A survey of 400 tech leaders in the UK and US by Talent Works has revealed that role models or mentors (31%) were their biggest inspiration early in their careers.
Asked who influenced them most, the university/education system came second (29%), followed by parents (21%). However, when it comes to encouraging young people to undertake STEM subjects, 51% of UK tech leaders believe the guidance should be the responsibility of schools.
When asked which areas of technology students should study, their advice was to focus on software development/software engineering (37%), artificial intelligence/machine learning (34%), and cybersecurity (18%), followed by data analytics (7%) and website coding (4%). These findings, announced in line with the United Nations’ World Youth Skills Day, highlight the importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, especially in the challenging business landscape we currently live in.
Attracting new hires
With 92% of US tech businesses planning to hire new graduates in 2021/22, ensuring that the organisation is attractive to graduate hires is key as the market is becoming increasingly competitive. The survey found that just over a quarter (26%) of UK businesses don’t measure their brand to know if they’re an attractive proposition to new hires, dropping to 10% in the US.
Neil Purcell, founder and CEO of Talent Works, commented: “With both UK and US tech employers keen to hire graduates this year, schools and universities should really be encouraging the next generation to consider a career in technology. From the employer’s side, if your organisation isn’t attractive to candidates, then you will miss out on the next generation of talent. Being visible across various platforms, knowing and showing your Employee Value Proposition, and understanding how your employer brand is perceived will elevate your company and make it an attractive choice for new candidates.”