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In a very short period of time, the UK has had to drastically change the way we work, live and play. But while we are all doing our bit to help stop the spread of the Covid-19, the pandemic has brought into sharp focus the vital role that the STEM industry can play in tackling the big challenges we face as a society.

Specifically, data and technology has been instrumental in spearheading a response to this extraordinary challenge. It’s helped identify where to send medical supplies or channel financial support to businesses. It has allowed food banks to connect with families in need of supplies. And now it is helping councils forecast where to deploy resources for new outbreaks.   

As a result, we are seeing a surge of people looking for a career in data and technology. We have actually seen an increase in applications for data and technology roles at the company by 133% between March and July 2020, compared with the same period last year.

Encouragingly, we are also seeing candidates from an array of diverse backgrounds looking to break into the world of data and technology – a key element in making us stronger, more creative and more effective.

So, why do we see a spike in people’s interest in data and analytics? It’s likely that many people found themselves re-evaluating their careers during lockdown to ensure they can adapt to a new way of working, and this industry has become an attractive prospect.

There’s also an appetite in this field because people recognise the value of data in creating innovative ways to help solve pressing consumer, business and societal challenges and this is a path that many more are looking to forge.

This emerging trend comes at a time when the government has offered a renewed focus on the skills and expertise required to work with data, after announcing the National Data Strategy earlier this year. 

By encouraging and supporting the use of data in the UK, we can ensure that the coming waves of technological innovation do not just drive new services, but also fosters the creation of new data related jobs in line with an increase in demand.

As we continue to deal with these new ways of working, and quite naturally, worry about the health and wellbeing of our families and loved ones, from a digital transformation perspective, there’s a lot to be excited about.

But the success of these initiatives relies heavily on tackling increasingly complex data challenges. An influx of new, diverse talent into our industry will only help us overcome these obstacles, drive better innovation and help us continue on the road to recovery.

Rachel Duncan, HR Director UK&I – Experian UK&I

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