Published 06 Oct 2019

A new survey of 502 information technology decision-makers has revealed that most of them (68%) value tech skills like cybersecurity and coding over traditional school-taught skills like arithmetic and sciences.

The survey was conducted on behalf of CWJobs, an IT jobs board, by Censuswide. It found evidence that business leaders want to see more tech education in school. Some 53% expressed that not enough technology-based subjects were taught in school, while 73% thought that such education should begin at the secondary or even primary school level.

This view was reinforced by a director at CWJobs, Dominic Harvey, who says in the published report:

“If the UK introduces students to tech at an early stage and highlights the diversity of the careers it can lead to, then we can equip them for the future. It will also help plug that much-publicized skills gap found in the tech sector currently.”

The More than Code report also says that 63% of respondents would recruit a candidate with a specialism in technology rather than one with other skills. Interestingly, a previous survey by Deloitte found that a similar proportion (62%) of UK executives believed that they lacked sufficient technological talent to implement their digital strategies. In terms of specific motivations, 62% indicated that they would hire the more tech-savvy candidate to help bosses learn tech skills themselves, while 64% said they would do so because that candidate could then train the existing workforce.

When looking at the specific tech skills most in demand, cybersecurity came top with 79% of respondents citing it, followed by data analytics and business intelligence. When looking at skills in the existing workforce, 44% of respondents cited cloud computing, followed by 43% for cybersecurity.

Dominic Harvey pointed out that with a developing skills crisis in the UK, potential employees with tech skills are more desirable than ever. He added:

“What’s clear is that learning a tech skill isn’t just something that’s relevant for one role or one industry, but the entire UK workforce needs to be embracing it if the country is to remain competitive on the world stage.”

Harvey also highlighted that tech skills are not limited to a career in the IT industry but could also serve as an alternate entry point into so-called “dream industries” like music, filmmaking, environmentalism, and sports. Harvey indicated that companies in these industries need people with tech skills to usher in innovation or accelerate existing projects. He said cybersecurity was especially in demand in the leisure industry because companies are becoming increasingly aware of the advantage their data gives them and the need to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.

At Pro-Networks, we understand how hard it can be to recruit and retain people with the right tech skills. With our range of managed IT services—such as IT support, managed cloud services, and backup and recovery services—we can relieve the load of operating modern IT systems and reduce your recruitment needs. We can also train your existing workforce in areas like cybersecurity awareness.

 

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