The Tech Talent Shortage: 25 stats you need to know as a Product Designer
As technology advances, the demand for skilled professionals in the tech industry is rising. A recent report by Harvey Nash Group found that 67% of tech leaders acknowledge a tech talent shortage. This shortage challenges organizations seeking skilled professionals to fill the talent gap. Still, it also creates an opportunity for individuals to start, change, or advance their careers in the tech industry. In particular, digital product design is one area that is experiencing intense competition for qualified candidates.
This article will explore the statistics highlighting the tech talent shortage, the future of work, and its implications for tech talents and enthusiasts, especially those in digital product design. We will also discuss the importance of upskilling and reskilling to stay ahead of the competition and take advantage of this growing industry's many opportunities.
Table of Content
#1 Competition for Qualified Candidates
According to a survey by Gartner in November and December 2022, 86% of CIOs reported more competition for qualified candidates, and 73% worried about IT talent attrition.
Implication: The tech industry is highly competitive, and there's a growing demand for skilled professionals, including in product design. Whether starting your career, transitioning to a new role, or advancing within the industry, showcasing your expertise effectively is crucial.
You should also focus on continuous skill enhancement to stay ahead of the competition, stay up to date, and retain your position in this dynamic field.
#2 Global Tech Talent Shortage Impact
A study by Korn Ferry called Global Talent Crunch found that the current talent shortage could create 85 million unfilled jobs and close to $8.5 trillion in unrealized revenues if unaddressed by 2030.
Implication: This emphasizes the severe implications of the tech talent shortage for professionals. This underscores the immense demand for talent in these fields and the potential for significant career opportunities and financial rewards for those who choose these career paths or seek to advance within them.
#3 Skill and Experience Gap
In a poll of global tech leaders conducted by MIT Technology Review Insights, 64% of respondents say candidates for their IT and tech jobs lack the necessary skills or experience. Another 56% cite an overall shortage of candidates as a concern.
Implication: The statistics show significant challenges for those seeking a career in digital product, UI, and UX design. Whether you're just starting out or looking to switch careers, lacking the necessary skills and experience can be a significant hurdle.
Even if you're an experienced professional, you'll face fierce competition due to the shortage of qualified candidates.
In light of these challenges, it's clear that upskilling and training programs are urgently needed to bridge the talent gap in these design fields. So, if you want to enter or advance in this exciting area, focus on continuous learning and skill enhancement.
#4 Persistent Talent Shortage
The Manpower Talent Shortage Study reports that in 2023, 77% of companies globally say talent shortages, the highest in seventeen years.
Implication: The intense demand for skilled professionals in the tech industry has created a highly competitive job market, especially for those seeking jobs in product design. In such a challenging environment, product designers must stay up-to-date with the latest skills and knowledge to stand out and secure sought-after positions in this field.
#5 Impact of Education
In 82 countries surveyed by Nash Squared for its Digital Leadership Report 2022, 58% of tech company leaders expected their "skills needs" to increase, while 70% said a skills shortage was holding them back.
Implication: As the demand for highly skilled digital product designers continues to rise, there simply aren't enough qualified professionals to fill all the available positions. This creates a significant challenge for the industry, hindering innovation and growth.
#6 Sector-Specific Challenges
77% of employers globally report difficulties hiring skilled professionals in high-demand sectors. According to ManpowerGroup research on talent shortage, seven in ten employers have a hard time employing skilled workers.
Implication: It's clear that specific industries are experiencing a high demand for skilled professionals, including Manufacturing and Production, Marketing, Sales, IT, and Operations and Logistics. As a result, Product design, one of the high-demand fields, faces intense competition for qualified candidates.
This makes it challenging to attract and keep top design talent, affecting project timelines and innovation in this critical area.
#7 Company Size Variation
According to ManpowerGroup, large companies with 250+ employees face the most significant challenge in hiring skilled workers. Globally, 75% of such companies report difficulty finding suitable candidates. Medium-sized businesses (50-250 employees) face the same issue at 72%, followed by small companies (10-49 employees) at 64%, and micro-businesses (less than ten employees) at 63%.
