People who cower from computers and run scared from spreadsheets will pay a hefty price for their technophobic tendencies – that’s if they manage to get a job at all.
Research from UK vocational training body, City & Guilds suggests that a lack of IT skills can dash an individual’s career progression and hammer their earning potential, costing them up to £55,000 over their working life.
IT skills are fast becoming a prerequisite for the modern workplace, with half of recruitment consultants questioned claiming that employers are increasingly likely to demand candidates with IT qualifications.
Marketing professionals are set to lose out the most if they fail to update their computing skills, with nearly two thirds of recruiters saying that bosses within this sector prefer applicants with IT training.
Business services workers are also affected by this new demand, as more than a third of those questioned claim that employers in this field also favour IT qualified candidates. Almost six out of ten of those hiring for public sector organisations also look for new starters with IT ability.
According to City & Guilds’ Paul McCloskey, "employers are increasingly recognising that sound IT skills are a good investment; therefore, it’s vital that people make sure they update their technical skills. Not only will this benefit their chances of employment, but it will also lead to a healthier pay packet."
But despite the evidence that poor IT skills harm salary and employment prospects, one in five recruitment consultants said that candidates still fail to regard IT skills as critical to their careers.
Those working in the leisure industry appear to be one of the groups that is most blind to this demand, with more than a third failing to appreciate the benefits of an IT qualification. They are followed closely by travel workers, those working in engineering and (somewhat alarmingly) accountancy professionals.