85pc of Irish professionals don’t have sufficient IT skills

When it comes to skills in the tech sector, there are a few things at play.

First, the advancements of technology, data mining and machine learning are all putting a much higher demand on companies to hire people with stronger IT skills than ever before.

Secondly, education can only do its best to catch up and when it does, standard education can only narrow the skills gap by way of bringing highly skilled graduates into the professional world.

This leaves those already in the industries left by the wayside when it comes to addressing their own skills gap, as opposed to simply addressing the industry-wide skills gap.

So how much are Irish professionals lacking when it comes to IT skills? A new survey from Code Institute has given some frightening results for Irish firms.

The survey asked participants to carry out a tech diagnostic test, which included 10 entry-level technical questions. The exam evaluated whether participants’ IT skills and knowledge were up to date and sufficient for the modern workplace.

Startlingly, 85pc of Irish professionals failed to show a sufficient level of technical competency, with 40pc of survey respondents falling below the 50pc pass mark.

With such a high level of Irish professional lacking in sufficient IT skills, it’s no surprise that the tech skills gap is a long way off from improving.

In fact, not only is this dangerous for the professionals in terms of their career growth, it’s bad news for the companies too. There are already free ICT courses out there for employees to avail of, but companies need to do more to rectify this dramatic skills shortage.

Jim Cassidy, CEO of Code Institute said companies need to realise how much it affects them and do something about it.

“Companies need to be able to adapt to changes in their market, to have the skills to identify technological threats and opportunities, and with under-skilled managers and employees, that will be a struggle.”

Broken down by industry, some of the better performing sectors were marketing and finance. However, one of the worst performing sectors for sufficient IT skills was insurance.

Cassidy said Iris companies can rectify the problem by upskilling their staff. “Since technology plays an increasingly significant part in our working lives, it’s now more important than ever to know how to harness the power of IT,” he said.

“If Ireland is to continue its upward trajectory, every aspect of its business should be competitive – including its staff.”

Under-skilled staff is not the only problem here. In fact, the shortage of tech skills hinders companies when it comes to implementing digital initiatives that would help them move with the times.

Earlier this year, another survey of Ireland by Kingram Red found found that 60pc of Irish organisations have no vision for their success in the digital world and 65pc of organisations are unhappy with their progress in engagement of staff in affecting digital change.

However, a lack of tech skills was deemed the number one barrier when it came to the ability to move forward with digital change.

“Ireland’s economy has been the fastest growing in Europe for four years in a row,” said Cassidy. “With the right attitude to training, technology and modern business, we can maintain this momentum.”

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