The skills gap is bad news for software development - here's what can be done

 Coding.
Coding.

As businesses continue to suffer from a digital skills gap, it seems that software development is the most badly affected area.

Thanks to the rapid development of new technologies, such as AI, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Big Data, it is believed that businesses need to adapt by plugging the gap - but this can be challenging.

Now, a new study has identified some of the key elements that are contributing to the shortage in skills and what can be done to solve the problem.

Bridging the gap

The main challenges for firms are "finding qualified candidates and keeping up with ongoing technological advancements," says Jim Cassidy, CEO of Code Institute, adding, "the evolving nature of technology often exceeds traditional education and training programs, creating a disconnect between the skills employers demand and the qualifications candidates hold."

Code Institute says by not having the rights skills, firms start to fall behind, and also find it hard to even know what talent they should acquire, let alone the struggle to actually hire them.

"This, in turn, places heavier workloads on existing employees, leading to heightened work-related stress levels, ultimately preventing the smooth execution of digital transformation initiatives," noted the CEO.

With the expansion of AI tools in the workplace - the market for which is expected to grow by 40% each year until 2028 in Europe alone - talent is needed to "design, implement and maintain these technologies," says Cassidy.

One solution is for firms to introduce flexible upskilling with training programs for current employees. These should be tailored to their individual  requirements, and will allow for firms to "foster resilience and agility amongst their employees by investing in the professional development of their workforce."

Upskilling in this way will also benefit employees themselves, as they will "remain competitive in an ever-changing job market, enhancing their overall job security," the study says.

In turn, this helps the long term success of companies, as it "cultivates an adaptable workforce capable of navigating various industry challenges and innovations," claims Cassidy.

In addition, collaboration with vocational partners is also a must, in order to find the right outside talent and train their existing workers effectively. Lifelong learning programs, boot camps, and part-time online courses should also be offered to maintain ongoing development.

Failing to bridge the gap can be dangerous not just for companies themselves, but for the wider economy as well. Cassidy concludes that "flexible upskilling, careful recruitment, and continuous career development," are the ways to bridge the gap.

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