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Gen Z struggle to break into the tech industry

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Despite 92% of businesses struggling to recruit entry-level tech roles

Gen Z is struggling to start a career in tech – especially women and ethnic minorities, with 54% taking four to nine months to secure their first entry-level role.

According to Wiley Edge’s Diversity in Tech 2023 report, 18% of this generation’s tech workers took 10 months or longer to start their careers. Only 28% of respondents secured a role within three months, giving rise to anxious waits after university to start their careers.

The data reveals, 62% of Gen Z respondents found it harder to secure a role than they anticipated. Many big tech employers are slowing down or freezing recruitment, but this has not deterred Gen Z, who want to pursue a career in big tech. 53% of Gen Z tech workers wanted to work for big tech over any other sector, followed by financial services – with 16% of respondents.

Data found that 92% of businesses face challenges when recruiting for entry-level tech roles – exposing a gap between formal education and careers. 45% of businesses cite that candidates for entry-level positions lack core technical skills despite holding a relevant degree, and 26% said they lack soft skills. 42% of businesses also reported a scarcity of candidates with the right formal qualifications, with 43% saying the same about candidates from historically underrepresented groups.

The study found that degrees are still desirable, with 27% of businesses exclusively hiring from top universities, while 44% report that they are more likely to do so.

Khadijah Pandor, Head of Partnerships at Wiley Edge said: “While it’s promising that so many Gen Z professionals are trying to make a name for themselves in technology, it’s disheartening to see that so many are facing long waits to make their career dreams a reality. Education is paramount in helping tech careers become more accessible. Gen Z professionals need to be made aware of the rewarding and good-paying tech roles outside of Big Tech. Whether in smaller firms or sectors such as retail, healthcare, finance and manufacturing, opportunities for skilled tech workers are abundant, but knowledge of these opportunities is less so.”

For more information on Wiley Edge, visit https://www.wiley.com/edge/

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