Europe faces shortage of 800,000 IT workers by 2020

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New trends such as machine-to-machine communications and cloud computing are opening great new opportunities, and Europe is in serious danger of missing out if it doesn’t produce enough experts in the field.

During a speech in Belgium, European Commission (EC) Digital Single Market chief Andrus Ansip said Europe might face a huge deficit in skilled ICT workers, V3 reports.

"Despite rapid growth in the ICT sector, creating some 120,000 new jobs a year, Europe could face a shortage of more than 800,000 skilled ICT workers by 2020", he said. "We still see big differences in skills levels between EU countries, and different implementation of national skills programmes designed to minimize Europe’s digital divide".

Ansip said this could prove to be a huge problem, as these jobs can only be filled by tech-savvy workers.

"Global big data technology and services are set to grow from €3 billion ($3.17 billion) in 2010 to €16 billion ($16.9 billion) this year, seven times more quickly than the overall IT market", he said. "To me, that is the kind of rapid growth that means hundreds of thousands of new jobs across Europe in the coming years".

He also emphasized the expected expansion of cloud computing: "But is Europe ready for the advent of big data? Perhaps not yet: 29 percent of larger EU companies see themselves as ready, but more than 50 percent say they are not".

"By 2020, cloud computing is due to expand to almost five times its market size in 2013, meaning more value to the economy, more jobs, more innovation", he said. "Since much more data is likely to be stored in the cloud in the years ahead, it is vital to address issues like data storage, ownership and management sooner rather than later".

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