The technology skills gap is a major issue for the sector and traditional talent sources cannot keep up with the changing needs of the sector. This comes as the sector is surging ahead of other industries, with the number of tech jobs growing three times faster than jobs in other businesses, a report by Tech City UK and Nesta revealed.
The Tech Nation Report 2016 showed the tech sector is booming, but is still facing challenges in the UK. Hasan Bakhshi, a Nesta executive, told IBTimes UK that more and more jobs are available in technology and the skills needed for high-profile positions are constantly changing.
"Because it's such a fast-growing area, it's very difficult for traditional sources of talent like universities and skill bodies to meet the needs of the market," Bakhshi, Nesta's director of creative economy in policy and research, said.
"It's so dynamic and fast changing, so if you think about the time it takes for a university to introduce new courses, new MSC, PHD programmes and to change the curriculum."
According to the Tech Nation report, the technology sector, which has a turnover of £161bn ($232bn, €204bn) a year, is growing 32% faster than any other industry. Meanwhile, university curricula are not yet focused on the tech sector, and this is not changing fast enough for the industry.
"It's very challenging to keep up with technological change and what this means is that businesses are looking for non-traditional sources," said Bakhshi. "Tech companies are turning to software to recruit and use platforms to find people who are able to code and who have all these very high-tech skills. They just can't wait for traditional sources to fill that gap, they have to move quicker."
According to the report, to which 2,000 tech leaders and businesses contributed, there are 1.56 million jobs in the digital tech economy. Some 41% of these jobs exist outside of the digital tech industries, within traditionally non-digital industries such as the public sector and financial services.
Because of the huge demand for tech workers, salaries are high in the sector. Tech Nation calculated that the average advertised salary in digital roles just under £50,000, more than a third higher than the national average.