Every year there are approximately 110,000 students graduating with a computer science degree/qualification in the European Union (EU). There are however a lot more IT related jobs available than this and in fact the EU is predicting that come 2015 there could be 900,000 IT vacancies across the Union. So given that there are still a lot of people who are unable to obtain work then it’s obvious that there is, and it will worsen, a skills shortage of IT trained people.
In a recent report by the UK Centre for Employment Studies it said “The digital sector is at the heart of the economy, underpinning growth through the technology it develops and the services it provides. Many firms across the digital industries use technology intensively but little is known about the skills needs specific to the emerging technologies in the sector”.
So what is the government doing about youth unemployment in general and in particular about the IT skills shortage? Not enough many people are saying whilst at the same time calling for more to be done.
Companies are slowly wakening up to the fact that needing a Computer Science related degree is not the only way to enter the IT profession. Many companies have started apprenticeship schemes to help untrained people learn the digital skills required to fill these vacancies.
This is not all that is being done as evidenced by Telefonica UK (aka O2) who now run Think Big School sessions all over the country where young people can gain digital, including coding, skills. This has now been complemented by a Think Big Hub located in East London. These are digital skills which greatly enhance your ability to apply and gain one of these IT vacancies that lie currently unfilled. Telefonica are also planning online seminars and workshops so people can learn in the comfort of their own homes.
Most people these days already have digital skills acquired through their use of social media, websites and even extending to knowledge of SEO. You should build on these skills to set yourselves apart from the other applicants for positions.
Ensure you bring these skills to the attention of potential employers.