About Girls, Skills and Jobs, and MOOCs

Today around 7 million people work in the ICT sector. However, out of the ICT workforce only 30% are women. Women are underrepresented at all levels in the ICT sector, especially in decision-making positions. The ICT sector is rapidly growing creating around 120 000 new jobs every year. But due to differences in demands and skills – and despite the soaring European unemployment – there may be a lack of 700 000 skilled ICT workers in 2015:

Other estimates go even farther: While demand for employees with ICT skills is growing by around 3% a year, the number of graduates from computing sciences fell by 10% between 2006 and 2010. If this trend continues, there could be up to 900 000 unfilled ICT practitioners’ vacancies in the EU by 2015:

One way to reverse this negative trend is to encourage young people, and in particularly women, to take up an ICT-related career. The European Commission wants more to be done across Europe to inspire young women to get interested in ICT. This priority is reflected in the Digital Agenda’s pillar “Enhancing digital, literacy, skills and inclusion”, concretely in action 60, whereas it describes the aim of the Commission to increase the participation of women in the ICT workforce:

Some of the initiatives launched to create growth and jobs in Europe are the following:

* The Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs was identified as a key priority in the Digital Agenda Review adopted in December 2012.

* In January 2013, the Commission adopted the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan to unleash Europe’s entrepreneurial potential, unlock expertise, mentoring, technology and services; work with European investors in order to increase the flow of venture capital and crowd-funding (in particular for web start-ups); and stimulate the emergence of Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) and the setting up of platforms for mentoring and skill building:

More details can be found on the following websites:

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