Digitalisation is making significant steps and increasingly affecting all segments of society. We can track its effects in Industry 4.0, manufacturing, health, smart homes, and engagement with the digital society. Also the way we interact with public administration is changing, with more and more services becoming digital. We also note a sharp increase in the need for ICT professionals, to develop digital technologies and solutions in their field, and in all other sectors that use these technologies to increase productivity and maintain a competitive advantage.

Digital transformation is a priority for Slovenia. The country has been investing in public policies that highlight the importance of technology and digital literacy for society. Using the possibilities of new technologies requires workers equipped with improved digital skills, who can continuously develop through upskilling and reskilling. Developing inclusive digital skills is crucial to realise the full potential of a society that has become digital. Identifying essential digital skills and training helps the digital workforce to focus on evolving needs in job profiles and descriptions.

Chessmate: State of play with digital experts in Slovenia

And indeed, Slovenia faces a growing shortage of qualified ICT professionals. Eurostat puts the country below the EU average and as one of the 4 most disadvantaged countries in the recruitment of ICT experts. In 2021, digital experts made up only 4.8 % of the total workforce in Slovenia. If the country wants to meet the needs of opening up with digitalisation, this proportion would have to rise to 10 % (or 85,000 people). Recruitment must also be increased: Slovenia will need 5000 new ICT recruits every year. Currently, this figure amounts to 2,000 recruits. The same goes for investment. The average company in Slovenia invests between 2 to 4 % of its annual turnover in digital development, instead of the required 6 to 8 %.

Given the above, it is no surprise that the need for ICT professionals in Slovenia is increasing. The impact of digitalisation will require further changes in the labour market. We are witnessing a shift from traditional jobs to new digitised occupations and new business models based on new knowledge of digitalisation. Experts in digital twins, smart manufacturing, data analysis, artificial intelligence, etc. are at the forefront, and the effects of digitisation will impact the public and private sector alike.

Slovenia on the road to the Digital Decade

Addressing this problem requires well-targeted, targeted actions and clear objectives. Stopping the so-called “brain drain”, which sees Slovenian ICT experts leaving the country for better paid jobs abroad, is essential. Attracting digital talents from abroad can help boost the number of IT specialists at home.

Slovenia has to address the problem of the shortage of ICT professionals with well-considered and targeted actions. There are few main ways to address this problem. The first is setting up the so-called ‘brain drain’ where new Slovenian ICT Curriculum in primary and secondary schools must introduce future digital tools and learning for young people. Children should receive lessons in programming and robotics through new IT and information science courses. To attract more students to the ICT domain, contemporary and modern digital university programmes are equally needed. Universities will also have to increase enrolment in technical faculties. In order to increase enrolment, the financial, professional and spatial capacities of educational institutions should be taken into account.

Women in ICT: main part of the puzzle

A point which is not mentioned frequently, in addressing the shortage of ICT professionals in Slovenia are challenges faced by women in this field. The strong reality is that only 17 % of ICT professionals in Slovenia were women in 2021, highlighting a significant gender gap. This under-representation not only deprives industry of diverse perspectives but also perpetuates the gender gap in opportunities and innovation. Recognising the importance of female ICT professionals as champions is crucial to inspire and encourage more women to pursue careers in technology.

To boost the percentage of female ICT professionals, a multidimensional approach is needed. Initiatives should start at grassroots level, promoting STEM education for girls and raising awareness of exciting prospects in the ICT sector. Mentorate programmes, both within educational institutions and in professional settings, can provide invaluable guidance and support for women navigating in the traditionally male-dominated field. Setting up a network of female models that have excelled in ICT can help break stereotypes and showcase the different pathways available in the industry.

Furthermore, fostering an inclusive workplace culture that actively supports women in ICT is essential. Companies can implement policies that promote work-life balance, provide equal opportunities for career advancement, and actively address unconscious biases. Recognising and celebrating the achievements of women ICT professionals through media campaigns and industry events can contribute to changing perceptions and attracting more women into the field.

At the same time, addressing the wider skills gap in the ICT sector requires a focus on upskilling and reskilling initiatives. The provision of targeted training programmes for current employees, irrespective of gender, ensures that the workforce remains adaptable to technological advances. Investing in educational resources and professional development opportunities will not only benefit individuals but also contribute to a more resilient and competitive digital workforce in Slovenia. Ultimately, achieving equal representation in ICT is not only a matter of diversity and inclusion, but also a strategic imperative for fostering innovation and driving the country’s digital transformation.



Source: European Digital Skills & Jobs Platform


Digital technology / specialisation

  • Digital skills

Digital skill level

  • Basic

Geographic Scope - Country

  • Slovenia

Type of initiative

National initiative