Lithuanian tech sector lacks over 7600 talents: TOP 10 professions in the greatest demand, key competencies, and the highest-paid positions
Lithuania lacks talents capable of creating high added value and contributing to enhanced competitiveness of the economy. According to a survey of more than 120 employers in the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector, companies operating in ICT alone are ready to recruit at least 7600 specialists by 2025.
The comprehensive survey to identify the growth prospects of the ICT talent market in Lithuania was initiated by the Lithuanian Startups Association Unicorns Lithuania, together with partners Work in Lithuania and Google, at the beginning of this year. According to the survey, the largest expansion of teams in Lithuania is expected in companies operating in the fields of cybersecurity, software development and telecommunications. Developers and DevOps engineers are in the greatest demand today, and there is also a lack of analysts and digital marketing specialists.
“The increasing competition for talent and rising average wages show that the ICT sector in Lithuania is becoming more mature and more competitive. However, global trends and labour market forecasts suggest that the competition for ICT talent will only intensify worldwide, and the competences of potential employees will also have to grow. Lithuania is heading in the right direction, but is not taking advantage of all the opportunities – only 4 per cent of all employees currently work in the ICT sector. The survey shows that we need to prioritise talent development in Lithuania (education, career guidance, up-skilling and re-skilling) and attracting and retaining the best talent from abroad,” notes Inga Langaitė, CEO of Unicorns Lithuania.
124 companies plan to hire nearly twice as many ICT specialists
As many as 80 per cent of respondents indicated that the demand for talent in their companies would grow by 2025, while 20 per cent said they did not plan to hire any new professionals during the period in question. However, none of 124 companies surveyed indicated that they planned to reduce at least part of their team.
7 out of 10 companies planning additional hiring cited the intention to create and develop new products or services as the main reason for the increase in number of employees, while 60 per cent boasted an increase in demand for their existing products, and every second company said that they were planning to expand into new markets.
At the time of the survey, about 20 thousand talents worked in the surveyed companies, 8.4 thousand of them were ICT specialists. The intention is to hire another 7,645 ICT specialists – 91% more than the surveyed companies are working today. However, ICT specialists are relevant not only for companies in the ICT sector.
TOP 10 professions in the greatest demand
Looking at individual professions, back-end developers will be in high demand, with around 1 400 back-end developers expected to be hired by 2025, and 1 000 front-end developers are also being sought by the companies participating in the survey. DevOps engineers are the third most likely to be hired.
The TOP 10 professions in the greatest demand in the ICT sector by 2025 also include those requiring not only technical but also managerial competences, such as IT project and product managers, team leaders, engineering and technical managers. In total, companies plan to recruit just over 750 talented people for ICT management positions by 2025. Similar levels of growth have been identified for roles related to data analytics and analysis, and around 650 more will be needed to strengthen the marketing potential of the companies.
“In the era of artificial intelligence, the need for a range of new digital skills is growing with the rapid development of technology. As this survey shows, companies in the ICT sector are also looking for business development talents with analytical and digital marketing skills. For Lithuania to fully exploit the opportunities offered by technology, we need to develop a workforce that can not only develop, but also commercialize products and services. In Lithuania, Google has already helped more than 30,000 people improve their digital skills. We are committed to continuing to contribute to the growth of Lithuania’s digital economy so that products developed in our country can be used around the world” says Vytautas Kubilius, Head of Google in the Baltics.
10 technology professions that will be in the greatest demand by 2025:
Key competences for ICT professionals today and in 2025
Companies identified knowledge of UI/UX design, DevOps and web development as the most important competences for the future. By 2025, the ability to apply and develop solutions based on AI and machine learning will become critical, as will the ability to work with DevOps, big data and design.
Respondents acknowledge that by 2025, the most difficult challenge will be to find adequately skilled systems architects, developers and DevOps engineers. Data scientists, engineers and technology managers also topped the list of hardest-to-fill positions.
“Although the survey is about the future, we already feel the tensions in the labour market and the growing demand for highly skilled employees. Indeed, we can say that in many countries, especially in the developed economies, the battle for talent has been going on for some time. While many countries are actively funding specialised initiatives and programmes, setting up representative offices in target markets and continuously looking for ways to facilitate the migration of highly skilled workforce from outside the EU as much as possible, there is still no consensus in Lithuania on how to attract highly skilled professionals from abroad. To strengthen our position in the global battle for talent, we should critically assess the financial resources available and our national approach and ambitions,” says Vydūnas Trapinskas, Head of the Work in Lithuania foreign talent development programme.
The companies surveyed indicated that flexible working conditions (the ability to choose the time and place of work) remain the most popular tool for employer attractiveness even after the pandemic (applied by 74 per cent of the companies planning to expand by 2025). Investing in up-skilling and continuous salary increases are next.
TOP 10 employee competences for companies by 2025:
Professions with the highest average wages in ICT
According to Ms Langaitė, the survey identified an additional need to look at ICT job announcements. Data from job ad platforms show that the largest number of opportunities is offered for back-end developers, data scientists and data analysts.
“The much higher demand for back-end developers in Lithuania is an exceptional trend, as full-stack developers are in the greatest demand on the global market today. This may mean that Lithuania is increasingly focusing on technology infrastructure, e-commerce and other issues that require respective programming competences. The increase in the number of job announcements for data scientists and analysts in Lithuania is in line with global trends. More and more opportunities are seen to extract models and insights from data to gain competitive advantage, i.e. to understand customer behaviour, optimize operations, identify trends and forecast the future,” says Ms Langaitė.
Job announcement data show that the highest average wages are currently paid to DevOps engineers, with an average of EUR 4 768 before tax. Front-end developers in Lithuania are also distinguished by the higher average wages, earning around EUR 4 619 before tax. The highest potential for earning more in the near future is for systems engineers, who can earn an average pre-tax salary of up to EUR 6 700 at the top positions, and back-end developers, who can earn an average pre-tax salary of up to EUR 5 791.
Job announcements show that if only the average wages are the key aspect, the best area to start a career as a junior professional in the ICT sector is in mobile development or engineering, where the average wages reach EUR 2 559 before tax. A snapshot of the number of job announcements in 2022 shows that the largest number of vacancies was recorded at mid-level for back-end developers or engineers.
“Demand for ICT Professionals and the Labour Market Forecast in Lithuania” is a comprehensive survey aimed at identifying the growth prospects of the ICT talent market in Lithuania. In Q1 2023, over 120 companies operating in the ICT sector in Lithuania, the majority of which are engaged in software design and development, finance, e-commerce and IT consultancy activities, were surveyed, a qualitative analysis of this data and ICT job announcements was conducted, and a forecast of career opportunities was made. The companies surveyed currently employ just over 20 000 employees in Lithuania, of which about 46 per cent are ICT professionals. The survey was initiated by the association Unicorns Lithuania, together with partners Invest Lithuania, Work in Lithuania, and Google.