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A Visual Look at the Tech Skills Gap

More than half of organizations agree it is common for job applicants to lack skills in technology that are important for success. That's just one of several eye-opening statistics found by the Career Advisory Board during a recent study on the growing technology skills gap.

The tech skills gap makes an impact not only on the hiring needs of the corporate world, but also on the employees themselves, as well as the institutions that are educating them. The infographic below shows how the ability to apply problem-solving technical knowledge is becoming more important across a range of industries, and how DeVry is working with organizations to bridge the gap. Employers are seeking individuals with hard tech and applied tech abilities more and more, but not enough are graduating with the proper skill set. 

The Career Advisory Board asked 500 leaders and professionals in hiring positions within organizations about the technology skills gap. Here's what they discovered:

Applied Tech Skills are Essential

Different from Hard Tech like network security and cloud computing, Applied Tech refers to the deployment and utilization of technology for the benefit of an organization. 

4/5 employers agreed that for technology to be effective, it must integrate: people, process, data, and devices. 

Employees should understand how to use technology to inform and drive business decisions. 75% agree.

Employees who know how to use the right tech tools in their fields are more effective. 84% agree.

Proficiency with data analytics is an increasingly sought-after skill. 88% agree. 

70% said a company's competitive advantage lies in using applied tech skills to solve problems. 

"When it comes to applied tech skills, as educators we need to come to grips with the fact that regardless of what a student's major is, they need to minor either officially or unofficially in tech." -Robert Paul, President of DeVry University

Skilled Employees are in Short Supply. 

It's rare for an employee to possess all requirements outlined in a job description. 71% agree. 

It is common for job applicants to lack the technology skills important for success in their career. 60% agree.

Half report a deficit in their current base for applied tech skills. 

"A lot of us probably put out job descriptions for open jobs in our companies. Make sure you're wording those job descriptions so that you're not alienating smart, creative people who could learn the skills that you need, but maybe just don't have them today." -Randi Zuckerberg, CEO of Zuckerberg Media

Hard Tech Skills are More Relevant for Certain Professions.

An overwhelming majority of respondents agreed their organizations do not have enough of these hard tech skills. 

80% Network and Information Security.

76% Cloud Computing.

73% Web Architecture Development.

72% Internet of Things

63% Artifical Intelligence 

"Tech is moving so fast and it's hard to keep up. It's important to bring in educator partners to provide the right content for when we need it." -Sara Ley, Digital Learning and Tech Leader at General Electric

How Do We Bridge the Gap?

"It is important for those in education to continuously work with employers to understand what their needs are and to ensure they can impact and inform our curriculum." -Shantanu Bose, Ph.D., Career Advisor Board member and provost and vice president of Academic Excellence at DeVry University. Along with partnerships between educators and employers, the Career Advisor Board also recommends the following strategies to bridge the applied and hard tech skills gaps:

Leverage design thinking:

A strategy for innovation, design thinking can be leveraged by educators to ensure students are interacting with technology as they would in the real world.

Encourage tinkering:

Whether in the classroom or in an employment setting, incorporating technology learning and experimentation into coursework or job responsibilities can help students and employees become applied tech proficient. 

Build reciprocal mentorship channels:

Reciprocal mentorship programs, which pair more seasoned employees with less experienced ones, can help expand the adoption of applied tech skills throughout an organization. 

Focus on the female pipeline:

Currently, women are underrepresented in the IT industry. The public and private sectors must partner to encourage and support young girls to explore technology careers and provide resources along the way. 

Review what is working globally:

While the tech skills gap is not unique to the U.S., other countries have taken steps to bridge that divide, which educators and employers should emulate. 

For more information and for the complete executive summary, visit CareerAdvisoryBoard.org