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Skills gap provides opportunities for workers with IT training

An employee skills gap at many companies is opening the door for people with the proper IT training. Many employers feel that they need more highly trained workers, says talent engagement senior manager Lisa McCarthy in her article for VisionIT.

The CompTIA “State of the IT Skills Gap” study from last year showed that at a time when businesses are placing a greater emphasis on the importance of IT skills,  only 7 percent of employers felt that their workers had the IT training needed to maximize performance and only about 56 percent are even approaching the level of IT skills they believe they need. About 80 percent of businesses surveyed said that the skills gap has a negative impact on at least one aspect of their operation, including productivity, security and customer service.

“The bottom line is IT workers and candidates who invest time and resources into keeping their skills up-to-date via training, contract assignments, and research/specialization in trending technologies will be in high demand and at the helm of a skyrocketing career,” McCarthy wrote. “Many IT workers, including one recently interviewed by CIO Magazine, have reaped the benefits of making periodic investments in their training and leveraging contract assignments to brand themselves as niche specialists in the latest technologies.”

Following new IT trends can be helpful for landing a job, but many positions are open for foundation skills such as IT support, storage, security, database management and network administration.

Security in particular is an area where workers with the right IT credentials can find employment opportunities, as the need has grown to an estimated 300,000 cybersecurity employees, according to TechTarget.

The shortages are caused by multiple factors. A lack of job candidates with the right level of training is made worse because employees who have the necessary skills are often too senior to qualify for entry-level positions. When this happens, vital positions remain unfilled.

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4 thoughts on “Skills gap provides opportunities for workers with IT training

  1. It sounds to me as though the shortages are cause, at least in part, by employers not understanding the value of experience. Certainly a senior person will have more skills (and even possibly training) than an entry level person. If employers want a certain skill set, then they should find out how much experience and training people need to attain that skill set. Job titles and pay grades should be created that reflect an understanding of, if not appreciation of, the level of skill required. It is silly to leave positions unfilled and act as though the mistake of linking skill sets and experience were the fault of the entire work force and not of the person creating the job posting.

  2. I have to agree with Teresa on this point.
    Experience is the key or should be, as I remember, it was.
    Now employer’s want to see degrees and certifications and then they want to see experience, in that order.

  3. Yes, both Teresa and Adrian have good points, but many companies are partially responsible for the lack of training in the workforce. Prior to 2007 most mid-market companies and companies that were not leading in their sectors went away from training their employees (except OTJ) due to an impression that the employee might leave for a better opportunity once they had the training. This view that either the “job market” or the employee themselves were solely responsible for maintenance and upgrade of their skills accelerated in the downturn of 2007-2008 except in the leading large companies in most sectors resulting in a job market with a mismatch in skills to openings. It is ironic that now companies don’t want to hire senior people with the skills required, but can’t find mid-level or entry-level people with the desired skills partly because the companies never invested in training their portion of the work force. It has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we are to have a vibrant workforce we must turn around this misplaced view of training and education. Training and Education offer many benefits to companies that invest in it not the least of which are a boost to morale, retention and productivity.

  4. Interesting points above but part of the problem is that the technological landscape is moving and adjusting so quickly employers really do need to have a way of screening candidates suitable for the job. Appropriate training shows employers that a potential employee has the skills and knowledge required to be effective in adding value to an organisation immediately.

    CompTIA have created an insightful and informative guide on reasons why hiring IT certified staff helps organisations beat the skills gap that is very complementary to this discussion. I would strongly recommend you downloading it if you’re interested in this topic. http://skillsboost.comptia.org/companies

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