Digital Skills Gap: UK Universities Failing Students And Tech Businesses

By Naina Bhardway, News Editor (@NainaBhardwaj96)

48% of UK graduates are lacking the skills to secure some of the country’s most sought after jobs within the tech and marketing industries, new research has revealed.

Research among 2,000 UK adults commissioned by Intern Tech has revealed that the country’s university system is failing both students and businesses.

One of the key areas of concern was in the lack of knowledge and understanding surrounding the UK’s in-demand technology jobs. When presented with a list of the country’s most sought after roles in the tech industry – including data scientist, social media manager, app developer and cyber security specialist – a massive 48% of graduates said they do not know what these jobs entail or how they would secure one. The concerning findings comes as 93% of firms in the UK’s rapidly-growing tech sector say that a shortage of skilled workers is holding their business back.

Intern Tech’s research also uncovered some that 30% of UK degree holders think the country’s departure from the European Union will be good for their job prospects. The graduates pinpointed less competition from overseas professionals as a result of Brexit as a positive influence on the job market.

Aaron Wilson, Managing Director of Intern Tech, commented on the findings: “The research has illustrated that universities are failing to equip graduates with the skills and experience they need in the professional world. Consequently, a huge number of degree holders in the UK are left regretting the debt they have been burdened with from university as they are still forced to take jobs below graduate-level or have to complete further qualifications to get ahead. Meanwhile, the country’s innovative high-growth companies are being held back by an inability to find the skilled workers they need – clearly something must be done.

“In the Spring Budget the Government signaled its intent to address the skills gap through T-level qualifications and additional funding for STEM subjects. However, today’s survey underpins the immense value of internships, which must be encouraged – they provide young people with vital insight and experience into the jobs and industries they wish to work in. With university education criticised for being outdated, it is essential that students and graduates are encouraged to get hands-on work experience, in turn enabling companies to find potential employees with the culture, attitude and core skills they require.”