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Tackling the digital skills gap

According to a recent study by McKinsey (Women in the Workplace 2018) women remain underrepresented.

This is particularly true in tech industries where only about 20% of Tech Jobs are Held by Women (Small Biz Trends:Women in technology statistics) and a lack of female mentors could be playing a part in inspiring the youth of today.

Women in tech and bridging the digital skills gap

I (Dawn McGruer Ranked #1 for Digital Marketing on LinkedIn) have worked in tech for the past 20 years and although I do see more and more females in the world of tech it is still a very slow evolvement. There needs to be a concerted effort to attract more women to the technology sector but the gender pay gap isn’t helping with the average salary for women reported as £59,209 and £78,599 for men.

According to the recent Computer Weekly Salary Survey 2017/2018 UK & Ireland, the UK will have 800,000 unfilled IT jobs by 2020. So we are facing a huge worldwide digital skills gap.

This skills gap was indeed addressed by the Education Secretary, Damien Hinds back in January 2018 in his first speech in this position so there needs to be investment in the youth of today who will be tomorrow’s tech and business leaders and entrepreneurs.

I am passionate about bridging the digital skills gap and have concentrated my efforts into developing digital skills through Business Consort – Digital & Social Academy. I am proud to say we have reached over 27,000 in our alumni who we have successfully trained and certified to CIM standards but there is still a long way to go.

 

I feel that digital marketing is such a central skill to have in business today due to the fact online presence contributes heavily to business success.

I see a vast amount of organisations who have absolutely amazing products and services but still struggle to reach the levels of profit they require to sustain and grow.

This is largely down to ineffective and insufficient marketing not the actual demand for the product or service but more to the visibility and reach to their target audience and markets.

So how can we empower our business owners, marketers and upcoming talent?

I feel digital marketing and tech related skills need to be taught in schools and there needs to be more inclusion of digital marketing as a whole in University degrees.

 

  1. As a CIM tutor for the CIM Diploma in Professional Digital Marketing I can honestly say I am shocked at how many degree holders have little knowledge of digital marketing in the business world. Even those who have marketing related qualifications have not had the exposure in the syllabus to digital marketing for commercial purpose. This is really disappointing in an era that is so focused to online trading and commerce.

I feel that curriculum needs to encompass real-world business skills because again when we look at the talent coming into business many are not equipped with what these businesses need in a marketing or tech related role.

Apprenticeships have been a welcome addition to this sector but still they are coming into an apprenticeship totally fresh and under-exposed to the concepts of business.

If we could reach our youth in schools and follow this solidly through higher education or apprenticeship training businesses would be more at ease in employing young talent because there would be a higher level of expertise that would fundamentally help them add to productivity and profit far quicker.

This is often over looked because when you look at job adverts the majority want experience because they don’t have the resources or time to micro-manage and train from scratch. If we could help bridge this gap we would see a more diverse recruitment approach from business and younger talent would have more opportunities to accelerate their careers.

My mission is to reach a million people – at any age or stage to empower them to access free digital skills in the next year!

We need a digital revolution!

Read more here

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