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Professionals related to ICT - information and communications technology - are still in greatest demand and have the highest salaries in Catalonia, whether referring to those with a university degree or vocational training, according to the latest edition of Jo vull ser - "I want to be" - the report published by the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce and InfoJobs for the last three years. This report provides objective data on job vacancies offered in the labour market by profession and level of training, as well as the average salaries associated with these vacancies in Catalonia. Specifically, it classifies job vacancies in Catalonia into a total of 121 professions according to whether a vocational qualification or a university degree is demanded and for each of these, three key data items are provided: the number of vacancies handled by InfoJobs in 2020 and 2021, the ratio of vacancies to candidates and the average gross salary offered in job vacancies. 

The report, presented on May 5th, shows how the total offers in three broad categories - information and telecommunications; technology and industry; and professions, arts and crafts - account for 33% of the job offers that require a university degree or vocational training according to those listed by InfoJobs over the last two years. The next group of professional areas with the most vacancies published - in descending order - include jobs in business administration; finance and banking; commercial and sales; customer service; and health and welfare. It is worth noting the increase in vacancies in the fields of health and welfare in the context of the pandemic, a field which has risen from only 5% of total job offers in 2018 to 8% in 2020- 2021. The rest of the professional families comprise 5% or less of the total.

With regard to the professions with the highest job opportunities, the Jo vull ser report shows how, out of the 20 professional families analyzed, those which are in highest demand in Catalonia - with the most jobs going per applicant - are the same top three: information sciences and telecommunications; technology and industry; and the "professions, arts and crafts" category. On the other hand, it should be noted that the pandemic has had a negative impact on the demand for workers in some occupations, such as tourism, commercial/sales and customer service, but at the same time it has boosted the demand in ICT and health, to the point that there is a rise in the rate of vacancies not covered in these two areas. In fact, it has been seen that the mismatch between supply and demand in the labour market is worsening, especially in the case of professionals with training in ICT, whether vocational or university. This is a deficit that cannot be completely corrected until there is a greater presence of women in this area, according to the Chamber and InfoJobs.

Highest salaries, also in technology jobs

The average gross salary in job offers that require vocational training is around 24,000 euros/year and the offers for university graduates around 30,800 euros/year, but here we must keep in mind that InfoJobs, a leading employment website in Catalonia, is characterized by publishing job offers aimed mainly at the younger segment of the population with less work experience.

In the case of job vacancies that require vocational training, the professions that offer the highest average salary are: ICT (around 30,000 euros per year); technology and industry (around 27,300 euros). In the case of job offers that require a university degree, the professions that offer the highest salary are: ICT (36,500 euros / year on average); commercial and sales; and real estate and construction (above 34,000 euros per year ). Experience is a key factor in salary progression, especially when it comes to college graduates. Therefore, the average salary offered in a vacancy that requires at least 5 years of experience increases by 27% to almost €31,000/year in the case of vocational studies; and rises 44% to €44,300 / year in the case of university graduates.

Not only does the report cover the professions with the best salaries, but it also points out that there are several fields where salaries are strikingly poor, especially when the candidate is a junior. Perhaps the most prominent case is that of the health sector, where the average salary offered in vacancies is around 19,000 euros when the required training is a degree in vocational training, or 29,000 when a university degree is required (mainly nursing vacancies). The consequence of the continued economic undervaluing of these professions in Catalonia has been the "flight of talent" to other countries, which was strongly evident in health staff shortages during the pandemic.

Women are still a minority

The percentage of women enrolled in university degrees in engineering and mathematical fields is gradually increasing over the years, although they still make up only 21% of the total. In Catalonia, in the 2020-2021 academic year, women accounted for 12% of enrollments in university degrees in computer science, 24% in engineering, and 33% in mathematics and statistics, despite the fact that in the last five academic years percentages have improved in the cases of both computer science (it was 10% in the 2015-2016 academic year) and engineering (it was 21% in the 2015-2016 academic year). However, of all the women enrolled at university in the 2020-2021 academic year, only 6% opted for these studies, while in the case of men it was the option chosen by 28% of those enrolled.

At vocational training level, the results by sex are even more unequal and if we look at the data published by the Catalan department of education for the 2020-2021 academic year and for all the educational centres in the Barcelona Metropolitan Area, the percentage of women enrolled in the IT and communications area is 7%, in mechanical manufacturing 6%, in electricity and electronics 5%, in installation and maintenance 4%, and in transport and vehicle maintenance 3%. These results are especially important at this time because they are jobs that, in general, have a high employability and good pay.

The Jo vull ser report is based on the the vacancies handled by InfoJobs in Catalonia during 2020 and 2021, so that it reflects the impact of the two years of Covid-19 on the labour market. In total, InfoJobs has processed more than 530,000 vacancies in two years in Catalonia, of which 53% require a minimum level of vocational training or a university degree.

The complete list of Catalonia job vacancies analyzed:

The five columns in the interactive table, left to right, are: Profession; Field; Total number of job offers; Ratio of vacancies to candidates; Average salary. The traffic lights for Ratio of vacancies to candidates run from red (indicating low, difficult job placement) through amber, to green (high job placement). The table can be ordered alphabetically or high-to-low for each column by clicking on its header box, or you can do a search (in Catalan).

As well, in the top line of the table there are four options for qualification category which can be selected: Formación universitaria (university education); Total FP (all sub-degree vocational training), which then can be broken down into two other categories, FP Grau superior and FP Grau mig (high level and medium level vocational training respectively). Also note that when you select university education jobs, there is an extra column on the right: Salari >5 anys, showing the average salary for jobs which demand at least 5 years experience.