A comprehensive dive into the latest trends and happenings in the UK tech industry in 2023 and beyond
Key themes from Ironhack’s State of Tech Report:
- Ironhack’s view on the steps to be taken if the United Kingdom wants to fulfil its goal of being a tech superpower
- Ironhack highlights a particular issue around the talent gap and how that links back to tech education
- Ironhack offers its thoughts on specialist tech areas of interest, including Web Development, Data Analytics, UX/UI Design and Cybersecurity
Ironhack, the international tech school, has today launched its State of Tech Report and it would be remiss to do so without a comment on the saving of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and what that means for the tech industry.
Gabriel Pizzolante, UK Growth Marketer at Ironhack, comments: “Initially, the news about Silicon Valley Bank may have shaken the confidence of many working in the tech industry. However, the way it has all played out this week is testament to just how proud we should be to be working in UK tech. I have witnessed first-hand the tech sector come together with pace and passion in reacting to this news, producing webinars, community meet ups and literature to share the word and promote action.
“The fact that the Government and the Bank of England have facilitated a private sale of SVB speaks volumes about just how essential and important the tech sector is to the UK economy. With an enviable startup scene, a thriving technology industry, strong digital infrastructure and detailed governmental plans for the future, the UK has strong potential to become a tech superpower, but the biggest issue as we see it at Ironhack, is access to tech talent and we are passionate about unlocking that potential with our tech bootcamps.”
Ironhack State of Tech Report 2023
It is fair to say that the increasingly large digital skills gap in the workplace and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have complicated the tech sector’s advances. Alongside a talent shortage, a smaller applicant pool and limited international connections.
- According to Ironhack there are clear steps to be taken if the United Kingdom wants to fulfil its goal of being a tech superpower:
- Connections with other big players in tech: as the UK’s relationship with the European Union becomes more similar to its relationship with other countries, the UK must connect with the biggest tech players across the globe, instead of just on its continent.
- Recovering from layoffs and resignations: the past year saw lots of tech companies lose workers from both mass layoffs and resignations; people will be more willing to get into tech if they see it as a reliable option for their future.
- Working after COVID: many tech roles are partly or completely remote and the need for new professionals to meet market needs means that both employers and workers need to be on the same page.
Plus, the additional impact of the EU-Brexit effect:
- Consolidate role in EU: the UK’s exit from the EU means that a large part of the workforce is now impossible to reach; the UK needs to figure out how to utilise a large talent pool within Europe, while respecting visa and border regulations.
Figuring out non-EU rules: the UK is no longer ruled by the European Union’s regulations on data protection, security and more. It’s time for the UK to define its own path forward, separate from the European Union.
2.The Talent Gap & Tech Education:
The State of Tech report also highlights a particular issue around the talent gap and how that links back to tech education. Thanks to the extremely digital nature of our world today, the so-called “digital native” population of young people are already considered proficient in basic digital skills. But the gap falls exactly between those basic skills and the advanced ones needed to meet the tech sector’s needs; 20% of young adults don’t feel that they have the required basic digital skills. But here’s the key: 57% of them want a job that uses advanced digital skills such as coding and web development.
Gabriel Pizzolante, UK Growth Marketer at Ironhack, comments: “This skills gap is Ironhack’s reason for being, back in 2013 our founders were staggered by the projected job vacancies in tech in the UK and across the world, and alongside an education system that was not adapting to company needs, they realised they had found a problem that was worth trying to solve. The potential to impact hundreds of thousands of students really drove them to pursue the opportunity. It was their chance to make a change for the better that would impact people’s lives.”
So, where does the skills gap come from? The number of students taking IT at GCSE has dropped by 40% in the last seven years; students taking their A-levels or additional IT courses are also declining. And if those interested in tech are looking for on the job training, it’s important to note that half of employers surveyed don’t offer training.
Pizzolante continues: “We’re absolutely dedicated to closing the tech skills gap by working closely with our students, corporates, and Ironhack course leaders. We offer our students flexible, remote training in the most in-demand skills, nurture a community of like-minded individuals, and offer life-changing career guidance. We’re working towards becoming the largest and most dynamic marketplace for emerging tech talent, that connects people with the best companies who will offer on the job training and support.”
3.Ironhack offers its thoughts on specialist tech areas of interest:
Ironhack explains that we will continue to see an interest in cloud computing, web 3, AI, machine learning, metaverse, augmented and virtual reality, Internet of Things and software 2.0. The interest in these fields will not only grow, but also become more and more essential for everyday internet usage.
Gabriel Pizzolante, UK Growth Marketer at Ironhack, comments: “Rapid innovation is exponentially accelerating technological progress, making each year a big jump in advancement, research and development of tech to come. Things like low-code or no-code development, progressive web apps, implementation of 5G and cross-platform app development are all going to require developers to make the shift to a more modern internet in the UK.”
Data science is the top skill in demand in the UK and businesses can no longer rely on academia to fill the knowledge gap. Ironhack warns that organisations will need to look beyond academia and instead focus on upskilling and cross-skilling people if they wish to fill data analytics related vacancies in the workforce.
Gabriel Pizzolante, UK Growth Marketer at Ironhack, elaborates: “The UK is making an evident push to fill the skills gap and will be giving funding to programs aimed at upskilling employees in data processing, gathering and analysis. The focus will be on up-to-date and real time data, which companies are increasingly leveraging to grow and make sales. This data is critical for consumer decision-making when investing in new technologies or large purchases. Managing and extracting data on the backend is great, but businesses need people who can analyse, organise and understand the implications of the data.”
User Experience (UX) Design and User Interface Design (UI) have grown exponentially and are expected to reach 100 million UX professionals by 2050, according to a study by the Nielsen Norman Group.
Gabriel Pizzolante, UK Growth Marketer at Ironhack, says: “No-touch interfaces, like Siri and Alexa, are expected to grow for households and public services and motion design and gestural interfaces will also be on the rise, so UX/UI designers will need to understand the human-machine connection in a whole new way.”
Ironhack points out that virtual reality and augmented reality are also important. Platforms like Meta’s Metaverse are going to need entirely new ways of thinking and require integration across platforms to ensure that users have seamless experiences throughout the entire digital journey.
Cybersecurity is a major challenge in the UK. In 2022, 39% of surveyed companies in the UK experienced at least one cyberattack, resulting in significant money or data losses.
Gabriel Pizzolante, UK Growth Marketer at Ironhack, comments: “With such an explosion in tech, and specifically fintech which is highly regulated, businesses and agencies are struggling to keep up. Ransomware, malware and phishing are all going to be on the rise in 2023. For this reason, anyone skilled in white-hat hacking and managing SOC will be in high demand.”
Ironhack explains that AI is another vital consideration for cybersecurity because whilst it can help detect and fight against cyberattacks, it can also be used to generate attacks. Therefore, it is important that there are enough skilled cybersecurity experts working in the UK tech industry, who know how to harness its power for good.