UK tech skills gap to reduce as more Brits consider IT jobs

Two engineers looking at servers with lots of messy cables

The UK's tech skills gap is set to decrease as over half of workers are contemplating a career change into more tech-based roles, new research suggests.

A survey of over 2,000 professionals from CWJobs found that over half (55%) of non-tech workers are contemplating a career change.

The study of 1,120 tech workers and 1,026 non-tech workers suggests that the latter have either considered or have begun the process of moving into a tech-based role, with almost 8% having already made the move.

A growing deficit between skilled workers and jobs has loomed over the tech industry for some time with issues like immigration and Brexit often attributed to a lack of access to talent.

The pandemic has also amplified the gap, as IT and tech support have grown in stature during lockdown. Nearly half (45%) of IT workers said their company is currently actively recruiting for tech-based roles, offering greater opportunities for those looking to retrain and upskill into the booming sector.

The COVID-19 situation has also impacted professional aspirations with one in eight (12%) suggesting the pandemic has accelerated their ambition to change careers. Additionally, 25% of the workers surveyed said they would put job stability and security over salary.

Reassuringly, jobs within the tech industry are often well-paid (partly due to the demand) and as remote working becomes more critical, careers in the sector are also seen as future-proof. A fifth (20%) of IT workers said one of the main advantages of working in a tech role is the fact that companies are prioritising technology due to learnings from COVID-19.

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The top tech skills workers feel their company needs, according to the survey, are in IT support (33%) and cyber security (23%).

The UK's cyber security skills gap was reportedly at 'breaking point' at the end of 2019, with a survey from RedSeal suggesting Brexit and a lack of investment from the government as the main reasons.

Bobby Hellard

Bobby Hellard is ITPro's Reviews Editor and has worked on CloudPro and ChannelPro since 2018. In his time at ITPro, Bobby has covered stories for all the major technology companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and regularly attends industry-leading events such as AWS Re:Invent and Google Cloud Next.

Bobby mainly covers hardware reviews, but you will also recognise him as the face of many of our video reviews of laptops and smartphones.