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NEW YORK — Every job will be a “tech job” by the year 2033, according to a survey of U.S. CEOs and hiring managers.

The new poll examining the skillsets and recruitment decisions of 650 C-suite executives, 100 hiring managers, and 1,500 office workers unveils the extent to which every role will require a level of tech knowledge in the next 10 years.

Results show 98 percent of C-suite executives feel tech skills are likely to be essential across every work sector in the next decade — with three-quarters of employees (75%) acutely aware that tech knowledge will be a must-have for them.

While we may have a decade until tech needs infiltrate previously non-technological working roles, the data shows a majority of workers aren’t waiting to be caught off guard — 57 percent are currently upskilling (acquiring new knowledge or competencies) either through their employer or individual means.

The research, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Per Scholas, a national nonprofit that provides free tech skills training programs for individuals and diverse talent solutions for enterprises, finds younger generations increasingly more likely to say they’re currently upskilling: Gen Z workers (97%), Gen X (65%), and millennials (55%).

Infographic on job candidates and upskilling

What are employees currently trying to master? Unsurprisingly, tech is the most pursued upskill — 43 percent of upskilling workers polled say they were currently learning in some form about software, apps, artificial intelligence (AI), or coding and data science.

“Having access to a sustainable pipeline of talent trained in the right skills to succeed in business helps organizations remain agile, innovative, and ahead of the curve. While the data shows that 46% of employees surveyed are already using AI at work, it’s important to recognize that most organizations are not ready nor do they have the infrastructure needed to utilize this new technology,” says spokesperson Damien Howard, Chief Enterprise Solutions Officer at Per Scholas, in a statement. 

While 45 percent of C-suite executives still prioritize a four-year degree when hiring, and over 93 percent require a four-year degree to be hired at their organization, 44 percent see a lack of tech skills as a bigger concern. Hiring decision-makers are also increasingly prioritizing tech skills more than any others as they consider candidates. 

“Today’s rapidly evolving landscape demands more than just employee upskilling,” says Howard. “It’s imperative for CEOs, CTOs, CIOs, and the entire C-suite to champion diversity and inclusion with the hiring of ‘skilled through alternative routes’ or STAR talent to remain agile, innovative, and ahead of the curve.”

When it comes to young leadership and tech, millennials (ages 27–42), who make up the majority of C-suite executives polled, could be why tech skills and adaptability are so important. This younger group grew up during the digital transformation, so they know how crucial tech skills are.

The top tech skills employers are looking for?

Technical knowledge and skills (63%) topped the list of keywords C-suite executives look for when interviewing job applicants, followed by communication (49%) and project management (43%). Non-C-suite decision-makers look for these same skills during the hiring process, with 57 percent also prioritizing tech knowledge.

Interestingly, while two in three C-suite leaders say they look for candidates with diverse thoughts and perspectives, just 42 percent say they consider candidates from different ethnic or racial backgrounds when recruiting.

“I firmly believe that bridging the tech talent gap through professional skills training isn’t just about filling roles—it’s about fueling economic growth and ensuring a diverse, inclusive workforce that reflects the multifaceted society we live in,” adds Howard. “By equipping individuals with the skills they need, we’re not only opening doors to personal opportunities but also building a stronger, more resilient economy for everyone.”

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 650 C-suite executives, 100 hiring managers and 1,500 office workers was commissioned by Per Scholas between Aug. 2 and Sept. 19, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

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