Germany is urgently looking for skilled workers. Many positions are vacant. However, a current study shows that there will be a lack of specialists in many areas in 2026. Those who are careful when choosing a career will be able to choose their employer in the future.

The German job market is developing dynamically. This is shown by a study by the German Economic Institute (IW): The researchers determined the future development for 1,300 professions.

In a ranking, they show which professions will be in particularly high demand in 2026. A second ranking shows jobs that will become less important in the future. Those who follow the rankings should have good chances on the future job market. Or not.

Job expert Alexander Budde from the IW writes about the vocational study: “In 2026 there could be around 152,000 more educators nationwide than in 2021”. This is the biggest increase of any profession. But even such a run on the educator profession is not enough – the need for these specialists is growing even more. The result: In 2026, 23,000 educator positions are likely to remain unfilled.

For the calculation, the IW experts assumed that the trends of the past seven years will continue unchanged in the future. Specifically, they assumed that a similar number of people would immigrate to Germany. Another expectation of the IW experts: Employees will continue to retire a little later each year in the future.

Nevertheless, there is often a gap, with massive consequences for society as a whole. “Many social and economic challenges can only be overcome if there are enough skilled workers,” says IW study author Burstedde. “Otherwise too few wind turbines will be built, people will be cared for, children looked after and digitization will continue to be lame.” So-called shortage occupations, on the other hand, are chosen far too seldom.

Software developers are already in short supply. According to the IW, this will remain the case. The number of skilled workers is likely to grow by almost 83,500 and thus almost 50 percent by the year 2026. Nevertheless, there remains a gap that will even grow in the coming years: in 2026, around 7,000 software developers are likely to be missing in Germany – almost twice as many as currently.

A similar picture can be seen in nursing and care for the elderly: This area will also grow massively in the future – but still cannot fill all vacancies.

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According to the IW, for all the professions listed above, the uncertainty is “low” that the expected development will not occur after all. With one exception: the IW sees a “high” degree of uncertainty in the forecast for unskilled workers in warehousing.

On the other hand, there are numerous professions that are being marginalized. This includes bank clerks, for example. In the coming years, the need will drop by 74,000 jobs. This shows how strong digitization is in the banking sector – nowadays (almost) every customer does online banking. But “classic” jobs in metal construction will also be less in demand in the future.

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