The Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences (EUAS) in Tallinn has announced that it will be the first university to launch an undergraduate level information technology (IT) program in English, mainly aimed at foreigners and expats. The program will be three years long and available from February 2018 and onwards. The tuition fee is €4,000 per year and the deadline to apply is January 31. 

The university’s initiative is seen as a direct response to the growing shortage of IT specialists in Estonia. Considering the high demand for IT specialists in the country there should be at least twice as many IT specialists available to satisfy the demand and increase the competitiveness of the Estonian economy.  

“It is a new kind of problem – Estonian IT companies have a very good reputation and no shortage of customers, but it has become difficult to scale up due to a lack of IT specialists,” reported the vice rector for academic affairs at EUAS, Eneken Titov, said. 

According to estimations from the Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications, there are currently about 19,000 IT specialists in the country today, a number that should significantly increase to about 35,000 in the coming years.  

Inna Shvartsmann, a leading figure in the creation of the programme and a former software developer at Skype, added: “It is a rather hands-on program. We’ve designed it so that how you study is similar to how you will be working. There is a fair share of software projects, team assignments and internships.”

An added bonus for those expats who will attend the program will be an introductory course of Estonian with the option to take additional Estonian courses for those looking to permanently reside in Estonia. The programme will even include a few courses on entrepreneurship and communication skills.

“When I came to Estonia, I was quite young, so it was easy to learn the language and get settled,”Shvartsmann said.

“Later I’ve seen friends and colleagues struggle. We’ve tried to build a support structure around the program to make integration into Estonian life as smooth as possible.”