IT graduate shortage imminent

A decline in the number of European IT graduates could lead to a technology skills shortage across the EU by 2006, analysts have warned.

Analyst firm Forrester said employers must enhance their companies’ IT training programmes to meet the perceived gap.

Richard Peynot, senior analyst at Forrester, said: “All the evidence indicates that Europe faces a serious risk of a shortage of IT skills and companies need to take action now to support long-term IT competency needs.”

Forrester’s research also shows that universities are not producing IT graduates who meet employers’ requirements.

Mirroring the drive for HR professionals to become more strategic, IT experts are increasingly required to be business-focused as well as technically competent, but most graduates do not meet this criteria, 90% of respondents to Forrester’s survey said.

Peynot said universities will take time to adjust their courses to meet this requirement.

“High level positions require experience and a relevant background,” he said.

“The educational system may take some time to align its programs with demand, so companies should seriously evaluate the possibility of training adults either internally or through partnerships with universities.”

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