A survey of 500 IT decision-makers and 542 16-24-year-olds conducted by CWJobs found that young people feel they do not have the skills and knowledge to pursue a technology career, although many see it as a lucrative career path.
The Digital Generation: Tapping into future tech talent report also found that young people underestimate their role in addressing the growing gap between technical skills and view the sector as inaccessible due to its complexity and perceived constraints such as age or gender.
While 72% of IT executives believe that Gen Z will solve the digital skills shortage, only 24% of actual Gen Z people saw their age as an advantage when entering the tech industry. A whopping 56% said that a career in technology would seem complicated, and 55% of young people said they wanted more useful information from schools and other educators about what to expect if they pursue a tech career.
The report also showed that businesses are painfully short of support when it comes to supporting young people’s ambitions.
51% of companies surveyed said they did not have sufficient resources to provide technical training to Gen Z workers, and 32% of technology leaders admitted that they did not have sufficient training know-how, despite having enough resources.
In addition, CWJob’s Tackling Tech Training Report found that 72% of U.K. companies increased their investment in technical tools, talent and training last year, but only 9% trained their staff to use these new technology tools.
In addition, 69% of companies had existing training programs, but only 37% acknowledged that this needed to be improved. Apprenticeships are the preferred route to technology for most young people.
Employers and educators have generally found it difficult to sell Gen Z to consider long-term careers in the technology industry.
In this context, an Accenture survey of 1,000 16-24-year-olds earlier this year found that only 25% of young people are confident in embarking on a technology-related career, despite having significant digital skills.
This does not bode well for a sector in dire need of fresh blood to stay afloat. Research by CWJob found that 77% of IT managers identified these “digital natives” as the best skills of a generation to address the lack of technological manpower, identifying cloud 28%, artificial intelligence 27%, and coding 26% as areas that urgently need new talent.