Industry specific skills are a focus for tech hiring managers across the UK, revealed in new technology research, Solving the UK Skills Shortage – Technology.
In research from over 550 technology professionals across the UK, businesses identified the top skills in demand for the technology industry this year. The results highlight Cyber Security (56%), BI & Data Management (41%) and Software Development (35%) as the most sought-after skills in 2018.
Despite the importance of industry specific skills, more than 50% of technology employers surveyed find candidates lack the right technical skills necessary for technology positions.
The results highlight that there are significant disparities for skills specific to the technology industry - the technical skills in demand by employers and perceived to be the most integral by professionals are not currently being matched by a skilled candidate pool.
The changing technology landscape means newer, emerging skills are becoming paramount for organisations. Over the next twelve months, competition across the sector is set to be fierce as employers look to source a limited pool of technology specialists across the following key areas of technology:
Cyber security professionals remain the most in demand within the technology sector with over 56% of tech hiring managers stating it is a focus this year. Following several high profile cyber security breaches and system failures, more organisations are realising the importance of data captured within their networks – Cyber Security has experienced a significant increase in demand (20%) over the past twelve months.
Over the next twelve months, competition across the sector is set to be fierce as employers look to source a limited pool of technology specialists.
In comparison, only 11% of the professionals surveyed are advanced cyber security professionals, with the majority (54%) only possessing a basic understanding of the discipline.
41% of employers highlight that business intelligence (BI) and data management professionals are most in demand in 2018 due to advances in technology and the benefits of transparent and instantaneous dashboard reporting.
Employers across the UK are increasingly realising the value of BI as a transformative organisational function, key to gaining competitive advantage. In this way, companies are prepared to invest in recruiting skilled BI and data management professionals to drive business growth.
While 40% of candidates have a degree of knowledge in BI and data management, only 3 in 10 professionals would be qualified to take up a specialist position.
The outlook for software development is positive, as organisations continue to recruit for those positions in 2018. 35% of employers expect software developers to be the most sought-after professionals in 2018, a 5% increase in comparison to 2017. This illustrates that the profession is still experiencing a steady increase in demand and remains a core technology function in UK businesses.
A skills shortage is also apparent in this area. Only a quarter of professionals are skilled software developers, with 42% of professionals possessing little or basic understanding of software development.
Employers and professionals agree that technology specific qualifications or training are essential for the continual development of professionals in a rapidly evolving technology landscape. 44% of respondents believe a robust qualification structure and dynamic training programmes are essential to ensure professionals possess core technical competencies and can further adapt to new and emerging technologies in the profession.
More than two-thirds (34%) of employers also value a university degree in a technology related subject and consider experience working in the field as equally as important to forge a technology career.
As demand for specialist technology professionals is increasing, general professional skills that a third of employers demanded from professionals in 2017 are now not so fundamental to recruit for technology positions. Transferrable skills such as organisation, time management, stakeholder management, communication and problem solving have experienced a 10% drop in demand over the past twelve months.
While employers still value general professional skills in candidates, the research suggests that employers expect this shortage to continue to decrease as 80% of professional skills possess advanced transferrable skills, with almost 60% of professionals possess customer relationship management experience and the vast majority (88%) believe their project management ability is at least at an intermediate level.
Robert Walters, totaljobs and Jobsite surveyed over 550 technology professionals across the UK to gain insight into key skill shortage trends, the potential impact of Brexit in a global market, changing candidate expectations and the recommended recruitment strategies to combat the skills gap.
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