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Gender and age are still defining factors of tech specialists

The type of person working as a technology specialist stills skews towards older males, according to research

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Technology specialists are still more likely to be males in their late thirties to early forties, according to research.

After analysing ONS data, Tech Partnership found that only 16% of tech specialists are women, and this falls to 10% in roles such as software development.

Tech Partnership board member Michel Van der Bel, MD of Microsoft UK and VP of Microsoft International, said: “Tech employers are keen to welcome talented people, and particularly women, whether they join us as apprentices, graduates or via other routes.”

Where women are employed in the technology space, they are more likely to be in a project management role, with one-third of project management or programme management posts filled by women.

But only 11% of tech directors were found to be women, with more women tending to be found in lower or mid-level positions than in senior management.

The employers’ network also found that 33% of tech workers are aged between 35 and 44, whereas only 22% of the working population fall into this category.

However, the number of jobs available in the technology space is on the rise, and the number of tech specialists in the UK has grown by 31% over the past 10 years to reach 1.3 million.

Tech Partnership predicts that the number of jobs for technology specialists will grow by 28% over the next 10 years, with most growth expected in web design and software development roles.

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This would mean 171,000 new tech specialists will need to enter jobs each year between 2015 and 2025.

But the current IT skills gap means many firms are struggling to find candidates with the necessary skills to fill IT and digital posts.

Almost 60% of current tech specialists have a degree, but computer science undergraduates were found to have the highest unemployment rate six months after graduating from university.

Many are looking at alternatives, such as University Technical Colleges courses aimed at providing a mixture of specific technical skills and soft workplace skills, or degree apprenticeships that allow students to study and work at the same time.

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More interesting is that more (56,000) of the "new entrants" have transferred in from non-tech jobs than were previously in "study/training" or in "other tech jobs". This indicates that my findings regarding the hybrid (industry and applications skills, not just technology) sought by Fintech employers needs are echoed across other industries. Hence the need for cross-cutting local skills partnerships - especially for London - which still accounts for a quarter of all tech jobs - just as it did thirty years ago.
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Personally I know far more male developers that are 40+. On the other side, networking specialists, I see more of a swing to the males 20+. In my current company we have approx. 3 women 20+ and about 7 20+ males in networking and 7 40+ males..
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Based on the article, I don't see that gender and age are defining factors in hiring. It's a slow change. Keep welcoming women and the numbers will improve.
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