Trends Report

Major European Economies' IT Graduate Deficit

Data From France, Germany, And The Netherlands Reveals A Continuing Decline

October 15th, 2007
With contributors:
Andrew Parker , Thomas Mendel, Ph.D. , Onica King

Summary

The European IT industry recruits young graduates in their thousands but is beginning to face a shortage of IT specialists. European universities and engineering schools have faced a slow but steady decline in their student headcounts in IT and computer science since 2001. Forrester recently surveyed tertiary IT and engineering schools in Germany, France, and the Netherlands, and unfortunately the results confirm a continuing trend. The bursting of the Internet bubble, offshoring, frequent layoffs, and a lack of accurate information about IT careers combine to give young people a poor impression of IT. The European IT industry will need to vigorously support universities' communication efforts and press public authorities at the European Union (EU) level to engage in the problem. This is a vital element in the wider EU aim to promote regional strength in knowledge innovation and research. If they don't address it, the perception of "IT decline" and "the offshore and nearshore invasion" might persist in a new generation's mind — which would in turn accelerate the very immigration and offshoring trends that contribute to the negative perceptions of IT careers in the first place.

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