearly seven per cent greater than the people available

The skills shortage in the IT industry has increased from a 4.2 per cent shortfall in people last year to 6.8 per cent this year - the highest in the past decade, according to researchers.

The study carried out by the National Computing Centre (NCC) found that shortages are seen as a recruitment problem rather than a retention issue.

Some 73 per cent of employers that indicated the need for new skills plan to acquire them by re-skilling and training existing staff.

“With some skills moving into shortage, employers should be planning and budgeting for how best to acquire these skills now,” said NCC head of content Ian Jones.

“It is an unwelcome message but they should be prepared for the extra cost.”

The study suggests that professionals with Oracle, SAP, Microsoft .Net, web development, network support, business analysis and project management skills, as well as virtualisation technologies, will be in high demand over the next two years.

“The repercussions of the credit crunch are unknown, but more and more organisations are doing business online so demand for web-related skills is buoyant,'" said Jones.

"The public sector is likely to find shortages painful as the pressure to limit wage inflation is high.”