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Demand for tech and digital expertise heightens

Demand for tech and digital expertise heightens

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a change in the way organisations do business, having to adapt their models to bring their services online. And with many people now working remotely, technology and digital skills are vital as never before.   

So just what are the hot skills that employers are looking for but struggling to find? In which areas is there the greatest demand in the hiring of digital executives? Programming, app and web development features on most lists of requirements, with candidates who are proficient in languages such as Oracle’s Java, JavaScript, the versatile and easy to use Python, R, SQL or the Microsoft maintained TypeScript always sought after.

In the current world of digitalization and digital transformation (DX), organisations require digital business analysts who can develop the ecosystem of technologies to help drive and implement their programmes. Companies are upgrading their infrastructures to improve customer service and engagement, boost productivity and increase revenue streams. The role of the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), for example, has very much come into its own given the operational, regulatory and cyber risks involved.

Bolstering digital knowledge

Data science and data analytics jobs are also in highly desired. The rise of big data has spawned a huge spike in demand for suitably trained and skilled data specialists who can help organisations make key business decisions. Data science features prominently in LinkedIn’s emerging jobs reports. Candidates will typically need a strong background in statistics and modelling. But as Dr. Paul van Loon CFA, Head of Analytics at Forecast, notes, “There is no quick or easy path to becoming a data scientist – there is no substitute for building models.”

Many of these skills can be transferred into the realm of Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, another emerging yet hugely significant sector where specialist experience is much sought after. Driverless car technology and Amazon’s Echo smart speaker are examples of the second wave of AI, where already the need for niche skills is evident. A number of companies have initiated reskilling programmes to train their staff in areas such as supervised learning algorithms and modelling.

According to a recent report by the UK government’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, around 1 in 3 organisations cannot find candidates with suitable digital skills. And it’s not just highly technical specialist expertise that is lacking but ‘baseline’ digital skills. That’s precisely why to help combat digital skills shortages in Scotland, the government has established a coding academy, CodeClan, as a way of getting more people interested and trained in these vital business skills.

Whether you’re a sole trader, a contractor operating a limited company, an SME or a multinational stock market listed firm, having the right level of digital and tech skills will be even more crucial, as the repercussions from COVID-19 take hold.

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