By Marian Arnold
I was at an event the other day discussing the digital future of the world (as you do) and how marketing is evolving faster than the speed of light.
It became apparent that whilst the tech world is moving at quite some speed, somehow it seems our education system just isn’t keeping up. It made me wonder – why are we still learning trigonometry not technology and why are computing and coding not an essential feature of school life?
We are in no doubt there is a digital skills shortage in the UK. Currently, 72% of large companies and 49% of SMEs are suffering tech skill gaps, so how do we fill the void and create a future of useful, employable geeks?
In January, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills in partnership with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, released a study called Digital Skills for the UK Economy which is well worth a read should you have a few days on your hand to digest 130 pages, though there is a lovely summary which gives you an overview of the plan!
This study basically examines the demand and supply of digital skills in the UK and reviews the risks for the UK if the digital skills needs of the population and businesses are not addressed.
Recommendation 3 states that “the education sector should develop and adapt their offers to meet the changing needs of the digital economy”… Hooray and amen to that, let’s get coding on the curriculum!
Getting women into science and tech is also key in the report and in Manchester, groups like Manchester Girl Geeks, Girls in tech NW and Women in Tech are focusing in this growth area admirably.
I must admit, I already feel like a bit of a digital dinosaur having graduated more than 12 years ago (aherm) and yet I have managed to educate myself and get on top of the basics. However, things move so quickly it is up to the next generations to be ready to pick up the baton before us dinosaurs run out of brain space to keep up!
In summary, the plan is there but it’s up to individuals, educators and digital employers alike to engage so, to those of us working in the sector, let’s help educate, let’s knowledge share and talk about the many valuable opportunities that exist in digital and let’s focus on creating a world for future generations where tech is in their blood.