Skills gap bears down on IT industry

30 April 2015

One of the more consistent themes in corporate management and IT innovation has been a skills gap which has already started to threaten the integrity of business operations and is expected to intensify as the years go on. In North America and abroad, many have become concerned that the lack of pertinent skills will hold many companies back from achieving more optimal performances across departments, especially as so many are enabled within IT. 

A wealth of recommendations and initiatives have been launched by advocacy groups, higher education, government officials and more, but few of them have shown any promise in acting as immediate relief to the shortages seen today. What's more, they have not really seemed to even begin to slow the speed with which skills gaps are being experienced across industries, meaning that the problem is still intensifying despite these efforts. 

Perhaps the most obvious option is for businesses to begin investing in certification and other training courses for their current and prospective employees, and professionals seeking out more coursework ahead of applying for jobs. Although general IT knowledge is a commodity today, certain types of skills including app development, cloud computing management and security appear to be the most highly demanded. 

Case in point
Microsoft IT Pro recently released a report in conjunction with another firm regarding the types of technology skills that are most needed among businesses today, and found that security is indeed the No. 1 type of talent companies are looking for. Cybersecurity training has been deemed as necessary for virtually all types of employees, but more targeted coursework for IT staff members is a growing preference among employers given the impact such investments can have on the firm at large. 

Likely the most troublesome finding of the study was that companies are indeed facing operational hindrances because of the lack of skills available in the current workforce, which clearly shows just how much businesses need to take the bull by the horns with this problem. After all, waiting for the entire education system to change or government officials to do something that eradicates the skills shortage is simply not feasible, and will rarely be an option for any company. 

With the global economy still in a state of repair from the major recession that struck toward the end of the 2000s, not only do skills gaps need to be shortened to ensure that the unemployment rate goes down, but also that business profit margins rise. As a note here, security was not the only skill needed among the study's participants, as cloud computing knowledge and prowess have been very challenging to find despite the fact that the technology is used by the vast majority of companies. 

The need is everywhere
North America is not the only one suffering from an IT skills shortage, as ITProPortal recently reported that European officials believe the continent will require roughly 800,000 additional professionals with technological talents within the next five years. Considering this is such a large number and it would take more than five years for a student to pass through traditional education channels to achieve this talent, something needs to give soon. 

By leveraging the services of a proven and reliable IT training provider, especially one that offers a wealth of programs specific to various skills such as security, ITIL and cloud courses, businesses can begin to reduce the strain otherwise felt by the talent gap. In the coming years, those that find ways to acquire the skills to optimize their digital processes and assets will likely be in a better position to excel in their respective markets. 

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