Calling IT professionals to solve the riddle of the IT skills shortage

I wrote a blog post last week about the discord within the IT sector about the IT skills shortfall in the UK.

Does it exist or not?

As you all know I am a journalist and I have never worked in IT. I actually have a degree in Development Geography and have studied politics and journalism post-graduate. As a result I rely on my contacts for information

The blog post has received some very informative comments.

But better than that, a regular contributor to my blog, know as Matt, has created a questionnaire aimed at UK IT workers. If he gets a good response we can put together some interesting stats.

Please fill in the questionnaire in this link. If we get a good response we will publish the results.


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When IT has had the highest level of graduate unemployment it is absurd to suggest that there is a shortage of people who can work in IT. (and who knows how many of the employed graduates are still in IT)

On the other hand the shopping list of skills required when applying for work show the diverse number of skills required by a given employer.

IT is a relatively young industry and it often requires that those who work in it have a lifetime of learning.

The simple answer is that industry is going to have to be more ready to train people than to expect a ready packaged person from the market.

@Paul: "the shopping list of skills required when applying for work show the diverse number of skills required by a given employer"

My experience (as an IT contractor) is that most of those skills will be irrelevant or easily acquired on the job by an experienced IT worker. The real purpose of the shopping list is to help filter out most of the hundreds of CVs that recruiters often eceive for each vacancy.

The usual cause for skill shortage shouting are tigtening profit margins of an industry in decline. Companies can no longer afford to pay decent wages, which means they are no longer able to hire properly skilled people. Moreover, skill shortage is the most effective excuse for management unable to meet the business goals.

Young people legitimately shun such professions. They don't want to study for it anymore, because there is no future in it. That causes schools universities to add their voices to the shortage shouting chorus.

Such scenario was seen many times before, in many different industries, not just IT.

Skill shortage shouting is sort of writing on the wall. When you hear it, the industry is already doomed. The best thing to do is to let it go gracefully.