There will be a million unfilled IT jobs by 2020: are apprenticeships the answer?

  • Emma Finamore
  • Last updated 09 May 2016

A looming skills gap in one of the UK’s most promising industries is a very real possibility, according to IT experts IBM.


Almost every company now uses some form of big data-led analytics tool, such as Google Analytics. But, despite efforts to address the growing demand,  the rate of newly qualified people coming into businesses with the right skills to analyse and use this data is not keeping up with demand.

Big data has transformed the way many businesses go about tracking customer habits, assess the effectiveness of their investment and target new markets. Some observers have even dubbed the developments the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

Addressing the World Manufacturing Forum, Sanjay Brahmawar, global head and managing partner, strategic business development at IBM’s Watson Internet of Things business, said: “One of the biggest issues is going to be the gap in skills. Getting the skills required to analyse and manage all of this data is going to be difficult.

“By 2020 we will have one million unfilled jobs in the IT sector. Primarily because the skills we have today aren’t the right skills for the future. The future is more about the business understanding and the data understanding.”

IBM recognises that not everyone can (or should) go to university to gain the required skills, so are offering a range of school leaver apprenticeships leading to roles including Technical Solution Specialist and Business Specialist.

It’s not just big data skills, last year AllAboutSchoolLeavers reported that computer game designers and programmers are in demand (and in short supply) and the industry is growing fast.

If you want to arm yourself with the IT skills that will be in demand in the future, check out the AllABoutSchoolLeavers jobs board, where opportunities like apprenticeships and school leaver programmes in IT allow you be paid while you train and learn.



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