Barcelona's Tech Talent Shortage

Author: Gonzalo Martinez
Posting date: 3/7/2019 10:44 AM
Big Data is present in every aspect of our daily lives. Virtually all activities we carry out involve the generation of data; every time you turn on your computer, every search we make, every purchase or subscription online, when we use our mobile phones, each time we pay with our credit card… 

This list goes on and often we leave our mark without even realising it.

Worldwide, Data companies are aware of the immeasurable value of this information. From improving, predicting and avoiding future developments, to making decisions more effectively and efficiently, reducing costs, and, in short, making things easier and better.

Barcelona is no exception. But, like many major cities, demand is far exceeding supply. 

A Shortfall of Talent


Understandably, crucial to a business’ Data & Analytics success are the professionals in charge of the development of the technologies that gather, transform, analyse and draw conclusions from that Data. Without these professionals the Data has no use, and it is almost impressive how the lack of skilled professionals is affecting this sector in particular. 

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go to Barcelona and meet several companies who are leading the global digital transformation. My time there highlighted to me that not only are most of the companies are looking for very similar profiles, but also that they all are struggling to find skilled people to join their projects.

Broadly speaking, there are two types of profiles within the Big Data field: 

  • The specialists who put in place the necessary infrastructure to store collected Data. These are purely technical profiles such as Software Developers, Data Engineers, Data Architects, and Programmers.
  • The specialists working on this Data, generating insights and making suggestions in order to make a profit. These profiles are typically more business-oriented such as Data Analysts and Data Scientists. 

The recent emergence of these profiles, and their importance in the success of a business has led to a skills short. This has resulted in a real challenge for companies who are looking to adapt and keep at the forefront of technology. 

Education, Education, Education


How is a booming sector with such a good prospects having such difficulties finding skilled professionals? Are companies looking to hire without considering the real labour market situation? Is it a problem that affects only Spain? 

The main reason for the shortage is understandably the rapid growth of the market as a result of a huge increase of Data generation, associated with the increased use of mobile devices. This has brought new demands on a workforce, in particular for specialised profiles and skills, and experts in the latest technologies.  

It must be taken into account that a Big Data expert profile, like a Data Engineer or a Data Scientist, barely existed few years ago – therefore training and retraining is fundamental. Given that situation, governments, companies and universities need to be taking measures and establishing agreements in order to provide subsidies, to offer training aids, and to facilitate the access for study and research offering a wider variety of studies and internships programs. 

Fortunately, this something that I’m seeing more of now in Spain, in addition to numerous perks like competitive salaries, flexible working, and even working remotely. 

Looking Further Afield


However, whilst education may help address a shortage in the long term, it still leaves a lack of viable candidates in the present. Barcelona, like many tech hubs, is embracing international candidates with attractive relocation offers and benefits packages. By opening up to the world’s best talent, as well as  continuing to find local stars of the future, the city is cementing itself as a leader of the digital transformation. 

If you are currently focused within this area then there are likely to be multiple job opportunities available, with above average salaries. You’ll be able to continue to refine your skills with additional training and likely have the pick of any sector in which you might like to work.

Get in touch if you’re considering Barcelona for your next role or take a look at our latest opportunities to discover hundreds of Big Data & Analytics jobs. 

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