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Here's Why the IT Skills Gap is Still a Problem

April 12, 2017 | From Virtual Forge GmbH

If the hiring industry is looking bleak, then the IT skills gap is making hiring in the IT industry look like a lost cause. Here's why it's such a big problem.

Over the last four years, the recruiting industry has gotten tougher and tougher. Increasingly, job candidates lack the necessary skills to fill a good majority of the jobs available in the U.S. A 2016 report by the Society for Human Resources Management found that two thirds of recruiting managers are having difficulties finding qualified candidates for jobs in a whole range of industries from healthcare to engineering to tech.

But one of the most hard hit industries is happening because of something called the IT skills gap. In fact, the IT skills gap makes the overall hiring industry look rosy, given that 81% of IT managers and directors say that can't find qualified candidates to fill key job positions within the IT industry. Nearly half of them don't even expect to hire an employee within their target timeframe, and a full two-thirds of CIOs don't think they have the in-house skills to address their company's IT needs. To say that the IT skills gap is a problem would be an understatement.

Why is There Such a Huge IT Skills Gap?

For starters, large-scale transitions to cloud computing and utilizing IoT have created additional stresses and workloads for an already taxed IT department. These rollouts have happened in a relatively short period of time, requiring IT departments and CIOs to completely revamp their IT security policies, strategies, and infrastructure.

Additionally, rapidly changing technology overall (including things like virtualization and mobility) have made it difficult, at best, for IT departments and their employees to keep up. A rapidly changing technological landscape requires a rapidly changing skill set, and companies have few ways to identify and create ongoing educational and technical courses to help keep employees on the forefront of advancements in IT security and technology. Employee job descriptions are even changing in order to help find the right kind of talent, incorporating candidate qualifications like "innovative mindset", "being adaptable", and having strong negotiating skills to help manage vendor relationships.

With all of these changes, bridging the IT skills gap won't be an easy challenge for CIOs and IT managers, but there are a few places that change can start taking place. First, searching for new talent needs to start with students. Helping high school and university students see the IT industry as a desirable career path can help. Educating students, teachers, professors, and career counselors on the skill sets necessary for the new IT department are also key, so that future IT talent can start being developed earlier, resulting in a better hiring environment in the years to come.


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