Future Demand for ICT Skills

The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) advises the Irish government on current and future skills needs and other labour market issues. One of the key areas it monitors regularly is the the demand for ICT Skills. It commissioned a research project in 2018 on this area. 

John Gilsenan of Market Dynamics, working as an Associate Consultant with global research firm IDC, was one of three consultants assigned to this project. His role was to conduct in-depth interviews with 50+ representatives of industry, academia and representative bodies and moderate stakeholder focus groups. He also collaborated with his colleagues on the production of a 100+ page report. This detailed the findings, forecasts and recommendations to the DBEI on how to ensure a continued supply of people with high-level ICT skills in the era of digital technologies. The report was adopted as Govt policy in 2018.

The report forecast that demand for high-level ICT skills will show healthy growth over the period 2017-2022 with a CAGR of 8.5%. Growth is especially being driven by the ICT sector (9.3%) but demand is also stronger in the other sectors than was the case prior to 2016 as innovation technology adoption increases. Demand for computing skills will grow faster than demand for electronics and electrical engineering skills in the period.

The report also found that the complexity of ICT means that employers are mostly demanding NFQ Level 8+ for both computing and electronic and electrical engineering skills. However, there is also a realisation that these skills are harder to find and therefore Level 6/7 skills, perhaps with more initial training, should increasingly be considered to meet the demand.