Bridging Digital, Data and Technology Skills Gaps in Higher Education

Across the higher education sector, universities and colleges are increasingly facing a lack of digital, data and technology professionals available for both interim and permanent work. As the demand for these individuals increases, and the available talent pool shrinks, the higher education sector could be facing a ‘talent cliff’, whereby we will see a large drop-off in filled roles across the sector over the next year. The result of this will be a significant reduction in both capability and delivery, at a time when digital transformation has never been more at the forefront of higher education strategy.

According to recent statistics from Oxford College, an estimated 20% of the UK workforce will be significantly underskilled for their jobs by 2030; this figure translates to approximately 6.5 million individuals struggling to meet the demands of their roles.

The situation is equally as alarming when looking at data, digital and technology skillsets - according to the same source, a staggering 27% of UK workers admit that they lack the necessary digital skills required for their job roles. Despite the undeniable importance of digital literacy in today's professional world, nearly three in five workers (58%) report that their employers have never provided them with training to improve their digital skills.

Furthermore, the talent pool for DDaT roles within the higher education sector could be shrinking as a result of limitations around home and flexible working in the sector. Several higher education institutions have been, and remain, hesitant about offering flexible working across their organisations, due to factors such as the benefits of face-to-face education, specifically where roles are ‘100% forward facing’.

As a result, hiring managers within higher education tend to source and select talent from within the sector. Whilst having direct experience and skills can be an advantage, this limitation is significantly narrowing the options available when it comes to hiring professionals with wider DDaT experience and potentially transferable skills from wider sections.

However, with the correct approach and right understanding, higher education institutions are beginning to embrace new methods of hiring. For example, at Global Resourcing, we have taken several sectors through the transformation process, which means we have an accessible pool of talent for higher education organisations to tap into.

Our approach involves identifying each customer's individual needs, developing tactical strategies, and designing solutions that deliver results. Whether searching for a new role or looking to hire, all of our customers receive a bespoke approach that creates the outcomes they require.

The talent cliff in Data, Digital, and Technology skills poses a significant challenge for higher education institutions. However, our expertise, commitment to diversity and tailored solutions make us the ideal choice for institutions looking to bridge the DDaT talent gap across the sector.

If your higher education institution is looking to address its DDaT talent needs, get in touch for help in building your future workforce.

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