70% of firms braced for data skills shortages this year

DataIQ News

Further evidence has emerged of the looming skills crisis in a new study which shows that over 70% of companies believe that they will face a shortage of professionals over the next year, with roles in data management, business information, cyber security and software development proving the hardest fill.

According to joint research from three recruitment sites - Robert Walters, Totaljobs and Jobsite - shortages are expected to be most acute at mid-management level (55%), while over a third (36%) of employers expect to struggle to secure junior technology specialists. Just 9% expect the most severe shortages at senior levels.

The research also reveals that many companies believe that Britain’s technology sector is unprepared to compete on the global stage. Just 11% felt that the UK was very well prepared while 24% felt that the UK was somewhat unprepared or very unprepared.

Totaljobs director Martin Talbot said: “The technology sector boasts an incredible amount of exciting opportunities, which will continue for years to come, thanks to continued advancement in areas such as artificial intelligence."

However, Talbot warns that this technological progress means that many existing candidates may not have the required level of specialist skills when it comes to cyber security, BI and data management, or software development.

He added: "It is important for employers to remember the value of technology professionals’ transferable skills, including project and programme management, as well as strong interpersonal skills when recruiting.

"Employers may want to consider investment in additional training for new recruits who already possess key transferable skills. Additionally, casting the recruitment net wider to overseas candidates is essential; the UK is the fourth most attractive country for IT and technology professionals worldwide, proving candidates are determinedly searching for their next opportunity.”