Tony Lysak, Chairman of The Software Institute and CEO of SkillsNow
The pandemic has caused huge setbacks for graduates and young professionals who have faced huge disruption and uncertainty in their careers, but, there has been one silver lining. More individuals are taking a step back to reevaluate their goals, priorities and values. People now expect more in their working lives, and seek new challenges as well as greater purpose or meaning in their work. Those who may have spent their professional lives studying a degree in law, working in sales or pursuing a career in finance, could be looking for a complete career change. Interestingly, according to a recent survey, women are particularly keen to transition post-pandemic careers, with over 60% planning a complete career swap this year.
This comes as great news to the tech sector which is calling out for more digital skills, amid huge shortages. The skills gap will continue to be an ever-present challenge for the sector due to the simple fact that technology is constantly evolving. However, if not addressed urgently, the gap will continue to widen at a fast pace, which is hugely problematic for the 60% of businesses that believe their reliance on specialist digital skills is only set to increase over the next five years.
Many businesses hurried through digital transformation strategies as a result of the pandemic and there are now vacancies for over 1 million digital experts. The need for highly skilled talent is reaching a never-before seen peak and there are many roles to fill.
So, how do you encourage someone with years of experience working in marketing or graduates with a Bachelor of Arts degree in say, History to enter a career in computer programming?
Understandably, making any dramatic career move can be daunting, particularly a move into the tech industry. However, working in tech can be very lucrative and rewarding. Due to the growing need for specialist workers, pay is competitive and the right skill sets are being offered many attractive benefits in order to fill the gap and keep businesses on the cutting edge.
Despite this, Indeed found that people take an average of 12 months to decide to officially make the leap to a career in tech — about two months longer than people who switch into other industries. While plenty of soft skills like leadership, adaptability or time management can transfer between other industries, many assume that all roles in the tech industry require knowledge of specific systems and programs, which will need existing experience – a factor putting off many potential candidates.
There is a big misconception here. Now, anyone can make the move. You no longer need experience or to be particularly mathematical or algorithmically advanced to step into a role in computer programming. Low-code and no-code trends have begun to offer an accessible entry point for many without this prior knowledge or skill set. These trends have rapidly risen to fill the need for digital transformation amidst limited developer availability. And, we’re continuing to see more companies turn to low-code and no-code solutions to rectify the imbalance between the ever-growing demand for software development and the shortage of skilled developers currently in the market.
With these, no-code and low-code approaches, graduates and professionals without any prior knowledge in programming are empowered to make a move into the software development industry. Instead of spending years studying programming languages and constantly needing to keep up to date with the latest frameworks, the whole software development process can be reduced to a series of easy steps including drag-and-drop editors, graphical workflow tools and code generators.
Software companies like Pega and Tanium, have created these no-code and low-code solutions to accelerate development and operating processes, meaning those with very little experience can take advantage of powerful technology and quickly build workflows, systems and solutions without having to be a programming expert. With platforms like these, anyone with minimal digital skills can simply learn to code with a platform that automates and streamlines the more technical development process.
Low-code and no-code approaches are mutually beneficial to corporates and aspiring tech professionals alike. Those looking to step into the world of software development can do so without facing barriers of experience, filling the ever-growing digital skills gap we are currently faced with. And, corporations can take an idea and use fewer resources to launch quickly.
In summary, it is truly never too late to make a leap into a career in computer programming and anyone with determination and the right attitude can do it. With no-code and low-code paradigms that use highly visual tools, the technology can be easily adopted and there is a much faster entry point for anyone looking to get into software development.