Fixing the IT skills gap

About the Author: Martez Reed is an IT professional with a passion for virtualization and IT education. Martez is completing a Bachelor’s Degree in IT Network Design and Management to further develop his engineering and management skills.

One of the popular topics in the technology industry has been the discussion about the IT skills gap and how there are numerous unfilled positions but not enough available talent to meet the demand.

Some of the proposed reasons for the gap are the fact that companies are no longer willing to train inexperienced talent, colleges are not doing an adequate job of preparing students, and the American education system isn’t encouraging students to pursue careers in technology. While many of the reasons that are mentioned have some impact on the growing gap faced by the IT industry none of them are easily nor likely corrected.

Training is the core component necessary for closing the gap but many argue that companies need to reinvest in their training programs to correct the skills gap. Companies have a difficult enough time spending money on updating their systems let alone wanting to update their IT staff. In the absence of company funded training IT professionals are left to their own devices to find cost effective training that provides them with the theory and practical skills required.

In addition to training, the IT industry lacks a desperately needed framework or role definition that can be utilized by IT professionals to acquire skill that are relevant to their desired career path. While no framework would apply to every individual company, certain skills provide the basic and intermediate skills required to build upon.

The solution to the IT skills gap is likely filled by a third party company that works in the interest of all the parties involved in the IT jobs landscape. The company provides training and a framework based upon feedback from IT recruiters and hiring companies. The company is able to provide a structured cost effective role specific training program for IT professional that is funded by IT recruiters and the hiring companies. Technology vendors are incentivized to provide hardware and software to reach an entire pool of potential salespeople along with developing to a trained workforce.

The skills gap is a problem that will continue to grow as technology becomes more integrated and complex. Traditional solutions have failed to close the skills gap and will continue to fail until a new approach is taken to an old problem.

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