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Cyber defence just one of the skills next-gen IT professionals will need

Emerging technologies, the impact of Brexit and fintech companies are creating new opportunities for the next generation of IT professionals

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Technical skills

Since the government announced that it was investing heavily in cyber security there has been a buzz around the sector for people just starting out in work, as well as those with experience in other fields who may be looking for a change later in their career.

Workers are increasingly willing to move to achieve career aspirations or improve their work-life balance, and employers are also willing to increase their employees’ salaries. With numerous opportunities in cyber security opening up, it is unsurprising that many are seeing this as the area that could better their current situation. However, cyber security is not the only skillset IT professionals should be looking at for a career change or a long and prosperous career.

Senior managers have noticed a widening skills gap, Reed’s 2017 Salary Guide reveals. Almost half (47%) of those in management, and 54% in supervisor positions, now recognise a lack of skills in their organisation.

Evolving technology is one of the main reasons these skills gaps are opening up. Additionally, Brexit, one of the most significant events of recent times, is, and will continue to be, a factor in widening the skills gap. Some talented IT workers have already gone overseas, and more will do so once the effects of Article 50 are felt across the UK.

This presents a wealth of opportunities in the sector for candidates who take note of the skills needed and move quickly to learn them. But where are these gaps?

The skills most in demand

There is considerable demand for development staff at the moment, and those with C# and .Net skills hold the most valuable of bargaining chips. The role of data analyst is also rapidly emerging in the UK, as the desire to analyse, manipulate and securely store data is essential for any business in the current climate. Additionally, with the constant thirst for new and innovative programs that will assist with company growth, Java developers are in demand.

With regards to sectors that IT professionals should be considering, financial services is a lucrative trade where the knowledge of technology workers is certainly in demand. After all, good data privacy practice in financial services is essential, so talent in this area is invaluable. The growth of financial technology (fintech) and digital sectors means we are helping a lot of companies in these fields recruit for roles.

People with passion for technology

There is a lot to learn if the UK is to close the skills gap. It needs people who are passionate and show a real desire to learn, immersing themselves in webinars and hackathons, are able to undertake code challenges in interview, and really live tech.

From our analysis of the market, talking to clients and candidates, we know there are skills gaps in the market. Whether these are opened up by a higher frequency of cyber attacks across the globe, a trend of talent leaving the UK before the effects of Brexit are really felt, or the globalisation of markets and technological evolution of business, these gaps should be viewed by candidates, whether just starting out or changing career, as an opportunity to seize and become indispensable to employers.

This was last published in March 2017

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