For many countries, technological superiority is an economic and strategic priority. US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak have both made it known that their visions for the future place their respective nations at the forefront of tech advancements. Unfortunately, a shortage of tech skills across all industries is threatening to keep such ambitions from being realized.
According to Forbes, data from online learning giant Coursera’s fifth annual Global Skills Report assessing 124 million users’ proficiency skills revealed that the UK ranked 64th out of 100 countries, while the US trailed behind at 78th place. The dismal rankings of the US and the UK are a reflection of educational pathways that are simply not aligned with where the economy is headed.
To narrow the skills gap, education on its own is not enough. Considering the ever-evolving nature of the tech landscape, constant investment in upskilling is necessary not just for young learners but the entire labor force, as well.
Below is an overview of how skill gaps in various industries can be bridged.
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Despite being a fast-growing industry, there is a shortage of workers with the necessary skills to fulfill the role of a data analyst. With the exponential growth of data available to all industries, basic analytics is insufficient for businesses to flourish. This necessitates continuous learning to stay on top of the latest advancements and techniques in the field.
While Scrum is primarily associated with project management in the software development realm, its principles can be adapted to enhance collaboration and agility in data analytics. For this, data analysts can pursue certification programs to become Scrum masters and hone abilities like data visualization, data interpretation, machine learning, or data project management.
Accounting and finance
Based on reports from Robert Walters, a specialist professional recruitment consultancy, over 60% of chief financial officers have had trouble finding suitable candidates to fill finance roles. Some of the major skills gaps among finance professionals include commercial aptitude, persuasion and influencing skills, and stakeholder management skills.
To combat the lack of skills needed in the industry, employers are investing in internal development programs aimed at upskilling current employees. In addition, individuals can set themselves apart by obtaining in-demand accounting and finance certifications to become Certified Internal Auditors or Certified Fraud Examiners. Organizations like LHH specialize in continuing education that enhances your skill set to give professionals a leg up in a tight labor market.
According to a study by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, the manufacturing skills gap could result in 2.1 million unfilled jobs by 2030, losses from which could potentially amount to $1 trillion that year. Despite the generally high demand for employment nationwide, entry-level manufacturing vacancies continue to grow. Manufacturers are often looking for multi-skilled workers, and increasingly, this means requiring proficiency in the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, and automation.
In response, almost 90% of companies within the industry have been focusing on upskilling their existing workforce through retraining policies. Moreover, to attract a new generation of workers, initiatives like the National Association of Manufacturer’s Creators Wanted campaign have been launched to diversify the talent pipeline.
In this dynamic digital age, upskilling has progressed from an option to an imperative. Lifelong learning and staying adaptable are the keys to thriving in a constantly transitioning technological landscape. The knowledge and skills you gain today will not only empower your own career but also play a vital role in shaping the future of work.