A pair of glasses lying upside down on a closed laptop on a desk left empty due to tech skills shortages

5 Ways Candidates Can Use The Current Tech Skills Shortage To Their Advantage

Skills shortages are a challenge for businesses in almost all industries but is proving particularly challenging within the UK tech sector.

Demand in the UK for experienced professionals has never been so high. Tech skills shortages are proving particularly problematic in the following areas:

  • Software Development
  • Cybersecurity
  • DevOps
  • Data Analysis
  • Project Management
  • UX/UI Design
  • Digital Marketing

With technology advancing at a rapid rate, even ‘traditional’ sectors like finance, property and insurance are employing more tech specialists. Fintech companies are becoming more commonplace, as is the use of AI in decision making. This increased demand exacerbates the tech skills shortage even further.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the number of STEM job vacancies is growing rapidly. Conversely, the findings show that there is not enough skilled and available talent to keep up with the demand. In the last quarter of 2018, the number of unfilled vacancies increased by 24.3 per cent compared to the previous year.

The ratio of jobseekers with previous employment in tech applying for relevant jobs has fallen to less than 1:1. The ONS figures show there are more vacancies available in the sector than candidates looking to fill them.

Given the current skills shortage, newly qualified graduates are often under the illusion that they can walk straight into their dream job fresh out of university. Unfortunately, industry research reveals that the opposite is true. Approximately 20% of recent Computer Science graduates were employed in unskilled positions or remained unemployed for around six months after graduating. This highlights what has been described as a “disconnect between recruiters’ wishes and graduates’ situations.”

A separate study reveals how access to labour and skills is a major concern to businesses in the North West. With the rise of the Northern Powerhouse, the region is set to create more jobs in 2019.

The annual employment trends survey, conducted by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), found the following interesting statistics:

  • 44% of over 100 businesses in the North West expect to grow their workforce this year
  • 63% of businesses surveyed say that limited access to labour is threatening their competitiveness and growth
  • 84% of North West businesses admit they are struggling to find the skills they need for their business to succeed

So how can candidates use the current tech skills shortage to their advantage?

  • If you’re a fresh graduate, your degree alone won’t be enough for you to land your dream job. Unpaid work experience in the short term may not seem ideal but may help you go further in the long term.
  • Maybe you don’t have a degree? Assess your long term career goals and plan your route to success. For example, you may work in Tech Support right now, but have aspirations of being an Infrastructure Engineer. Speak to your manager about the possibility of training. It’s often cheaper for an employer to invest in training existing employees than it is to hire someone who is fully skilled.
  • Thinking of a career change? Now could be the perfect time! You don’t have to go to university any more to achieve your dreams. There are plenty of credible online learning institutions which allow you to gain a recognised qualification at your own pace. Passion and determination go a long way these days.
  • Build an online portfolio. What better way to demonstrate your skills to a potential employer than creating your own space on the internet to display your wares? Having your own website or being an active member of the Github community are often worth more to an employer than qualifications.

Investing in your skills and development in the short term may pay dividends in the long term.

How Adria help skilled candidates find their dream job in IT or Digital

Adria Solutions is committed to helping North West tech businesses access the tech talent they need to take their business forward.

Using our expertise and latest recruitment technology, we help businesses to overcome the challenges presented by the tech skills shortage. We achieve this by helping talented tech candidates find a secure job which best matches their skill set and career aspirations.

Our specialist IT recruitment consultants work closely with candidates, providing them with invaluable advice and insider knowledge. Our aim is to help them find a job that is suited to their experience, qualifications, expectations and career aspirations.

Roles that require experience in fields like .NET development with C# and MVC are often the hardest to fill. If you possess these kind of sought after skills, please get in touch with the Adria Solutions’ team. We can help find the right role based on your specific experiences and future ambitions.

If you’re a tech professional looking for your dream job in IT, you can view our latest vacancies here