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Skills gap still causing concerns

Those hoping that this year would see an easing of the skills gap are going to be disappointed

There are no signs that the IT skills shortage is easing with customers braced for further struggles landing talented staff and security industry experts warning that graduates are not in a position to join the fight against cyber attacks.

That should leave a gap that the channel can help fill, offering managed services and automated options for those that are failing to cope with the demands on the IT department.

Findings from CompTIA revealed that a third of UK tech leaders were worried that this year was going to be even harder than last when it came to filling vacancies.

The industry group found that many firms were expecting growth this year, which p-ut a further strain on recruitment.

Programmers and software developers were the most popular roles in the IT sector, followed by specialist managers and telco pros. (see box).

Top IT roles

1. Programmers and software development pros 
2. IT specialist managers 
3. IT and telecommunications pros (other) 
4. IT operations technicians 
5. IT business analysts, architects and systems designers

The main locations for workers included all of the tech hotspots , including London, Berkshire and Manchester.

“With employer demand for tech talent routinely outstripping supply, the year ahead will force more organisations to rethink their approaches to recruiting, training and talent management,” said Graham Hunter, CompTIA’s vice president for skills certification in EMEA.

Estelle Johannes, director, member communities at CompTIA, said that the increasing numbers of people in IT had been matched with increases in its membership.

She added that as a training and certification body CompTIA had a responsibility to make sure members were up to speed on the latest areas of technology.

“This is set to increase as the influence of emerging tech such as blockchain, AI and AR/VR revolutionises the way the industry conducts business, which is why we are putting our core focus into helping our members transition to new ways of working and help the sector grow," she said.

The timing of the CompTIA stats coincided with relevations from the the Association for Computing Machinery and the IEEE Computer Society that more had to be done to tackle the growing skills problem in the cyber security arena.

The groups quoted sources that have estimated that 1.8, cyber security roles will be left vacant by 2022 and more needed to be done to arm graduates with the right skills.

As a result a new set of guidelines, Cybersecurity Education Curriculum (CSEC2017), has been designed to be help those teaching skills to those in further education.

“Wonderful career opportunities exist for people who are interested in working in cybersecurity. At the same time, because it is a new discipline, the term ‘cybersecurity education’ has meant different things to different people. As a result, many students graduating from cybersecurity programs often lack the requisite knowledge and skills needed to fit within an industry or government environment," said CSEC2017 Joint Task Force Co-Chair Diana Burley, a professor at The George Washington University.

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