Spain desperately needs software developers and engineers

Article by Marc Vervoort

Besides its sunny climate, sandy beaches and excellent quality of life, Spain, unfortunately, is also known for its sky-high unemployment rate. At one point it was standing at a whopping 25 percent. And even though unemployment has dropped, at 15 percent, it’s still significant. So you’re forgiven if you think it’s hard to land a job in Spain. Actually, it isn’t. Well, not if you’re a software developer or engineer anyway, or have any other solid IT skills. Spain desperately needs your digital talent.

Spain has a big digital job market but lacks software developers

With more than 33.000 IT businesses, Spain is one of the major European IT markets. In 2017, investments in startups grew by 45 percent. Barcelona and Madrid are now the 5th and 6th largest startup hubs in Europe.

Furthermore, Spain has the 4th highest amount of jobs in the tech sector in the EU. About 31 percent of new job openings in Spain is for digital jobs. There are some 300.000 developers, but that’s not enough for what the Spanish economy needs.

Businesses have a hard time finding digital talent due to a lack of people with proper qualifications. Currently, the number of unfilled IT positions stands at about 10.000 and is growing.

The shortage is getting worse

The lack of IT talent will only increase further due to a demographic decline in the population. According to a report by the European University Institute, the Spanish labor market will lose 30 percent of its young workers in the coming decade. That comes on top of the brain drain Spain experienced during the crisis years, which was the worst in Western Europe, and saw many IT professionals leaving.

Simultaneously, there is an expected 25,8 percent growth of jobs in the IT-sector. To put it into numbers, Spain will soon require roughly 25.000 to 50.000 programmers and developers. The educations system isn’t making things better.

Only 1 percent of Spanish graduates have a degree linked to IT

The IMMUNE Coding Institute warns for the lack of innovation and knowledge within the Spanish education system about the IT sector and the skills it needs. Research by the OECD found that 23 percent of Spanish adults lack basic knowledge about communication and IT technologies, compared to an average of 15 percent in the OECD.

Currently, only a tiny 1 percent of Spanish university degrees is related to IT – 100 percent of these graduates will find a good paying job. We’re not exaggerating. Still, that’s not even close to meeting market demand. Unsurprisingly, the Hays Globals Skills Index shows Spain as one of the countries with the highest talent mismatch rate. That is to say, a mismatch between the skills workers have, and the skills employers need.

The shortfall of software developers and engineers is especially urgent. That’s why companies are now looking for solutions beyond Spain.

Spanish companies hunting abroad for software developers and other IT personnel

Almost 24 percent of companies in Spain can’t find the right candidates for their digital positions. That’s why many are recruiting abroad to find software developers, programmers, and other IT-talents to fill their job posts. At the same time, numerous international businesses are moving their operations to Spain. Due to the lower costs and the excellent quality of life for their staff. Which means there will be even more digital jobs available.

Today Madrid and Barcelona have thriving expat communities filled with software developers and programmers from all over the world. And not only there, but also in places like Malaga. Here the biggest technological park, the PTA, in southern Europe is located with companies like Oracle, Riplife Gaming Tech, Ciklum, and many others.

Why not join the fun? There are enough jobs available. Check the 3 best cities to work in Spain

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At Spain Digital Jobs we value your privacy and freedom. Your e-mail will not be shared and we will NOT spam you. Please read our Terms, conditions and privacy policy