Autistic individuals typically score 10 per cent higher in digital skills aptitude than those with neurotypical traits, according to new data from digital skills company WithYouWithMe (WYWM).

The data, collected from 12,000 test results from more than two years of aptitude testing, observed individuals’ aptitude and attitude to identify their suitability and adaptability to a career in tech, with the aim of identifying people who can help solve the UK’s skills crisis.

Technology industry

Neurodivergent individuals – people whose neurological development is either under or over developed such as with autism, ADHD and dyslexia – were found to be most suitable to roles in the technology industry, scoring 10 per cent higher than the general population.

Through its ethical AI testing model, WithYouWithMe also found that almost a third (32 per cent) of neurodivergent individuals scored higher in spatial awareness and 10 per cent high in Digital Symbol Coding. These key skills directly translate to careers in the engineering, IT and data analytics sectors.

Furthermore, individuals with dyslexia were found to score higher in spatial awareness, a key capability for careers in IT systems administration and user-experience.

Scoring higher

The research also revealed that autistic individuals most commonly matched with careers in software development, consulting, and digital marketing, as well as scoring higher than the general population in verbal reasoning.

Jack Desmond, Neurodiversity Lead for WithYouWithMe, said: “Our research has shown that autistic, dyslexic or ADHD individuals, as well as those with other cognitive differences, can play a key role in solving the digital skills crisis which engulfs the technology industry.

“Neurodivergent individuals are grossly underrepresented when it comes to employment in the UK, and this research shows they possess the necessary aptitude and skills that employers are looking for.

“As an autistic person, I am greatly encouraged to see neurodivergent people recognised for the unique value they bring, but the next step is for widespread training and deployment into key roles within the technology industry where they will make a tangible difference. The benefit will be enormous for individuals to be given more opportunities, and for organisations to help solve the digital skills crisis.”

Future workforce at Farnborough International Airshow 2022

Following an era of dramatic change across the aerospace industry, the face of the industry’s workforce is changing more rapidly than ever before.

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