Skills for Software Professionals


The general objective of this project is to design and implement an innovative, effective, and sustainable Software Skills Strategy and Vocational Education and Training (VET) programmes for Europe that will ensure the skills needs of the rapidly expanding and evolving software sector can be met in the short, medium, and long term.

The strategy will be market demand led at its core, continuously adapting, and evolving to address current and future market needs to support growth, innovation, and competitiveness in the sector.

ESSA will:

  • formulate and deliver a European Skills Strategy to address software skill needs in the software services providing sector and other organisations with software (development) needs.
  • deliver appropriate and future-focused education, training, qualifications, and mobility solutions geared to sectoral realities and needs.

European IT Professional Standards

The ESSA project adopts the latest European IT professional standards and frameworks such as EN16234-1 e-CF (European e-Competence Framework) together with EQF (European Qualifications Framework) ensuring a collective understanding of the new Software Skills Strategy between industry, education, and policymakers. ESSA focuses on skills for software professionals, and specifically:

  • Skills required for the whole software lifecycle (software design, development, testing, troubleshooting, validation & verification, deployment, and maintenance).
  • Skills required to strengthen the software engineering discipline — for example, skills to ensure software quality and security.
  • Transversal (soft) skills related to analytical thinking, problem-solving, communication, collaboration, business understanding etc., are becoming increasingly important for professionals in software roles to perform their role.

The aim of the VET education and training programmes is to educate software professionals and equip them with the skills mentioned above.

ESSA specifically targets five software-related job roles derived from the European ICT Professional Role Profiles (EN16234-1 e-CF): Developer, Test specialist, Technical (software) specialist, DevOps expert, and Solution designer.

Finally, EQF levels from 3 to 8 are covered by the Software Skills Strategy. Nevertheless, the educational and training programmes will address mostly EQF levels 4, 5, 6 and 7 (VET and higher VET).