How ServiceNow is helping to close the digital skills gap

People gathered around a laptop.

The World Economic Forum predicts emerging technologies will displace 75 million jobs by 2022, whilst generating 133 million new jobs. That's a whole lot of specialist posts to fill, especially when you consider the widening digital skills gap.

Despite being ranked as the fifth most digitally advanced nation in Europe, the UK is not immune to this challenge.Current research reveals that nine out of 10 organisations admit to having a shortage of digital skills.

So, what's the plan? Do we just carry on and hope for the best? Or is there something more that we can do to reverse the trend? 

Give students more opportunity

While British universities continue their sterling job of nurturing talent, a rapidly evolving workplace makes it increasingly difficult to prepare students for their next step into the working world. 

In fact, a recent survey by Pearson Business School found nearly 20% of graduates lacked the skills to be considered 'workplace ready' after leaving university. And with technological innovation accelerating transformation, the concern is that percentage could increase...

Academic achievement is generally considered foundational for a successful career. A degree demonstrates commitment and develops expertise. But the rapid pace of technological change means that lecturers, especially those teaching digital skills, are finding it hard to keep up with best workplace practice.

Apprenticeships can provide critical on-the-job learning and enable employers to mould teams to meet their needs precisely. Apprentices are therefore more likely to be 'workplace ready'. However, they often lack the deeper, academic learning that provides the 'why?' of the work they do.

Which begs the question, why not do both? 

 The ServiceNow degree apprenticeship

Businesses are under pressure to find the best talent and bridge the digital skills gap.  ServiceNow is tackling the challenge head on by introducing the ServiceNow degree apprenticeship.

Northeastern University's UK campus (NCH at Northeastern), through its participation in ServiceNow's Next Gen Programme, will launch the ground-breaking degree apprenticeship in October 2020. The first eager cohort of students have already enrolled and the January cohort is rapidly filling.

Aimed at developing the digital, business and leadership skills needed to succeed in tomorrow's workplace, the degree is designed to bring immediate value to the sector and help organisations find talent for their growing technology needs. 

Why Northeastern University?

Northeastern University is the perfect conduit and partner to deliver this employer-responsive and learner-centric course. The institution is relentlessly focused on upskilling all participants to accelerate workforce competitiveness and deliver lasting ROI for businesses and students.

The campus in London is set up to tap into experiential learning too. Because Northeastern University works with 3,400 employer partners around the world and more than 80 established online programmes, it's positioned to deliver high-quality online and hybrid learning experiences, providing both academic and hands-on education.

Giving today's learners tomorrow's skills

The aim of the degree apprenticeship is to close the digital gap by giving people (predominantly the next generation) the skills they need to succeed in the modern workplace.

We designed the ServiceNow Next Gen Programme to tackle the digital skills shortage. It provides tailored programmes that can meet the needs of employers all around the world. This degree apprenticeship is the Next Gen Programme's flagship course, a pioneering new way to bridge the gap and improve career opportunities in technology.

ServiceNow skills are ranked amongst the hottest in demand by the largest freelancing website, Upwork, in its latest Skills Index report. It's not hard to see why. With more than 6,200 customers around the world and a growing partner network, there is high demand for ServiceNow expertise.

"This incorporation of ServiceNow skills into our curriculum illustrates our commitment to designing innovative pathways for apprentice students to continuously advance their skills and achieve their academic and professional goals", says Deanna Raineri, Vice President and Senior Vice Chancellor for digital learning and mobility strategy at Northeastern University.

We didn't design this programme just for entry-level workers. Every company is looking to expand the talent pool and strengthen career development for their employees. An opportunity to get real workplace experience, develop in-demand ServiceNow skills and work towards a university degree is a great combination for people starting or renewing their career, and for companies looking to hire them. Students go through the ServiceNow fundamentals training within the first semester making them already qualified at the start of this Degree apprenticeship. 

Opportunity and hope for all

With the cost of a degree in the UK averaging around £27,000 (plus living expenses), the technology sector is finding it hard to achieve diversity. Many organisations are drawing from the same limited talent pool to fill a growing number of vacancies. 

This degree apprenticeship offers the perfect solution for employers who can utilise their apprenticeship levy to cover programme costs whilst students learn on the job. Students in the programme are employed full-time and pay no tuition for their degree, minimising the financial burden of higher education and career development. 

The programme is designed to provide tangible business and career benefits for students and employers alike. In addition to earning a degree, participants will have the opportunity to earn in-demand ServiceNow certifications or specialise as an IT consultant, data analyst or business analyst.

Get involved today

Please email if you're an employer who wants to hire apprentices or a student looking to enrol in the course and further your career.

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