Half of students eye data jobs but still need reeling in

student2The UK must do more to dispel the myths about the qualifications and skills required for a career in the data industry, amid claims that misconceptions are hindering students from joining the sector, despite increasing interest fuelled by the Covid pandemic.

So says a new report from Experian, which surveyed 2,001 UK adults (16+) in education, and found over two thirds (68%) believe you need key qualifications in maths and/or science in order to work with data.

Almost three quarters (72%) also believe that you must have specific data skills in order to apply for a data-related job.

However, the research also highlighted that over half (53%) are considering a career working with data, including data analysis (29%), data science (21%) and data engineering roles (16%).

Even so, there is little sign of the gender balance being addressed, with the majority (60%) of those considering a career in a data-related field being men.

The study follows a report from the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) which highlighted the UK faces a data skills shortage, with up to 234,000 job roles requiring data skills currently vacant.

Experian is calling on businesses and government to work together to entice more students from a wide range of backgrounds into careers working with data.

With more than two-thirds (67%) of students wanting companies to do more to promote data roles, Experian believes businesses have an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of data and its crucial role.

The research also found that one in five students (21%) said businesses needed to showcase how people can make a difference to society by pursuing a career in data, and one in four (25%) thought that a renewed focus on data skills and training was needed in the education system.

Experian UK&I and EMEA chief data officer Jonathan Westley said: “The pandemic has shown the growing importance of data and the role it can play in overcoming some of societies biggest challenges.

“The National Data Strategy is testament to this view, but achieving the Government’s ambitions will continue to be an uphill struggle if there’s not enough talent working in the data industry.”

Westley added that while it is encouraging to see that a growing number of graduates and apprentices are now considering a career in data, we need to do more by working alongside the Government to educate and create awareness around data roles with a broader, more diverse range of students.

He concluded: “Those in education today are increasingly being driven by the idea of finding a career in which they can make a real difference, and we need to showcase the power of data for good in sectors from healthcare to education.”

Related stories
Havas UK ramps up entry level scheme for youngsters
Group M launches Digital Academy for non-graduates
Mad world: Top marketing role seen as ‘man’s work’
Census shows industry at worst but it vows to change
Women ‘conditioned to feel less deserving than men’
Most men won’t tackle gender equality, at home or work
Wunderman apprenticeship scheme woos diverse talent
New apprenticeship scheme launches to boost diversity
Agencies unveil diversity-led apprenticeship programme

Print Friendly