The danger of an ever-widening gap between demand for IT skills and their availability in the UK has again been highlighted by the IT jobs website Technojobs.
The number of IT jobs billed on the site has grown from 19,000 per month in 2011 to 23,000 per month in 2012, and this a trend that is continuing into 2013. This may sound like good news and, for existing IT pros seeking permanent posts or working flexibly through Umbrella Companies, it is; however, the problem lies in the next generation: unless more students take an interest in the subject and obtain professional qualifications, a huge skills deficit looms.
The rise in the number of jobs is already outstripping the number of IT graduates entering the IT jobs market: enrolments to computer science courses rose by 10% between 2011 and 2012 but, over the same interval, available jobs grew by 21%. The number of available jobs will grow significantly again this year, widening the skills gap even further in the process.
Unless the UK invests in the IT capabilities of the next generation, and encourages more of the next generation to take up the subject, Britain could become highly vulnerable to cyber-attacks over the next two decades at perilous cost to the economy, according to a recent report from the National Audit Office.
Technojobs director Anthony Sherick said: “The latest figures from the NAO back up exactly what we’re seeing. Unfortunately, without tailoring our education system to deliver future IT professionals, we are likely to experience a whole range of problems, from cyber security threats to companies outsourcing abroad and the consequential impact on unemployment in the UK.”