However, the figures vary across different countries. For example, medium-sized businesses (36%) struggle the most with finding suitable candidates in the United States. In contrast, in the UK, micro-businesses (84%) face the most significant talent shortage challenge. In Australia, small businesses (72%) find it difficult to hire skilled workers.
Implication: These statistics highlight the critical need for businesses of all sizes to address the talent shortage issue by investing in upskilling and training programs for their employees.
In doing so, they can attract and retain top talent, stay ahead of the competition, and achieve sustained growth.
#8 Global Variation
European employers are encountering the most significant challenges when filling open positions. According to a global study on talent shortage by ManpowerGroup, France, Romania, and Italy had the most difficulty hiring workers. In contrast, China, India, and South Africa had a relatively more straightforward time finding skilled employees.
Here are some figures that provide insight into the impact of the talent shortage in various countries worldwide:
France – 88%
Romania – 85%
Italy – 85%
Germany – 82%
United Kingdom – 77%
Japan – 76%
Canada – 75%
Argentina – 72%
Australia – 67%
South Africa – 46%
India – 43%
United States – 32%
China – 28%
Implication: These statistics reveal that in some countries, such as France, as many as 88% of employers face challenges filling vacant positions. The situation varies from country to country, with some nations having a more significant talent shortage than others.
#9 Impact on Emerging Technologies
A recent study by Gather on emerging technologies adoption found that 64% of IT executives consider talent shortage the most significant barrier, followed by 29% and 7% who cited implementation costs and security risks, respectively. This is a significant increase from 2020 when only 4% gave the same response.
This means that the talent shortage is a new and pressing issue that companies must address to achieve expansion and growth.
Similarly, when implementing IT automation and digital workplace technologies, talent availability was a primary concern for 75% and 41% of IT executives, respectively.
Implication: This highlights the importance of having a skilled workforce to implement and use new technologies in the workplace effectively.
#10 Baby Boomer Retirement Effect
By 2030, all Baby Boomers will have retired, leaving behind millions of high-skilled jobs that are difficult to fill. In Q3 of 2020, around 28.6 million Baby Boomers in the United States retired and left the workforce. (Korn Ferry, PEWResearch)
Implication: The retirement of Baby Boomers is a significant reason behind the current talent shortage. However, companies have been slow to react to this trend, and there is a lack of adequately trained professionals to fill the gaps. To make matters worse, experts have noticed a recent increase in the share of retiring Baby Boomers. This could cause even more problems for companies trying to find suitable replacements.
It leaves a void in the job market, creating a scarcity of skilled professionals. With millions of experienced workers departing, attracting and retaining top talent in the field becomes even more critical to ensure continued innovation and product development in the digital sphere.
#11 Impact on Sub-Saharan Africa
Did you know that, according to Statista, many private businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa reported revenue losses because of a shortage of skilled workers? As many as 15% and 30% of the respondents faced significant losses due to this issue.
Another 34% suffered minor revenue losses because of the labor shortage, while only 21% said they didn't have this problem.
Implication: This highlights the importance of having skilled workers to keep businesses running smoothly and avoid financial losses.
#12 Concern Among Executive Search Firms
According to 2020 data by Statista, 45% of executive search firms believed the talent shortage worsened. Only 30% or less than one-third said they felt the situation was getting better. The remaining respondents didn't have any strong opinions on the topic.
Implication: The numbers indicate that the shortage of skilled tech professionals is a significant concern for companies across the globe. The fact that some respondents did not express a clear opinion on the matter highlights the complex nature of this challenge. Strategic solutions are required to address the persistent tech talent shortage and ensure businesses can access the skilled professionals they need to thrive.
#13 Skills Becoming Irrelevant
46% of employees believe their current skill set will become irrelevant by 2024.
Implication: The rapid pace of technological advancements means that almost half of the employees fear their skills will become outdated in just a few years.
