Malta’s Digital Skills Gap: Our highest-growth companies’ huge demand for tech talent

11 July 2016 By Alastair Cleland

1462 Original

​Coding, development, cyber-security and marketing – our flourishing digital and iGaming sector needs tech talent more than ever, says Pentasia’s Anthony Hennessy

There’s a serious digital skills shortage here in Malta. The digital sector – particularly iGaming – has long been one of the island’s largest employers, but with rapid advances in technology and new market trends, our digital sector is struggling to fill job vacancies.

Since iGaming arrived in Malta in the early 2000s, the industry has created many thousands of jobs for high-skilled workers. And with Europe’s appetite for online gambling on the up, the sector is still growing. In 2016, with over 400 iGaming companies currently registered here on the island, iGaming remains one of our largest employers.

Expert talent required to stay ahead of the competition

Yet times are changing in the digital sector. The iGaming industry, like many others, needs fresh talent to keep ahead. Companies need experts in marketing, security, data analysis, operations, design and management to stay ahead of the competition.

But it’s digital skills that are most in demand. In the past 5 years, for example, we’ve seen demand for software developers increase tenfold. Of all the vacancies on our books, digital jobs have rocketed from 50% to 70% in just the last 12 months.

Malta's most in-demand skills right now

We talk to companies every day about their talent needs. Some of the requests we’re hearing time and time again are:

  • Front-End Developers – Front-end developers build the user-visible part of apps, games, websites and software. They use fundamental coding languages like HTML, CSS and - most in-demand - JavaScript.

  • Back-End Developers – Behind-the-scenes, back-end developers provide the core functionality for digital projects, using programming languages like Microsoft’s .NET, PHP, Ruby and Java.

  • Technical and IT Professionals - It isn’t just coding and development skills that are in demand; IT skills across the board are needed. Professionals in digital infrastructure, cyber-security, project management and marketing are always needed.

  • Language skills – iGaming companies need digitally-savvy linguists to serve customers worldwide. Germany, for example, is a huge new market following recent regulation changes. A bilingual German/English speaker could get 6 interviews here with no trouble.