Report I How to Design Software Professionals’ Curricula

The report explains how the ESSA educational profiles and Software Skills Strategy lead to effective skilling, upskilling, and reskilling curricula. It brings some guidance to design common parts of curricula for software professionals and provides a curriculum description template and examples.

The definition of educational profiles ensures comparability of curricula designed based on these profiles and the ESSA principles, which support mobility.


Main results

The development of the educational profiles resulted in nine educational profiles covering the five ESSA roles defined in the ESSA Software Skills Strategy on relevant EQF levels ranging from 4/5 to 7.

Defined are profiles for developers on three levels (junior EQF 4/5, EQF 6 and senior EQF 7), profiles for DevOps experts and solution designers (both on EQF 6 and EQ7 level) and two profiles exclusively on EQF 4/5 level: test specialist and technical (software) specialist.

Table: From Strategy to Curriculum

There are twelve example curricula under development. All are designed by matching the learning units and the learning outcomes of the corresponding educational profile. The description of each curriculum will contain general information, for example, the goal, target group, and the learning outcomes covered. Besides this, it will also contain a description of the structure of the curriculum and an overview and details of the learning units including the assessments. Some profiles will be covered by more than one example curriculum to show how a different educational approach, local situation, or target group can lead to a different curriculum, but still, cover the same learning outcomes. Thus, equipping a software professional with the same competences. The example curricula will be further specified and finetuned in WP4 in an iterative process that will e.g., involve developing learning materials and detailing the assessments. It is also possible to add other curricula following the procedure and template that are described in this document.

Besides curricula that are specific to a certain situation, there are provisional designs for common parts of the curricula that will be relevant in (almost) every situation. These are learning units focused on learning outcomes on personal and interpersonal soft skills for software professionals and profession-related skills for ICT professionals.


The defined ESSA educational profiles serve as a foundation for the design of curricula and consequently for the delivery of effective learning programmes for skilling, upskilling, and reskilling people into in-demand software roles.

The overviews of example curricula can be used as starting point for the ESSA pilots. Materials can be collected and developed to deliver these curricula and the programmes can be run based on the information in the curricula.

The identified common parts of the curricula can be the starting point for collaboratively developing learning materials that can be used in all the learning programmes.

Use of this report

This document presents the educational profiles and how to use them to design curricula. It can therefore be used by any learning provider to design ESSA-compliant curricula.

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