This underscores the importance of ongoing learning and adaptability in the ever-evolving tech landscape. (Degreed)
#14 Reskilling as a Priority
64% of L&D professionals said reskilling the current workforce to fill skills gaps is a priority.
Implication: Learning and Development professionals recognize the urgency of reskilling to bridge skill gaps.
This indicates a growing commitment to nurturing existing talent, ensuring they remain valuable organizational contributors. (LinkedIn)
#15 Tech Workers' Job Outlook
72% of tech workers consider quitting or exploring other job opportunities in the next 12 months.
Implication: Most tech workers are contemplating job changes, emphasizing that retaining tech talent requires addressing skill gaps and offering opportunities for growth and development within their current roles. (TalentLMS)
#16 Education System's Role
51% of respondents said that the education system has done little or nothing to help address the skill shortage issue.
Implication: More than half believe traditional education fails to prepare individuals for the tech industry. This highlights the need for educational reforms and closer alignment between academia and industry demands. (SHRM)
#17 Obsolescence of Skills
According to Gartner, one-third of the skills listed as part of a job posting in 2018 were obsolete by 2023.
Implication: The rapid obsolescence of skills emphasizes the need for constant learning and adaptation. Job seekers and employees must stay agile, focusing on acquiring future-proof skills to remain relevant in the job market.
#18 In-Demand Skills
2 out of 3 tech workers chose artificial intelligence and machine learning as the most in-demand skills to stay competitive in the job market.
Implication: Machine learning and AI are becoming pivotal skills for tech professionals. Those who want to thrive should prioritize acquiring these sought-after skills to remain competitive and valuable to potential employers. (TalentLMS)
#19 Importance of Data Science Skills
69% of employers say they prefer employees with data science skills.
Implication: Data science expertise is highly valued by employers. Consider investing in this skill set to increase their appeal to potential employers regardless of your career. (PwC)
#20 Growing Need for Digital Skills
In the future, nine out of 10 jobs will require digital skills, yet today, 44% of Europeans aged 16 to 43 lack basic digital abilities.
Implication: The growing demand for digital skills contrasts with the current lack of proficiency among a significant portion of the population.
This highlights the urgent need for digital literacy and skills development to ensure employability in the near future. (European Commission)
#21 Half-Life of Digital Job Skills
The half-life of a digital job skill is almost five years, indicating the rapid pace of change in tech-related skills.
Implication: Tech skills are evolving quickly, with a short half-life. Job seekers should embrace continuous learning and adaptability to stay relevant and valuable in a constantly changing tech landscape. (World Economic Forum)
#22 Reskilling Needs
50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025 as the adoption of new technology increases.
Implication: The imminent need for reskilling is widespread. Employees must prepare for the changing job landscape by embracing learning and development opportunities to remain competitive. (World Economic Forum)
#23 Impact on Global GDP
Upskilling will dramatically impact the global GDP by over $6 trillion and create 5.3 million new jobs by 2030.
Implication: Upskilling has the potential to transform economies and job markets positively. Individuals can contribute to economic growth and job creation by investing in learning and acquiring new skills. (World Economic Forum)
#24 AI's Impact on Skills
59% of hiring managers say the rise of artificial intelligence will substantially transform the skills their companies need.
Implication: AI's impact on skill demands is substantial, making it crucial for job seekers to be AI-savvy. Adaptation and learning in this domain can make one indispensable to employers. (Salesforce)
#25 Degree Requirements in IT Jobs
Only 43% of postings for IT jobs contained a degree requirement.
Implication: The decreasing emphasis on formal education in IT job postings opens doors for those without degrees. It underscores the importance of practical skills and experience, providing opportunities for diverse talent to enter the tech workforce.
The statistics show that the tech industry is highly competitive, and there's a growing demand for skilled professionals, including in product design. Whether starting your career, transitioning to a new role, or advancing within the industry, showcasing your expertise effectively is crucial. The skill gap in tech creates immense competition, but it also presents an opportunity for individuals to stand out and advance their careers.
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