ESSA Educational Profiles for Software Roles and How to Use Them

The software sector evolves rapidly, and employers are seeking more software professionals to fill vacant positions alongside keeping their employees up to date with new developments — skilling, upskilling, and reskilling are therefore needed.

To reconcile the workforce requirements with the educational offerings, ESSA releases the next generation of educational profiles for software roles — Developer, DevOps expert, Solution designer, Test specialist, and Technical (software) specialist.

The profiles translate the employers’ skills needs[1] into educational terms. The competencies, skills, and knowledge required to succeed in a software professional role are integrated into a full set of measurable learning outcomes.

ESSA makes available nine education profiles to cover five software roles at different qualification levels — ranging from Vocational Education and Training (VET) to Bachelor, to Master. Here’s how to use and get the most out of them.

ESSA Educational Profiles per EQF levels
2022 ESSA Educational Profiles per EQF levels
  • For employers: The educational profiles guarantee that individuals who have completed them possess the competences needed to fill corresponding software roles. When recruiting or considering up-/reskilling pathways for employees, they are a helpful tool to evaluate job readiness and identify gaps.
  • For educational institutes: The educational profiles help align (existing) programmes with the new workforce requirements for software roles and increase graduates’ employability potential. When designing or updating programmes, they can be used flexibly to fill in the gaps in the educational offering by incorporating all or selected learning units.
  • For training providers: The educational profiles provide general training pathways to take up software roles. When delivering training, these can be made more specific and even personalised by assessing and complementing the learners’ base knowledge, skills, and competencies to fulfil their up-/reskilling and career prospects.
  • For software professionals: Staying up to date in the software industry is a lifelong learning experience. An educational profile helps you to compare your profile against the employers’ expectations for a software role and identify the learning outcomes to be completed to stay relevant.
  • For career changers and aspiring software professionals: Software is a booming sector, offering many career opportunities. The educational profiles can guide your decision-making process and allow you to self-evaluate and quickly identify the knowledge, skills, and competencies you need to successfully start a software career.

Download the ESSA educational profiles for free.

Cover Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash.

  1. Based on the ESSA 2021 Needs Analysis Report “Europe’s Most Needed Software Roles and Skills”.