When it comes to career planning, one thing many people don’t consider is how to make themselves more appealing to businesses. Having the right balance of hard and soft skills, as well as expertise in the things companies need now, or should be considering for the future, will make you a very appealing candidate.
It’s easy to pick a field and stick to it, but the most ambitious of ladder-climbers know that planning for the future and expanding their knowledge and range of skills which are in-demand is a smart way to ensure success – predicting trends just like any business would.
The skills gap
Skills gaps are something we frequently read about, but probably seldom consider as a career opportunity. With the right skills, you can very quickly prove yourself to be indispensable to a business in functions where gaps in knowledge are hampering success.
The computer science skills gap is vast. It’s predicted that the worldwide shortage of IT professionals will reach 1.8m by 2020. Currently, there are severe skills shortages across all ten countries that have the highest demand for computer science roles, including the UK.
According to a report from recruitment firm Indeed, the UK’s skills gap is the second worst globally. The number of vacancies grew by more than 30% between 2014 and 2016, and the company predicts that in the next three years, there will still be around 100,000 unfilled roles.
The internet has given rise to a new wave of businesses. According to a KPMG report, 45,000 technology companies have appeared in Britain in the last five years: that’s equivalent to one new business every hour. In order for this industry to keep growing, there needs to be an influx of new talent to build and maintain the IT infrastructure of these new companies.
The demand for these types of roles has inevitably led to an increase in wages, with the average UK-based worker in a computer science role now earning around £50,000 per year.
The three new online Computer Science MSc’s from the University of York aim to give an opportunity to ambitious career-minded individuals to retrain to work in these in-demand fields. The new Masters programmes are delivered 100% online, which means there’s no need to take a career break and you can fit study around work and family life. Being able to earn while you learn removes some of the financial pressure, and the University of York also offers the option to pay-per-module, so there are no large upfront fees. There is a choice of six start dates per year, which means that you can start whenever is convenient.