How a talent shortage is hampering IoT development

The Internet of Things has been tipped for success for some time but various things keep holding it back…

While investment in the Internet of Things (IoT) is set to reach over $1 trillion by 2020, according to IDC, the need for IoT skills may just hamper this growth. In fact, according to a Canonical report, 68% of businesses still struggle to hire IoT experts. The latest Tech Cities Job Watch report from Experis showed a 35% increase in the demand for technology skills since this time last year, as businesses look to harness the power of IoT.


Demand for IoT skills grows

The Tech Cities Job Watch report noted that IoT has massively increased the number of connected devices and has exploded the volumes of data businesses have to process and as a result, big data roles are important to delivering success on IoT. The report found that businesses were willing to pay for such skills, with big data professionals commanding by far the highest salaries and day rates of any other technology discipline analyzed. They command average salaries of £70,945 [$99,587] in the UK – a 3% rise on last year and 54% higher than Web Developers (£46,154 or $64,895) for example.

Since connected devices also create many more vulnerabilities to cyber threats for businesses to contend with, security skills are also in demand, the report found. There has been a 24% increase (year-on-year) in the demand for IT Security contractors. Businesses are urgently plugging short term security gaps and using contractors to train up existing employees across the business and are shifting focus to this more flexible contractor model for IT security in response to the demands for IoT. In contrast to the contractor spike of 24%, there has been a 10% drop (year on year) in demand for permanent IT security staff.

What types of training initiatives are needed to develop IoT professionals? IoT skills set to rise in importance

While demand continues to grow, the shortage remains. Research from PwC and the Business Higher Education Forum shows a startling gap between educators and business executives when it comes to getting graduates ready for IoT and tech jobs. The study has significant implications for workforce preparedness and the US economy: by 2021, 67% of US executives expect to choose job candidates with data skills over those without – yet only 23% of educators believe their students will graduate with these essential tech and analytical skills.

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