Addressing the Great IT Skills Shortage

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

Top 10 In-Demand Tech Skills for 2011

By some estimates there are about 400,000 IT jobs going begging in the U.S. simply because potential employers can't find people with the right skills to take those jobs.

According to Liz Hyman, vice president of public advocacy for CompTIA, the organization came up with the estimate after scouring all the job boards that the organization regularly tracks. To help address this issue, CompTIA today announced at its annual CompTIA Breakaway conference that it is creating a new Global IT Workforce Council whose primary mission will be to encourage more IT professionals to get certified to fill those positions.

That may result, says Hyman, in CompTIA setting up kiosks within companies to train IT professionals or setting up online IT training programs that make the course materials more accessible to a broader range of IT professionals.

In general, certifications are expected to become more difficult to attain in the years ahead as the hands-on component of these tests becomes more important. That's good news on one hand because it means that certifications will have more real value in the marketplace. The bad news is that they will take a lot more effort to attain.


Of course, the issue this raises is who is ultimately responsible for paying for the IT training needed to get those certificates. Some IT people feel that the companies they work for should bear the cost of training, while many business executives feel it's the responsibility of the employee to stay current on IT skills that are most in demand.

Given the current state of the economy, the latter view is the most prevalent, which means that, like it or not, the training onus falls mainly on the employee.

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Aug 19, 2011 7:59 AM mataj mataj  says:

Ouch! Such shortage shouting is the loudest just before recession. Expect another massive wave of job losses in about 6 months.

Given the current state of the economy, the latter view is the most prevalent, which means that, like it or not, the training onus falls mainly on the employee.

Why in the world would anyone want to invest time and money in developing his IT skills in order to compete on the global labour market with the malnourished folks from NOSOTEK, and such? It's stupid. Let Kim Jong Il pay for it!

Sep 5, 2011 12:51 PM hoapres hoapres  says:

Spend thousands of dollars and months of time for a "throw away" IT job paying $10 an hour.  Nor am I exaggerating too much.

I advise young Americans to NOT pursue an IT "career" because you are most likely going to be "bumming around" from one low paying job to another until you reach 40.  Once you are 40 then you are likely "prerejected" and ineligble for IT employment.

Mataj with his above post is probably correct that another massive job layoffs is likely to occur but it might not take even 6 months.

Sep 8, 2011 10:27 AM Abe Abe  says: in response to hoapres

In my opinion employers are becoming too greedy, they are paying a lot less, they are looking for workers that master 20 different technologies, good luck for them fiding them, in short they are very unrealistic tha's why you have all this unfilled jobs, in medicine for example everyone is speliazed but in IT the are looking for people with all these skills at the same time Microsoft(all skills), Oracle, Sap, Cisco..., unless you are the king of nerds nobody I know has all these skills together. If you are new to IT it is going to be a Marathon just to keep up with new skills, it is better to go into a profession where your skills are not obsolete in less than a year.  If I had to do it over I will not do it.

Oct 10, 2011 4:46 AM Programmer Programmer  says: in response to Abe

It jobs are demanding in intellectual energy, skill update, you get obsolete at the age of 35 and they do not pay well relatively to the profit they give to the boss(check the margin of IT companies) due to the millions of software engineers working in very poor countries (peanuts salaries).

If you have the brain power to become a software engineer, so better for you to become actuary or risk manager or other job requiring good scientific skills.


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