WISE survey to quantify routes into tech roles

The survey examines the routes into tech careers for women and those with non-tech backgrounds

WISE is calling upon employers and individuals to take part in their ongoing survey that aims to shine a light on the technology landscape. The non-profit organisation seeks to increase the participation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

WISE survey – the routes into a tech career

The WISE survey aims to quantify the different routes into tech careers based on characteristics such as age, gender, and nationality and collate a snapshot of educational qualifications that tech employees have and need, including training requirements.

This comes as the survey’s initial results show that more women in tech roles studied physics and engineering (28%) at degree level than computer science or information technology degrees (17%). These statistics were the reverse with male respondents where they studied 14% and 27%, respectively.

The survey also shows that tech roles are open to those without a STEM background, where 10% of female and male respondents had no formal STEM education and instead came from arts and humanities backgrounds.

Welcoming talent from different sectors and academic backgrounds and offering retraining opportunities is good for diversifying the tech talent pipeline and business profits. McKinsey’s recent research shows that UK employers would benefit economically from reskilling the workforce – which they found would yield positive economic returns in around three-quarters of cases.

Kay Hussain, Chief Executive of WISE, said: “These initial results show the breadth of education and career paths that can lead to tech roles. This means employers could cast their recruitment nets wider and consider providing upskilling and reskilling opportunities to broaden the talent pool.

“Identifying the skills gap and understanding the most common routes into tech careers enable employers to better manage their recruitment and will yield considerable benefits to the UK economy. That’s why we’re calling for more people at all levels and in all tech roles to complete our survey and join the conversation around futureproofing tomorrow’s workforce and ensuring equal opportunities for everyone so that the next generation of women can be part of our ongoing tech revolution.”

Clare Bullock, Director, Technology Solutions at Jacobs, which is sponsoring the survey, added: “Exploring the different ways we can increase the gender balance in tech is important. It’s a discussion we all need to be part of to help shift the dial and make much-needed progress. It’s such a fantastic career option for women, and more importantly, their contribution can really help close the skills gap the UK faces.”

The survey closes on July 31st, and a report will be released in September. For more information about the survey, please click here.

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