Addressing the Great IT Skills Shortage

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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.