For many years, industry has complained that there is a shortage of IT talent, particularly those with technical expertise, and in 2013 similar complaints resurfaced. However, companies are now more specific about the type of skills they require, and with new trends and threats arising, new skillsets are being sought after.
In order to deal with this, the government is finally overhauling the way it teaches IT and computing. But companies still fear that certain skill gaps in IT that are becoming more important to businesses are not being addressed for the here and now.
One of those is the cyber security skills gap, and Computing has started its own campaign, dubbed Securing Talent to raise awareness of the growing need for people with cyber security skills in industry and government, and for clearer pathways into the cyber security profession.
Below is a list of Computing's 10 most interesting themes around IT skills, featuring some of the hardest hitting stories of 2013.
10. ‘Big data' skills
With more data being made available to companies, the need for people who can process it has been a major theme throughout 2013.
Earlier in the year Computing looked into the types of skills that were necessary for a big data job and questioned whether companies were rushing to recruit people to fill the roles even if applicants did not have the prerequisite skills.
By the end of November, business software firm SAS claimed that 300 students who attended its big data careers fair would have a one in three chance of being recruited by an SAS customer – with the likes of British Airways, HMRC, Nationwide, PwC and the BBC all looking for big data specialists.
The National Crime Agency (NCA), a UK government body which aims to cut serious and organised crime in the UK, said it was on the lookout for 400 trainee cyber intelligence officers who could get a starting salary of £22,407. The agency said it was looking for "ambition and aptitude" in the area of cyber or intelligence, rather than qualifications.
Deloitte's head of UK cyber security, James Nunn-Price, told Computing that the firm is on the lookout for cyber security professionals with ‘people skills' – claiming that it is possible to find someone with security skills or business skills, but finding both was a tough task.
"The security people end up in a bunker because no one knows what they are saying. In the last two years there has been a huge shift, and now those people with security skills need to be able to explain to stakeholders what a problem is in simple terms," he said.
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