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This 2021 Needs Analysis report has been done in the framework of the ESSA project, the European Software Skills Alliance, and sheds light on the current and future needs for software skills and professionals in Europe. 

The conclusions are drawn based on the study of job vacancies, available research on software skills, education and training programmes, labour market reports, and databases. We also collected experts’ input about their expectations for the future of software roles, skills, and their provision.

banner of ESSA project. Text: ESSA, supporting the growth and innovation capacity of the softwar sector in Europe

These are some of the Key findings that you can read in the report: 

  •  hard skills like Programming are the most in-demand, accompanied by a solid understanding of programming principles, so that they can quickly and more easily adapt to new languages.
  • There is a growing importance of soft skills that are needed to be successful as a software professional, being critical thinking and analysis, problem-solving, and self-management deemed as the most important ones.
  • Software professionals also need broader education: T-shaped professionals and Pi-shaped professionals are the future.
  • Shorter and targeted training cycles are needed to keep up with the rapid transformation of the sector. Micro-lessons and microcredentialswill gain importance in that sense.


Read the full report for more insights and data on the competence set to be a professional in the software domain!


Skills intelligence publication details

Target audience
Digital skills for ICT professionals and other digital experts.
Digital technology / specialisation
Digital skill level
Geographic scope - Country
Industry - field of education and training
Generic programmes and qualifications not further defined
Personal skills and development
Geographical sphere
International initiative
Publication type