Universities to target digital skills shortage


Over half of the UK’s highest digital earners did not attend university, according to research by digital recruitment group, The Candidate.

The study shows that 49% of those in the digital sector earning between £88,000 and £130,000 studied at university and of those that did only 30% went to a Russell Group university.

It should be noted that when many of those professionals were at university age there was a lack of digital courses, with many taking traditional literary courses and later moving into the digital sector.

Brian Matthews, managing partner at The Candidate, said: “Although it might be shocking that those earning such high salaries didn’t attend university, it is actually quite common in the digital sector.

Because digital is still relatively new, it has taken time for the education system to implement courses that will really benefit students and mould them into skilled professionals. This is why many senior members of staff working in digital are without the specialist backgrounds.

Matthews suggested that now there was wider recognition for the need of digital training in higher education, adding “the courses being introduced by the Digital Business Academy at universities such as Cambridge University, not only show the education system stepping up for the digital industry, but shows them realising that Russell Group organisations need to cater for this sector alongside ex-polytechnic universities.”

Matthews concluded that “though these are promising steps, the real benefits won’t be seen until these students have completed higher education and get a job.

Therefore, work still needs to be done to help close the digital skills gap that is preventing the rapid growth in digital that the UK should be experiencing.”

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