How to solve an IT skills crisis before it happens

Over the last few years the number of students in higher education in Estonia has dropped significantly – from 67,600 in 2011 to 55,200 in 2014, according to Statistics Estonia. The fall is largely due to a fall in the number of young adults in the country – after the birth boom in the mid to late 1980s, the birth rate dropped drastically in the early 1990s. The change has put pressure on universities across the country, with competition intensifying for the shrinking student population. ICT, however, has been one of the winners in the fight to attract new students, writes Kalev Aasmae for Estonia Uncovered.

In 2010, there were under 4,500 computer science students – less than 7% of all those in higher education. Although the overall number of students in the country showed a steady decrease over the next four years, those taking computer sciences rose to 4,722 – accounting for almost 9% of all students in 2014.

The growth in ICT's popularity is down to a number of factors. The positive examples set by international success stories such as Skype or TransferWise and the local start-up boom of recent years have certainly played their part, but Estonia's private and public sectors have been heavily promoting STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – in recent years too.
Full report on the ZDNet site