A recent article in Computer Weekly showed that many young people may be missing out on IT Financial careers in the financial sector. According to a leading London-based investment management career company, many people are not aware that these career pathways and opportunities exist.
Investment 2000, partners with firms to provide young people with career information and apprenticeships. They admit there are many challenges facing a young person who wants to pursue an IT career in the financial services industry. These challenges include:
- The perception that an IT career is best suited for men. A recent study showed that 47 percent of young people 11 to 18 years old believed that the technology sector jobs were best suited for men.
- A believe that they do not possess the skills needed to get this type of job. They may believe that the technical skills and formal qualifications are more important to a potential employer than a person’s ability to creatively solve a problem.
- A perception that apprenticeship is not a viable alternative. They believe it is not as valuable, to an employer, as a university degree.
- A perception that the IT career market is already flooded. Strong competition means there are fewer opportunities and fewer rewards.
- A negative perception of the financial sector.
- A perception a person needs to come from a “rich, white” background in order to get a good IT job.
- A lack of awareness about the IT job opportunities that exist within the financial sector.
A Whole Person With A Good Attitude
IT recruitment and investment companies and commentators in education are hoping to counter some of the common misconceptions and beliefs that young people have about IT jobs in the financial industry. They point out that many employers place a great deal of value on young people who have good communication skills, enthusiasm, the right attitude and a wide range of other softer skills. This is the opposite of the technical skills based, stereotypical introverted ‘techie’ hired in the past.
Commentator Andrew Rydon, CTO of IT at Henderson Global Investors, says that technology roles require more than just technical skill. With the speed that technology drives change within the finance industry, this is the ideal time for young people to join the IT roles available within the industry.
Supported Apprenticeships Are A Great Alternative
Many commentators and industry leaders are in agreement that apprenticeships are a good alternative to university study for many young people who seek IT opportunities. An apprenticeship prepares a young person for the work they’ll need to do, it can help them build a support network, and it can help them to develop a mix of important work skills.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
When recruiting young people for IT and technology roles, technical skills are valuable and important. However, it is also important to consider the other skills they possess, their enthusiasm and their attitude. You need to look at their long-term value to your organisation.
Remain open to the value of a diverse workforce. Offer a nurturing environment with structured learning, and programs such as apprenticeships. These are a good way for your industry to make sure you are getting the best value by attracting talent, nurturing that talent and giving young people the opportunity to progress.