Reskilling to technology and digital jobs are hot topics at the moment, and related to these trends are the terms “skills gap” and “skills shortage” that you may have heard. While these are exciting terms and buzzwords that are thrown around left and right, they’re often confused and are used incorrectly.
Let’s set the record straight on the difference between the meaning of “skills gap” and “skills shortage” and what this means for the future of tech training.
What is a ‘Skills Gap’?
A skills gap is the mismatch between the skills that job searchers have and the skills that companies require to efficiently fill job vacancies. It can be defined as a mismatch between individuals’ knowledge, abilities, and competencies and the requirements of the type of job that they seek.
The term “skills gap” is frequently used in discussions of labor market shortages, where businesses have difficulty finding people with the requisite skills to match the demands of the job. The skills gap can be caused by a number of circumstances, including changes in technology, upheavals in the labor market, and insufficient educational and training programs. It can have negative impacts on both workers and businesses, as workers may find it difficult to locate suitable employment and businesses may struggle to fill positions with qualified individuals.
What is ‘Skill Shortage’?
A skill shortage is a lack of people with the appropriate skills to fill open positions in a certain industry or occupation. It is frequently created by a mismatch between the skills required by businesses and the skills possessed by job seekers. Skill shortages can have a detrimental influence on businesses, the economy, and the labor market as a whole, as they can result in unfilled positions, increased recruitment costs, reduced productivity, and slowed economic growth.
Why the technology Skills Gap & Skills Shortage are important
The technology skills gap and technology skills shortage have a significant impact on the economy and workforce. As technology advances and becomes more ubiquitous in numerous businesses, there is an increasing demand for individuals with specific technical skills. Yet, the shortage of individuals with these skills often result in unfilled job positions and a decline in corporate efficiency.
This may also raise competition for available workers with these skills, driving up wages and making it difficult for smaller businesses to compete for talent. Long-term, the technological skills gap can have an influence on innovation since organizations may struggle to create new technologies if they lack the qualified personnel required to support these efforts.
Identifying Current Skill Sets Needed
The tech industry is continually expanding, and so are the essential skill sets. The following are some of the current skill sets required in the tech industry:
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML): The capacity to conceive, develop, and deploy AI and ML algorithms to solve complex problems and automate tasks.
3. Cybersecurity: The ability to prevent unauthorized access, theft, and damage to computer systems, networks, and data.
4. Cloud Computing: The ability to create, deploy, and manage cloud-based infrastructure and applications.
5. Software Development: The capacity to create, design, test, and maintain software programs utilizing a variety of programming languages and frameworks.
6. Internet of Things (IoT): The capacity to design, develop, and execute Internet of Things (IoT) systems that connect physical devices and sensors to the internet.
7. Mobile Development: The ability to design, build, and maintain mobile applications for multiple platforms, such as iOS and Android.
8. User Interface and User Experience (UI) Design: The ability to design and develop compelling and intuitive user interfaces and user experiences for software programs and websites.
9. DevOps: The capacity to manage the software development lifecycle, from code development to deployment and maintenance, using agile approaches and automation tools.
10. Project Management: The capacity to plan, execute, and manage complex software development projects to ensure they are completed on schedule, within budget, and to the required quality standards.
Anticipating Future Skill Sets Required
New technologies and trends emerge on a regular basis in the tech industry. Some of the future skill sets that may be necessary in the tech industry might include:
1. 5G Networks: The ability to design, develop, and implement 5G networks and applications that take use of this technology’s improved speed and bandwidth.
2. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR): The capacity to design, create, and execute AR and VR apps that improve user experiences and introduce new ways to engage with digital information.
3. Quantum Computing: The ability to design, develop, and implement quantum computing systems and algorithms capable of solving difficult problems and performing calculations at previously unheard-of rates.
4. Blockchain: The capacity to design, build, and deploy blockchain-based systems and applications that enable safe and transparent data storage and transactions.
5. Natural Language Processing (NLP): The capacity to create, develop, and deploy NLP algorithms and systems that can comprehend and interpret human language, allowing for more natural and intuitive interactions with technology.
6. Edge Computing: The capacity to design, develop, and implement edge computing systems and applications that can process data closer to the source, lowering latency and improving performance.
Bridging the Technology Skills Gap through Training and Development
Upskilling and reskilling are two different pedagogical approaches to solving both the tech skills gap and the tech skills shortage.
Upskilling is focused on upgrading the skill sets of individuals who already have tech skills to those newer tech or soft skills that are in high demand. For example, a mainframe specialist would be trained in cloud computing, or an IT specialist would become a Cyber analyst at an NOC. As the individual already has formidable tech skills, retraining him or her would require less of an effort than training someone with no tech experience.
Another example might be upskilling a talented software engineer who is about to get promoted to team leader, to learn soft skills like empathy, leadership, and feedback.
As tech upskilling focuses on individuals who are already in the tech domain, it doesn’t really solve the tech skills shortage in a big way. It might decrease some vacancies, but might also create vacancies currently filled by the upskilled professionals leaving their current job.
Reskilling is an entirely different matter. This discipline is all about taking individuals that work in a different, non-technological, domain and giving them the knowledge and skills needed to enter the tech world and land their first tech job. An example for reskilling would be a tour guide who saw the travel industry hurt, and decided to become an entry-level data analyst.
Preparing for a Career in Tech
Wawiwa Tech is here to close the skills gap and minimize skill shortages with vocational tech training that works. Delivered through local partners across the globe, Wawiwa’s programs reskill and upskill individuals to succeed in tech jobs in high-demand. According to Eran Lasser, founder and CEO at Wawiwa, who can personally be credited with the reskilling of over 50,000 individuals in 7 countries, the company’s mission is to bridge the skills gap between academic knowledge and local industry demand.
“We help universities, training centers, and ecosystem entrepreneurs to establish local tech training centers that train and reskill the local workforce for tech jobs that are in high demand,” says Lasser. “It’s hard for any single company to close the tech skills shortage, but governments, enterprises and education providers must join hands in tackling this global challenge, for the greater good. There are enough jobs to be filled and enough individuals to be trained for everyone to benefit.”
Check out Wawiwa’s tech training programs and contribute to closing the tech skills gap where you live.