Labor Shortages in the ICT Industry

Labor Shortages in the  ICT Industry
The picture shows a man facing the challenge of a career change to ICT (Source: When Do You Know Its Time For A Career Change? - The Wellness Corner)


According to forecasts, there will be a shortage of around 117,900 skilled workers in the ICT sector in Switzerland by 2028. However, it is already clear that not enough people are being trained. Career changers could cover the demand. University graduates are particularly interesting, as they can open up access to new areas of knowledge.

The aim of this work was to identify the challenges and strategies of graduate career changers who have switched to ICT successfully.


The results can support the lateral entrant of graduates into the field of ICT. The qualitative understanding can contribute to covering an important demand of the economy and the digitalization of Switzerland.

The results are helpful for the career journey of individuals as well as for the HR process of companies (recruiting, Job advertisement process, application procedure, job interviews, and onboarding).


The following types of challenges were identified through the survey: The Multicheck resulted in two of the respondents not being able to learn computer science. Poorly written job advertisements that did not give any indication that the position would be suitable for a career changer. Another challenge was the lack of expertise, which became a problem. A challenge was the mistrust of universities from other countries. This made it difficult to get started. Another challenge was the lack of onboarding in most of the companies and, last but not least, the lack of support from the companies.

Implications for practitioners

Lateral Entrants:

  • Try to gain an overview of ICT jobs by studying educational offers, company structures and general information about the branch.
  • During the interview process, ask specifically about the onboarding process and if there is a mentoring system in place at the company.

ICT companies:

  • It is advisable to indicate in the advertisement whether the job is suitable for career changers.
  • To attract lateral entrants, it is advisable to offer onboarding and to communicate this in the job description.

Education system:

  • The education system can support companies as well as applicants by offering courses especially for lateral entrants to build up their basic skills, including an overview of ICT jobs.


Data Collection:
A total of 10 career changers were interviewed about their journey through MS teams. Only participants who had an academic degree and had already completed the lateral entry were asked to describe their challenges and strategies in a narrative unstructured interview approach.
Data Analysis:
The transcriptions of the interviews were analyzed qualitatively using the text analysis tool MAXQDA. Qualitative content analysis was employed as a method to comprehend research problems through a four-step process: first, paraphrasing; second, bringing all paraphrases to the same level of abstraction; third, removing irrelevant or equally significant paraphrases; and fourth, forming more complex paraphrases by bundling and integrating case-related paraphrases