UNIVERSITIES

THE FACTS

By 2020 the UK
need to fill

766,000

new digital jobs, and train almost 2.3m digitally skilled workers to meet demand.

The 2016 Hays Global Skills Index found that Britain’s skills shortage had worsened for the fifth consecutive year. The survey concluded that the skills shortage is most significant in technical engineering and specialist technology roles.

Digital tech workers make a huge contribution to the UK economy, twice that of other workers. The gap between the two has grown from £48,000 to £53,000 over the last five years and will continue to grow. The future is truly digital. However, 48% of graduates said that they did not know what jobs like data scientist, social media manager, app developer and cyber security specialist involve.

The future is truly
digital. However

48%

of graduates are unfamiliar with the jobs like data scientists, app developers etc.

74%

of tech workers are graduates –significantly higher than the
national average.

74% of tech workers are graduates – significantly higher than the national average. However, the number of UK students graduating with computer science qualifications has dropped significantly since 2002. In contrast, France produces more computer science graduates than any other European country. One in three people currently working in the UK tech sector come from another European country. With Brexit a certainty, this issue is increasingly concerning.

It is crucial that the skills shortage is addressed, soon. In 2016 only 15,000 UK students sat a computing or ICT A-Level. That is less than 2% of the overall exams taken.

THE FUTURE

66% of men who graduated in engineering and technology subjects go on to work in engineering and technology compared to less than half of their female counterparts. In 2010 nearly 100,000 female STEM graduates were unemployed or economically inactive.

Enabling women to meet their full potential will go a long way towards closing the tech and digital skills gap. Less than 1 in 4 tech roles are held by women – it should be 50/50.

It is clear that Universities have a major role to play in closing the gender and skills gap.

  • Student success programmes can help change perceptions about roles in the technology and digital world.
  • Outreach events and activities, aimed at sixth form girls and focused on technology careers can help a lot.
  • Working with external specialist partners to broaden horizons and encourage female graduates to think bigger about their futures is important too.

Employers don’t just need hard tech skills though. Soft skills are equally important - team work, capacity to learn quickly, self awareness, resilience and initiative are all essential qualities in the fast-paced world of today - and tomorrow. There are some brilliant organisations focusing on increasing awareness of tech careers for girls, and on improving employability more generally. We are different.

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HOW CAN WE HELP?

We believe that it’s vital to improve confidence and soft skills like teamwork, speaking and presenting, and critical thinking. These skills will equip female graduates to be brilliant candidates for the tech and digital roles of the future. It’s essential that these skills are taught and practiced alongside better commercial and digital industry awareness - the two go hand in hand.

Today’s graduates are digital natives. We need to shift their focus from being digital consumers to digital creators, build their confidence and self-awareness and inspire them to think differently about the future. Our programmes do just that.

Universities can’t do it alone. The tech world moves fast and we can help you keep pace.